Merienda: Bite-sized Filipino Food News


In case you haven’t heard, Filipino cuisine is super popular these days. Yes, it’s something we’ve said a few times, but maybe there are a few of you who aren’t convinced.


Photo Credit: Garrett Snyder,

Yesterday, LA Filipino chef Alvin Cailan opened up his newest spot Amboy. What was supposed to be a once-a-week pop-up became a Monday-Friday takeaway window, which shares a space with Cailan’s restaurant incubator Unit 120. Cailan – also the chef and founder of Eggslut – and his sous chef Justin Dauz use recipes from Cailan’s father but with a modern twist. Rice platters cost $7 – $10 with sides adding an additional $2 to your total. Refreshments offered at Amboy include a sweet coconut milk and a Tito Arnie – a Filipino version of an Arnold Palmer with calamansi juice instead of lemonade. Amboy is located at the Far East Plaza, 727 N. Broadway in Chinatown, and is open from 11:30 AM until the food runs out.



Oompa Loompya

Photo credit: Don Cazentre,

Syracuse, NY will soon be getting its very own Filipino restaurant. Azella Alvarez has been operating her Oompa Loompyas business at food festival booths and food trucks but, come March, she will be opening her very own permanent restaurant location. Alvarez moved to Syracuse from San Diego and focuses on different kinds of lumpia. Styles include traditional beef, spinach-artichoke, and buffalo wing dip. In addition, she will also be offering her own versions of adobo, lechon, and a selection of Filipino baked goods.


Gino Barrica is a first generation Filipino-American. He is an immigration and personal injury attorney and lives in Northern California.