Sister Y used to think she hated Filipino food. She’s no big fan of steam table restaurants either. But then she discovered fried deliciousness at Max’s, and a lunch at the Carson branch of D.J. Bibingkahan, a “point-point” joint, confirmed her belief that Filipino food is one of the best comfort cuisines in the whole world.

There’s deliciously fatty roasted pork; delectable greens (likely taro leaves) stewed with chicken and/or pork, coconut milk and spices; and a chicken skewer.

“The skewer was the thing that moved me. After my horrible day (one of my colleagues ended up fired, if that tells you the kind of day it was) I bit into this chicken skewer and tears welled up in my eyes, because it was immediately clear that someone loved me. Something about the slightly spicy, slightly sweet, sticky sauce, or the perfectly juicy chicken, made me instantly sure that there was still beauty in the world.”

Save room for the bibingka, says Sauce Supreme–a sort of (eggless) baked rice pudding with condensed milk.

There are several branches of DJB, and several Filipinos say the Panorama City and West Covina ones aren’t worth frequenting. But for those of us who don’t have a nanay cooking up a storm at home, at least the Carson branch comes recommended.

D.J. Bibingkahan [South Bay]
840 Carson St. B, Carson

Max’s of Manila [East San Fernando Valley]
313 W. Broadway, Glendale

Max’s of Manila [Inland LA]
1561 E. Amar Rd., West Covina

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Filipino food that moved me

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