“Ang sarap!” (“It’s Delicious!”)
Big Boi is a new Filipino restaurant located on Sawtelle Boulevard in West Los Angeles. The neighborhood, known as “Little Osaka” and “Japantown,” is home to a number of fantastic Asian restaurants; including Tsujita, a very popular ramen joint, and Marugame Udon, a new Japanese fast-casual noodle and tempura spot. And now, Big Boi is just one more jewel in the crown.
Big Boi is from the same person who owns/operates B Sweet Dessert Bar, a fabulous sweet shop also located on Sawtelle, which specializes in amazing bread puddings. Brandon and I stopped at B Sweet one night after dinner and got a large serving of their cinnamon roll bread pudding, topped with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream. We ate it and immediately fell into a food coma. 🤤 So when I heard that the owner of B Sweet was opening up a Filipino restaurant on the same street, I had no doubt that this new place was going to be equally delicious.
The menu at Big Boi is pretty simple and focuses on classic Filipino dishes — the types you would find at any family potluck — such as adobo, Filipino BBQ, tocino, longanisa, sisig, and corned beef with onions and garlic. They also have monthly specials, and for their grand opening this month, Big Boi is serving lechon kawali. They also offer a variety of extras/sides, including pancit noodles, lumpia shanghai (tiny Filipino eggrolls) and sinigang soup (a deliciously sour soup made with tamarind).
You can order a la carte, but if you’re feeling especially hungry, you can choose to make your own combo plates. You can get a “SMALLZ” combo, which is one entree, plus rice or pancit, and pan de sal (a Filipino dinner roll). Or you can get a “BIGZ” combo, which means you can indulge in two entrees of your choosing, plus the rice or pancit, and a roll.
I probably should’ve ordered a SMALLZ combo, but I was in the mood to stuff myself with food from my childhood, so I went with the BIGZ.
My “BIGZ” Combo
For my two entrees, I chose pork sisig and longanisa. Sisig is crispy chunks of fried pork belly, and Big Boi’s sisig is covered with a spicy mayo for a little kick. The longanisa is a sausage, similar to chorizo, that is plump and sweet — and something our family would have for breakfast, along with eggs and sinangag (garlic fried rice).
I asked to get half sinangag and half pancit — thin noodles with veggies — for my side, and I was excited to see the huge pan de sal roll packed in the takeout container. (When I was little, I would dip warmed pan de sal into hot coffee as a treat.)
It was A LOT of food for $15, and we could have easily shared one BIGZ combo. Or ordered two SMALLZ. Lesson learned. But we were able to take home enough leftovers for a full meal the next day!
Just like mom used to make…
The food at Big Boi is what I grew up with. It’s classic, simple Filipino food — exactly what you’d have on a weeknight dinner or weekend breakfast at home. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I don’t cook much Filipino food, but I probably should. Although, now that I live so close to Big Boi, and the Sari Sari Store is only a Metro ride away, maybe I don’t have to.