Filipino food has been on the rise for a while — it's even reaching Orange County now — with more and more second-generation Filipino kids deciding to cook the stuff they grew up eating. That's certainly been true for Eggslut's Alvin Cailan, who has been toying with doing food from his past for years. His latest iteration is Amboy, and it's now open inside Far East Plaza.
First, it's important to know that Amboy is not really a restaurant. At this point it's really just a takeaway window, utilizing the same kitchen that's attached to his restaurant incubator space Unit 120. Cailan is keeping weekday lunch hours only (noon to 2 p.m. most days) so far, with nothing on the menu over $10.
The list of offerings is relatively short, with the main focus being on slightly sticky banana leaf-wrapped rice that's topped with options like skirt steak, pork belly, or dark meat chicken. There's also a vegan kare kare, various adobo-cooked vegetables, and simple cucumber and tomato salads.
The idea with Amboy, says Cailan, is to play to the neighborhood by being price conscious and innovative at the same time. It's a smart move, particularly with the number of eyeballs on Chinatown right now.