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LA's Favorite Filipino Takeout Window Is Turning Into a Full-Fledged Restaurant

Alvin Cailan's Amboy eyes dinner service while looking for a dedicated space across the city

Amboy at Unit 120, Chinatown
Amboy at Unit 120, Chinatown
Yelp

Alvin Cailan’s Amboy is heading for new digs, as the highly-regarded Filipino takeout option looks to make a bigger splash in Los Angeles’ food scene. The simple concept has been operating out of a walk-up window inside Cailan’s Chinatown restaurant incubator Unit 120 since January.

The plan is to push Amboy into a dinner slot on Tuesday nights at Unit 120, to test the concept as a full-fledged dinner service experience. That means a slight change in format, but the same casual Filipino food angle. Depending on how those dinners go, Cailan will adjust the restaurant’s direction before heading into a brand new dedicated space, likely somewhere in Mid-City.

In Amboy’s place will come another temporary concept called Easy’s, as run by Jeremy Fall. The Nighthawk lead debuted an early version of the no-frills burger concept at Coachella this year under the Unit 120 banner, but now is moving head-on into the gig next month. As the LA Times says, Easy’s will be lunch only, starting August 15.

Cailan, the Eggslut and Ramen Champ co-founder, is a strong believer in the strength of Filipino food across Los Angeles, and has done much to promote the cuisine any way he can. That’s certainly been true with Amboy, which offers a menu filled with simple rice and protein dishes together at low cost for the neighborhood, whether it’s a $16 whole cooked chicken or hefty, delicious chunks of pork belly.

The move to change and grow is right in line with Cailan’s ethos for Unit 120 as a whole. The blank canvas space inside Far East Plaza is meant to be a place where young restaurateurs can test out concepts before moving out on their own down the line. Here’s Looking at You, now in Koreatown, hosted a series of dinners there, while the well-reviewed Lasa team continues to anchor the weekend evenings. Other nights are similarly occupied with a Detroit-style pizza men (on Mondays) and the Chinese-American extravagance of the Goldenboys on Thursday nights.

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