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For the accomplished year, Bar Angeles has active the amplitude abutting to Malo on Sunset in Silver Lake, but big changes are in the works inside. The amplitude will anon relaunch as Ma’am Sir, a accidental Filipino bar and restaurant with a aliment affairs helmed by Rice Bar’s Charles Olalia.
The 34-year-old chef and restauranteur afresh partnered with Bar Angeles owners Wade McElroy and Russell Malixi (who additionally run Cafe Birdie, Horse Thief BBQ, and Good Housekeeping) to barrage this new venture. Bar Angeles bankrupt in backward March and the aggregation afresh began the action of giving the amplitude a quick makeover in apprehension of a June 13 opening.
Rice Bar, Olalia’s acclaimed 275-square-foot rice basin restaurant in city L.A., came calm bound too. Olalia says that beforehand this year he was “hell-bent” on ablution a added Rice Bar location, but aback McElroy and Malixi approached him in May to become a allotment of their project, it was kismet.
“It was a actual seamless accommodation for me to accompany a full-on Filipino restaurant in this location. Everything aloof arrested out,” Olalia says, acquainted that the new restaurant space, which comprises about 1,800 aboveboard feet, has the exact aforementioned blueprint he envisioned for his added Rice Bar outpost.
When Olalia—who grew up in Pampanga, Philippines, a arena northeast of Manila—was cerebration of a name for this new concept, the aboriginal affair that came to apperception was “Ma’am Sir.” The byword is a nod to a accepted accommodation greeting accurate by association who assignment in the restaurant and bazaar scenes in the Philippines.
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When the chef dreamt up the card for Ma’am Sir, he planned dishes that admonish him of the aliment he’d acquisition at the beer area and beaches of the Philippines. It’s what he refers to as “pica-pica,” which can be anticipation of as baby bites. Olalia says McElroy and Malixi encouraged him to aggrandize on his account and accompany some flush dishes into the mix as well. The aftereffect is a 25- to 28-item menu, article that Olalia says was adamantine for him to carve bottomward because for him, one of the best arduous things about creating an Asian card is befitting it small.
Olalia has curated a card that is “very Filipino through and through,” he says. “The aliment is geared against the space, the neighborhood, and the ability that we’re aggravating to represent of the Philippines.”
But he avoids apropos to his Ma’am Sir offerings as “traditional” Filipino fare. Olalia explains that calling a accurate basin “traditional” is “discarding everybody else’s opinions on what Filipino aliment absolutely is.” Everyone has had a altered acquaintance with Filipino food. Many of his recipes are evocative of dishes he grew up bistro in his home, and the exact aforementioned actualization can’t be begin anywhere else, alike in restaurants in the Philippines.
Expect Olalia, who formed in the fine-dining arena beneath Thomas Keller at the French Laundry and served as the controlling chef of Patina, to add his own affected blaze to the food. Take, for instance, a basin area he cleverly reimagines pancit palabok, a Filipino brainstorm basin that’s smothered in shrimp gravy, as a apprehensive deviled egg. The bent egg is topped with a atom of egg bloom that consists of a circuitous admixture of shrimp gravy, chicharron, smoked fish, annatto, angle sauce, and calamansi, a candied and appealing citrus fruit. And aural the atrium of the egg, he additionally folds in what he describes as article that is about like a “noodle velouté.”
“It puts all those flavors, those punches, all those admirable addendum of the basin into one bite,” Olalia says.
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The chef will be authoritative his own pan de sal aliment with Red Fife ancestry aureate abrade in the restaurant’s wood-fired oven, served with grass-fed adulate and pandan acerbate as accompaniments. The usually simple but adorable shrimp-and-pork lumpia eggrolls are alternate with the added toppings of abundant sea urchin. Finger foods like his lemongrass-adobo absurd craven wings, served with a calamansi schmaltz, will acquisition a abode on the table. And the acclaimed house-made longanisa sausages that Olalia serves at Rice Bar will be authoritative an actualization as well, but as a bite rather than a full-on rice bowl.
Olalia says it’s important for him to go aback to his roots and use able techniques, alike employing arduous processes he abstruse in restaurants, to get the comestible after-effects he’s aiming for. Aback he makes sisig, a Filipino basin commonly served with altered genitalia of pig’s head, it’s a activity of love. He uses sweetbreads in his version, poaching them in cloister borsch afore absolution them dry to get a buttery texture. The basin is grilled, chopped, sautéed, and again accomplished in advanced of the guest.
“A lot of the sisigs that I see actuality in the States are so imbalanced in texture,” Olalia says. “Most of it is fabricated of pork abdomen and affectionate of tastes like broiled pork abdomen barbecue. But in the Philippines, it’s a comedy of textures, and there’s [a antithesis of] creamy, crunchy, sweet, salty, and acidic.”
And what’s bubbler aliment after the drinks? Ma’am Sir’s bar affairs is headed by Rafa DaCosta, a displace from San Francisco and Brazil afore that. He ahead formed at the now-shuttered Aatxe, which was helmed by the Bon Vivants cocktail and accommodation firm.
DaCosta takes his cues from what he abstruse from the Bon Vivants, authoritative his own syrups, shrubs, and bitters. He’s been alive carefully with Olalia to actualize the affair menu, and his focus is authoritative auspicious summer beverages and employing Filipino flavors in the forms of pandan syrup, hibiscus-mangosteen syrup, and calamansi juice. There will be affair served with rums, Johnny Walker Black, and Lambanóg, a Filipino attic spirit. He alike does a pandan-flavored old-fashioned.
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“My ambition was to not backbite from the food,” DaCosta says. “All the drinks on the cocktail card brace absolutely able-bodied with the aliment that we’re having.”
One of his creations is a brew of abashed avocado, mint, and cucumber alloyed with vodka. “It comes out about like a smoothie,” DaCosta says. “The fattiness of the avocado absolutely works able-bodied with the aliment and helps break bottomward the acidity of the food.”
Even admitting the aggregation has been alive on an abbreviated timeline, they’ve managed to auspiciously add touches to the architecture that reflect Ma’am Sir’s close vibes. Blooming ivy now hangs from the ceiling, and what was already a atramentous aback bank is now covered with a amusing pink, backwoods green, and azure backcountry wallpaper. Woven harbinger mats beautify the walls, and new booths with red and dejected tabletops and amber banquettes accept been installed. Olalia says it reminds him of a little garden in the Philippines, article he ability see aback home. He wants it to be a amplitude that’s agreeable to all: families, association on dates, and groups of friends.
“The adorableness of [Ma’am Sir] and our success lies in tiptoeing the band amid blame the Filipino ability forward, actuality accurate to L.A., and award our character in amid those two,” Olalia says.
Ma’am Sir, 4330 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake.
RELATED: Filipino Aliment Gems Are Hiding in Plain Sight in This East Hollywood Strip Mall
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