Pandan Iced Coffee
Pain de Sal, Ube Butter
Pandan Pancakes, Whipped Butter, Pure Maple Syrup
Avocado Grilled Cheese, Milk Bread, Cheese, Mustard, Pepper Jam, French Fries
Coconut Toast, Pandan Jam, Kecap Manis
Longganisa Sausage, Fried Eggs, Pickled Carrots
Shrimp Lumpia, Spicy Vinegar, Sea Urchin
Cassava Coconut Pichi Pichi
Chicken ‘n Rice Porridge, Celery, Poached Egg, Ginger, Calamansi Shmaltz
When Charles Olalia originally transitioned away from his top toque at Patina to open up Rice Bar it was evident that the best was yet to come, and with the opening of Ma’am Sir the former fine dining Chef shows a true gift for bringing exotic flavors to Silver Lake without straying *too* far from the source material.
Serving guests since June of 2018, and receiving somewhat mixed reviews thanks to an approach that eschews “authenticity” in favor of making Filipino flavors accessible to the masses, it was at the start of Sunday Brunch that four diners sat down inside 4330 Sunset Boulevard, vines creeping down from ceilings adding on to Ma’am Sir’s bold color scheme while additionally softening the volume of music plus voices of a soon-packed house.
Pleasant and well informed in terms of service, with prices higher than “mom n’ pop” spots but less than the typical upscale Los Angeles Brunch, it was after perusing Cocktails that the decision was made to invest $6 in Cold Brew mixed with sweet young Coconut, the concoction not unlike Cuban Cafe con Leche and a pleasant pairing to housemade Bread offered with Ube Butter or the small stack of Pandan Pancakes served as part of the “Ma’am Sir Brunch Plate.”
Briefly seeing Chef Olalia touch tables before things got busy, nearly every seat filled by 11:30am, it is in the style of Hawaiian Mochi that Banana Bibingka continued an early parade of sweetness, the “Avocado Grilled Cheese” to follow unfortunately overwrought with Mustard and Pepper Jam while toasted Milk Bread was far better utilized to make “Coconut Toast” that eats a lot like Singapore’s Kaya without the Egg thanks to Indonesian Soy Sauce.
Completing the Brunch Plate with a generous serving of Garlic Rice, snappy housemade Longganisa plus two Fried Eggs and Pickles, it was here that Ma’am Sir’s famous Lumpia would arrive beneath an extra $5 of Uni, the Urchin Gonads mostly adding Salt to something already delicious while gelatinous Pichi Pichi fell a bit flat in terms of flavor save for that of dried Coconut.
Not attempting to replicate Bad Saint in Washington D.C., but instead carving a path that focuses on making an entire island nation’s Food accessible to diners who might otherwise have never given it a chance, it is playing off Congee that Charles briefly returns to Rice Bar with undeniable success, each grain evenly cooked without turning mushy and no two spoonfuls alike thanks to bits of Poultry and Celery perfumed by Ginger and slick with Egg Yolk plus Shmaltz.