The intersection of Amar and Azusa is a bit of a “Little Manila” on the south side of West Covina. Two Asian supermarkets anchor the shopping centers that are filled with Japanese vehicles and older Filipino men enjoying their SSI over a cigarette and/or a game of majong. This is the place to come for fresh seafood, traditional Filipino attire, and sell phones. That’s no typo, folks:
Okay, let’s get to the food. There are five or six ”turo-turo” restaurants in the immediate area. Pinoy Pinay is actually my favorite of the bunch. I believe they offer the best balance of taste and value. D.J. Bibingkahan has the biggest selection, but I think some of their food is a bit funky and they tend to skimp on portions. But a sign for their $3.50 breakfast special (with free coffee) pulled me in. The Fun Wife wasn’t in the mood for a hearty Filipino breakfast, so I dropped her off to do some shopping and had a breakfast date with The Fun Son #1.
The breakfast special includes your choice of garlic fried or steamed rice, two fried eggs and an entree. We both ordered garlic fried rice, one plate of with Longanisa, the other with Pork Tocino. Longanisa is a sweet and super garlicky pork sausage that is not for the faint of heart. First, it has a high fat content, so it could stop your heart. Second, you’ll be burping up garlic all stinkin’ day! Make sure you’ll be around people who love you for you. D.J.’s Longanisa is really good, but I would prefer better charring/searing on the outside for extra depth of flavor. Tocino is cured pork shoulder meat, that is even sweeter than Longanisa, but with a very different flavor profile because of the curing process. Think of it as an exotic combination of bacon and ham, minus the smoke. Once again, very good, but I think most people would be put off by the amount of fat and gristle in the pork slices. Their garlic fried rice is right on! Many Filipino restaurants aren’t bold enough with garlic. D.J.’s is just about the best I’ve had not made at home. Nice amounts of caramelized garlic with bits of scrambled egg. The fried eggs are terribly over-cooked, the yolks pretty much taking on the texture of hard boiled eggs. But they’re fine when considering the great deal you’re getting.