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Restaurant 13 in Little Manila in Carson, CA, USA.

13. Vigan Express
21720 S. Vermont Ave., #114 (southeast corner of Carson and Vermont)
Torrance, CA 90502 (in L.A. strip, a block west of Carson)
phone 310-212-7828 (had web site, but not now)

8/29/99, Sunday - About last Saturday, around 6:00 p.m. I was cruising through this shopping center, found this place, and went in for a menu. They were out of steam-table fast food. I went back yesterday same time, and they were closed. They only have a menu for catering, and it lists an unreadable web site URL which is no more. They say they are open seven days, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., but call first. A sign on the wall lists breakfast at $3 and combo plates with rice and soup. For to-go, 1 item at $2.50, 2 items at $3.40, and 3 items at $4.90. Eat in is 10-cents less.

I called first today, and went back for a one-item combo. On the phone it sounded like lots of stuff, but there wasn't that much on the steam table. I did bypass a display case of fish, and maybe other things were in the back. I went for pork adobo which comes with fluffy white rice and a small bowl of soup. This may be the only place that offers two soup. They had a chicken and bitter melon soup, which I got, and also a fish soup. This is a small room with about three tables. The room was warm, so for the first time I asked for the food to go.

The pork was about eight chunks, larger chunks than other fast-food places. The pork was very tender and tasty. It was maybe a quarter fat, but there was more good pork than I got in the other fast-food places. The rice was a little over cooked, and at first fluffy, but as it cooled it started sticking. Bitter melon is bitter. Most people have never tasted anything like it. I wouldn't want it every month or even every year, but give it a try. The soup was good.

This tasted very good, with lots of pork. The fat and overcooked rice keeps them out of first place. I don't want to have a tie for second so, based on the quantity of pork, this restaurant moves into second place.

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