Restaurants in Little Manila in Carson, CA, USA. More details when available.
2. Manila Sunrise
21828 S. Main St.
Carson, CA 90745
I went in and asked for a to-go menu, and they said no. I saw a steam table full of food, but I didn't write down any details. I went here a few years ago cause it was reviewed in the Press-Telegram newspaper. Or I think it was this place. The review didn't say anything bad, but I just went to look.
7/31/99 - This is a review of the fast-food combo plate. It's Saturday evening about 6:00 p.m., and I'm back on the job. Combo plates include rice, a small soup and: 1 item for $2.75, 2 items for $3.50, and 3 items for $4.25. They don't have a menu, just a sign on the wall. A few other items range from $1.20 to $6.50. They're open seven days, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., so they probably do breakfast.
I just walked over to the steam table and ask the girl to please tell me what they had. There wasn't anything I'd had before, and anyway I wanted to try something different. I went for the two item combo, still with steamed rice, a small soup, and two items. I went for a pork stew with vegetables and tomatoes and a chicken adobo. Most all these restaurants have had fish, organ meat, combination dishes, etc., but not many vegetables. This place had just a touch of a good-looking vegetable dish, but I wanted to stay with basic pork, chicken, and beef the first time around.
The chicken adobo had a small leg and two nuggets of chopped-up thigh with the bones. This came in something like a cream sauce. I've had about three adobo dishes so far, and none tasted the same. This was very good, and I didn't taste any vinegar. The pork stew was a serving-spoon full of small chopped pork, a few overcooked vegetables, and a very good sauce. The girl said it had tomatoes, and I tasted, for the first time, a hint of heat, maybe from paprika. I have refrained from speculation on seasoning and tastes, cause I don't have a clue. The pork was maybe a quarter fat, but very tender. About half the rice was a hockey puck, but there was enough good stuff, so I didn't say anything. For the first time the soup had just a suggestion of delayed heat. It was a beef broth with vegetables and was very good. It was salty, but remember what I said about salt in the review for Tita Celia (12).
This place moves into second place behind Tita Celia (12). No pickles or other stuff, just minor condiments and water. As the girl described the dishes to me, three Filipino customers were listening also. They do need signs on the food, nobody knows what it is. They did have a few Filipino newspapers, of which a free and a pay one I haven't seen before.
8/8/99 - Unique! They do an all-you-can-eat buffet seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Adults are $4.95, and children are $2.90. I do suggest buffets as a way to check out a restaurant. It was Sunday, just before noon. The other customers were dressed-up, and I assume many were just getting out of the church next door. I like to graze and eat slowly, and I might have been there almost two hours. They had a lot of customers, mostly getting food to go.
For the all-you-can-eat you get everything on the steam table plus steamed rice. They had two soups, rice porridge, a pork shank?, pork adobo, chicken curry, three fish dishes, ox tail in peanut sauce, a couple of vegetable dishes, organ meat in a thick black sauce, roast pork, and latter they had a sliced beef dish. There were probably more dishes which I forgot. The vegetable dishes included things like banana blossoms, bitter melon, and oriental eggplant. A couple of the meat dishes included vegetables also. Of the three fish dishes, two were very small, fried fish, one in a sauce. The other fish dish was poached tails.
I tried almost everything. Of the fish, I only tried the one in sauce, and it was extremely over cooked. I skipped the shank? because it was too large. I do wish they could give you small samples of the big stuff, I just didn't want to waste it. I skipped the chicken meat and just tried the sauce and vegetables; same with the organ meat and ox tail dishes. I went back a few times just to pick out the vegetables which tended to be slightly overcooked.
Good news - bad news. Nothing was bad, but nothing was good either. Nothing was as good as what I got on the first visit. Maybe Sunday is bland-food day. My first visit put them in second place, but this visit would put them very low on the list. The value was good, but I don't care for bland food. However, I still suggest a buffet as a way to check out a restaurant. Maybe, just stop in, and ask for samples. I do remember a Filipino lady getting two huge plates full of food, so someone likes it. PS - I want to thank the girl on the steam table. She remembered me from the last time and asked if I wanted a description of the dishes again. Again, a couple of Filipino customers were listening as she described the dishes. RESTAURANTS - please put name tags on your food.