Restaurant 8 in Little Manila in Carson, CA, USA.
8. Manila's Lechon (Manok), menu says "Filipino & Chinese food," but it's mostly Filipino.
118 W. Carson St.
Carson, CA 90745
11/2/00 - Went back maybe 9/00 or 10/00, maybe on a Friday night to try this place again. Asked about caldereta and was shown a dish with no olives and the wrong look, too much tomato. I asked, and the lady said olives were too expensive. Then I asked for mechado, she said they had it, and I asked where. After a while she pointed to the same dish which did look like mechado. I did have a comment for her (no four-letter words), and hope she doesn't try that on another customer. This place came in rather low in the ratings, and stuff like this doesn't help. I didn't eat, and it could be a while before I return.
I think you just pick from the steam table and B.B.Q, and you eat in or to go. They and many others do catering. There is a menu to go, but mostly in Filipino and listing food by the pound. They list breakfast at $3.75, desserts at $1.50 or $1.75, specialties, and combo plates: 1 item at $3.50 or 2 items at $3.99. Catering for 100 is $599.00. I might start with a B.B.Q pork stick at $1.35 or a chicken B.B.Q. (undefined) at $1.55.
7/30/99 - It's Friday night about 7 p.m., and I came over to pick up the free Filipino newspapers which are outside this place on the sidewalk. This time I only saw four papers. By now I know enough to be dangerous, so I go in to order the two-item combo plate for $3.99. I ordered pork adobo and beef mechado and this comes with steamed rice. The lady who came out to help me didn't know what was on the steam table and had to ask someone else. Turned out they weren't on the steam table, and she had to go in the back to get them. All of the other three restaurants I've tried so far give you soup with the combo, so after a while I asked the cashier and she got me a small bowl of "soup with no meat." These prices are a $1 to $1.50 more than I spent last weekend.
The rice and pork were on one plate and the beef was in a bowl. There was a lot of meat, no vegetables, maybe worth the $1. There were about four or five chunks of each, but about a third to a half was fat and stuff I couldn't chew. The beef was warm, but the pork was room temp. It was a warm day, and adobo was a way to preserve meat, so I didn't say anything. Most of the pork was tender, but most of the beef was tough. The adobo sauce was stronger here, I could taste a trace of vinegar. The mechado sauce was good, but not quite as good as Casa Filipina (4). The soup was beef broth with onions and tasted like boiled onions, just fair. There were a couple of condiments on the tables, but I didn't see any help-yourself stuff except water. Since I didn't ask, I'm not even sure if the server gave me everything.
This place has a lot of different kinds of food. Remember there's more food in the back. About half the customers here and elsewhere get food to go. One guy was ordering chicken skin as I left. Compared to the meals I've had at the other local restaurants I'm not sure this is worth $3.99. Tita Celia (12) is still in first place, and I'll put this place as tied for third place.
PS - to help that confused server and new people like me, it would help to put names on the dishes. Many ethnic buffets do it. I think it could increase their business by making the food more user friendly. I'm more likely to try a new dish if I at least know the name.