The blue awninged Filipino Lumpia spot.. Olga's Food Place is what is written on their business card. The white house with the white Corvette off Linda Vista Rd is technically on Morley, a narrow parallel street to Linda Vista Rd that is an access way to many homes and apartments directly opposite of the Linda Vista Shopping Center.
Olga's reminds me a lot of the kind of places I used to hang out with my close friends after school in my pre-teen years. We got some quick eats that would tie us until dinner but most important for cheap so that we have some change left to compete high scores on the even then outdated arcade games.
Only here the plastic wrapped Yakisoba-pan (a Yakisoba Sandwich!?) and 10-Yen (~dime) Chiroru Choco are replaced by Lumpia. Four for a buck and fried to order while you wait creating those high scores in distinctive Casio sounding music.. Ok not exactly in that the cowlick haired punky me behind the large glass game console is now replaced by a savvy iPhone sporting kid with tattoos that expresses his favorite bands. The only persons I was aware of with tattoos back in my days.. were the feared kind! And they were not allowed in public baths.
Anyhow I very quickly warn here that I know close to nothing about Filipino Food. My first experience with Lumpias were from a friend's GF in college and they had raisins in them. I loved it. These Lumpias are probably smaller in size than others (and without raisins) but piping hot, hot. The free dipping sauce provided were the standard spicy-sweet-sour Thai egg roll kind.
There are steam trays with some dishes where two-item combos can be purchased for $5.
I picked out a spicy string beans with pumpkin in coconut milk dish, Chicken Adobo, and fish (Diang?) fried rice.
I loved the pumpkin with string beans. A light coconut curry flavored and medium spicy that as far as I can tell was vegetarian. The Chicken Adobo was a familiar light soy sauce flavored chicken with a hint of bay leaves while the fried rice was an interesting twist with a mixture of flaky salty fish. I ate it on the comfortable office furniture type seating while wishing I had ordered more Lumpia to-go.
I forgot to ask the extremely kind gentleman behind the steam trays his name but I really wished I was brave enough to ask for a photo. His mustache, longer hair, and loose discotheque-ish shirt were all so very charming, especially his personality. Chances are you will be asked if you are part Filipino. I almost wanted to say yes so to not disappoint him. :)
Munggo was my second visit's exploration dish and was explained as a Mung Bean and seafood stew. Here as far as I can tell with bitter melons, onions, squid or octopus, tiny clams, white fish.. etc. When experimenting with one (as such the Munggo) I like to hedge my bets with another tried and true.. So had it with Chicken Adobo again and also together with a very simple chicken Pancit.
The munggo as you can imagine was a cornucopia of flavor and texture but also tied together by the stewing. Lightly salty and briny, and the mung bean which pretty much reminded me of lentils nice. For me a little of this went a long way with my Pancit which was good because I had a whole lot of it.
I asked for two orders of Lumpia today having half of it later in the evening. Eight for two bucks. Obvious simple arithmetic, haha, but I really did think these were a bargain. They take a few minutes to come out so order them first thing.
I had my lunch this day on their little balcony facing the shopping center. Yes, I might as well have been spinning a sign but it was my volunteered contribution. It was great fun.
Btw did you know.. Linda Vista in Spanish means "Pretty View"?
Also according to Wiki, "Linda Vista was home of the very first mall-type shopping center in the United States, which was dedicated by Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt herself, in honor of this new planned community with all the amenities that an American could want, including a movie theater."
That's right. In fact "Many of the homes in Linda Vista were built in 1940 as part of a government project to house aircraft workers for the war effort.."
While I love reading about and at times even search out for myself the best __ a particular city or town has to offer most times my quest is for different reasons. I don't rate, "star," or even rarely recommend a place. I just simply enjoy writing (and photo-documenting) about it while learning something in the process. Olga's also serves Cuban food. I think I'll do some research on that today.. :)
Olga's Food Place, 2314 Morley St., Linda Vista, CA 92111