Monday, January 27, 2020

My Top 5 Favorite Restaurants: Crispy House - Artesia

To start the new year and a new chapter of Monster Munching, I am counting down my top five favorite restaurants in the next few posts. And when I say "favorite", I mean it. Over the last year, I ate at these restaurants more than I can count. In fact, not only are they in my regular rotation, I visited all five again within the last two weeks of 2019. The next on the alphabetical list:

Crispy House

If you're keeping up with my Top 5, you might be thinking, "Wait, if this is an alphabetical list, shouldn't Crispy House come before Din Tai Fung?"

Well, yes, it should. But apart from my own incompetence at keeping track of my own list, I will always and still refer to this place as Magic Wok. The truth is, despite the new name--which is more aligned to its signature dish of crispy pata--this Filipino restaurant is still the same restaurant it always was and has been: a restaurant formerly known as Magic Wok.

It was Magic Wok when it suffered a devastating fire that closed it for nearly a year. And when it suddenly closed again and reemerged as Crispy House after a few staff changes, to me, it's still Magic Wok.

The food remains consistently the best and most authentic rendition of Filipino cuisine I've had in Southern California. This isn't the type of restaurant that gets featured on BuzzFeed. It's not designed to mainstream Pinoy food to the masses. It's not meant for social media influencers who want to hail it as the next big thing, because, well, it's been around before they were born.

Look around the room and you see whole Filipino families with Titas, Titos, Ates and Kuyas passing around steaming pots of sinigang, plates of pinakbet, and crispy platters of sisig. This is not Filipino food for the fashionable. This is Filipino food for actual Filipinos.

Crispy House
11869 Artesia Blvd
Artesia, CA 90701
(562) 865-7340


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