The two best meals I’ve eaten in L.A.’s Chinatown are at LASA, the modern Filipino concept from brothers Chase Valencia and Chad Valencia that started as a pop-up and is now fully entrenched in Far East Plaza. They recently added lunch service from a courtyard window next to a Winnie the Pooh kids ride featuring picnic table seating and a focused menu.
They serve two standout pancits, both featuring thick, springy Fung Village egg noodles instead of the standard combo of rice vermicelli and smaller gauge egg noodles. I enjoy the OG version with calamansi butter and cured egg yolk, but let’s talk about their XO Pancit ($10) featuring a riff on Chinese XO sauce that Chase calls “Filipino ragu.” They craft the with chunky, funky sauce with bagoong (Filipino salted shrimp paste), Chinese sausage, pancetta, ginger, garlic, and shallots. Thin-shaved radishes and scallions provide crunchy contrast, and a soft-cooked egg with oozing bright yellow yolk doubles as a second sauce.
Since my visit, Chase wrote to say LASA’s supercharged this pancit dish even more, adding Chinese sausage slices, greens, crispy shallots, and Pickled Fresno chilies. They’ve also opened the dining room to lunchgoers, meaning you can now enjoy this ferocious noodle dish in air conditioning, unless you prefer hanging outside with Pooh.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.