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Lumpia Burgers, Tosilog Burritos, and Sisig Quesadillas at Carson’s Filipino Mom-Pop-and-Son Shop

Today, only a weathered banner by the front door hints at the blissful Mexican-American-Filipino fusion that Gilbert, a first-generation, Carson-born-and-raised son of restaurateurs, now hosts at his restaurant, BaBoys.

3:41 PM PST on December 7, 2023

In the Pinoy stronghold of Carson, a son of Filipino immigrants is fusing his culture's flavors with his American upbringing in what might be one of the most euphoric comfort foods to enter L.A.'s vibrant culinary scene since Kogi gave us the Korean BBQ taco.

This small mom-pop-and-son shop is easy to miss along Carson Boulevard. The front signs to the restaurant that say "Bahay Kainan" are from a previous era, back when Beth and Guillermo Ferido once served Filipino and Chinese food.

Today, only a weathered banner by the front door hints at the blissful Mexican-American-Filipino fusion that their first-generation, Carson-born-and-raised son, Gilbert, now hosts. It's called BaBoys.

Lumpia Burger

While mom and pop continue running Bahay Kainan as strictly a catering service, Gilbert, who grew up working with his parents and continues through this day, went to culinary school four years ago and decided to create his own menu. BaBoy's means pork in Tagalog, but is also a fun play on "Bad Boys." The signature item and creation, his Lumpia Burger, gives you the first notion of where this menu is headed.

Structurally, it's a burger, but texturally, it feels like a chicken sandwich. Past the sweet Hawaiian bun, the sliced cheeses, and the crisp Asian slaw, you feel the crunch of the butterflied lumpia as you bite into it. No sooner do you appreciate the textures when the garlic aioli, banana ketchup, and pickled onions begin to brighten your palate.

Tosilog Burrito

One bite into the tosilog burrito and you'll have a "why hasn't anyone thought of this before?" moment. It's made with marinated sweet pork, garlic fried rice, fried egg, Asian slaw, pickled onions, garlic aioli, banana ketchup, and shredded cheese wrapped in a large flour tortilla. It could be one of L.A.'s greatest breakfast burritos if they opened earlier, but it's still a great all-day breakfast option.

Pan de Sal Sandwiches

The pan de sal sandwiches are little bundles of food heaven. You can choose between spam, tocino, or longanisa served on little Hawaiian buns, with pickled onions and banana ketchup. They're topped with cotija cheese and delicate over-easy fried eggs. You almost want to name them before you eat them. They're only four dollars each, or you can enjoy two for seven. The only thing that needs to be added is an option to get all three.

The fusion continues with an incredible sisig quesadilla, demonstrating the full potential of cheese and tortillas. And the fries and tater tots are crowd-pleasers, too, that will transport you to munchies heaven. Stoners, come prepared to enjoy fries and tater tots like you never imagined. Each option is served with its unique toppings. The Tocino tots with a sunnyside up egg and cotija cheese are stand-outs, as well.

The menu is for take-out only, so I recommend you call ahead. The indoor dining area has been shut down since Covid and Gilbert prefers to keep it that way. Only he and his parents work inside; take-out is less work for them. The bulk of their business still caters as Bahay Kainan, and they are usually booked from Thanksgiving through January.

Gilbert with his parents, Beth and Guilllermo Ferido

According to Gilbert, they only have the brick-and-mortar because his parent's catering business took off 20 years ago when they created their pollo relleno, their most popular item. Unfortunately, it's not offered in BaBoy's take-out menu.

Still, Gilbert describes it as a deboned chicken rubbed and stuffed with their "secret ingredients" and then popped back in the oven.

"It's almost like a roast," he says.

We may have to book their catering just to try this pollo relleno. For now, BaBoy's Filipino fusion has all the pleasing flavors you need to sample. L.A.'s foodscape may have influenced Gilbert's menu. Still, equally, Baboy has the potential to revolutionize the foodscape with its Filipino spin.

BaBoys at Bahay Kainan ~ 330a Carson St. Carson, CA 90745. Closest transit lines and stop: Torrance Transit Line 3 and Long Beach Transit Line 4 - “Carson/Dolores” or Metro Bus Line 246 - "Avalon/Carson."

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