If you’re lucky enough to live near a great neighborhood restaurant, you immediately claim it as your own. It’s not your roommate’s or your boyfriend’s or your neighbor’s who waxes his back on the front stoop. It’s yours and anyone who steps foot inside is a declared threat to its very existence.
We’re probably being a little dramatic right now, but the fact is that people like keeping their local spots to themselves. On rare occasions, however, a neighborhood restaurant opens up that’s so exciting and different, you want to show it off. It simply makes you cooler because you live nearby. On a stretch of Sunset Blvd that people from both Silver Lake and Los Feliz claim as their own, Ma’am Sir is that kind of neighborhood spot.
Green vines hang from the open rafters and leafy wallpaper makes you feel like you’re on vacation at a resort in Miami. It’s crowded, you’ll have multiple waiters, and there’s a ribeye on the menu. All of these details can make Ma’am Sir feel like a big-deal restaurant - but unlike most big-deal restaurants, a meal here is never a chore.
What is a big deal at Ma’am Sir is the food. The menu is broken into three sections - starters, ulam (main dishes), and pica pica (small plates) - and is full of Filipino classics. But each of those classics has a creative twist that makes it completely unique. Like the shrimp lumpia (deep-fried spring rolls), which is topped with big dollops of uni, and the sweet longganisa, on a Hawaiian bun with grilled pickled papaya, and the pork sisig, served in a skillet with sweetbread. These dishes feel like straight-up comfort, but they also give you the opportunity to taste something new. Which is even more reason to bring your friends - you’re going to want to try everything.
You can hide your dimly-lit coffee shop or family-run cinnamon store from as many people as you want. Ma’am Sir, on the other hand, is ready for the show.
These deep-fried spring rolls are thinner than traditional lumpia, but they aren’t any less flavorful. Also, they come with a dollop of uni on top. This should be the first thing you order.
The albacore itself is fresh and fantastic, but it’s the charred pepper vinaigrette that makes this ceviche dish memorable. It’s also a nice change of pace from the rich flavors in many of the other dishes.
Topped with atchara (pickled papaya) and kewpie mayo, this sweet sausage sandwich is perfectly balanced and will probably disappear very quickly once it hits the table.
Mixed in with sweetbreads and served on a skillet, this classic pork dish is funky, earthy, and an absolute must-order off the pica pica section.
Served whole, this giant fish is our favorite thing on the menu. The sweet saltiness of the soy glaze combined with the mild milkfish works incredibly well.
You’re going to eat a lot of bold and earthy flavors at Ma’am Sir, so this verrine is the ideal change-up your body needs at the end. It’s definitely tart, but the creamy coconut-jackfruit tapioca balances it all out.