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Filipino Rice Bowls Coming to Liberty Public Market

Chef Phillip Esteban is behind White Rice

Tocino Manok
Courtesy photo

On top of two upcoming projects in National City — a solo restaurant set to anchor a multi-use development that’s due in 2021 and a culinary bookstore located within the Market on 8th food hall, set to debut later this summer, chef Phillip Esteban is creating a new food stall within Liberty Public Market that will be an extension of the meal service company he started earlier this spring.

Now called White Rice, it will launch at the market by early fall, though its menu is currently available via delivery every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Designed like a Filipino sari-sari, or corner bodega, the quick-service eatery will offer a menu of rice bowls based on traditional Filipino dishes including lechon kawali, or crispy pork belly, an eggplant omelet called tortang talong, and tosilog, a popular breakfast dish featuring rice, egg, and cured meat.

Chef Phillip Esteban
Courtesy photo

Esteban and his team are also still running a separate catering service that is providing hundreds of meals a week to local community groups through the World Central Kitchen program by José Andrés.

The chef, who previously worked at David Chang’s Momofuku Ssam Bar in NYC and locally at The Cork & Craft, Tender Greens, and Craft & Commerce, will also star in an episode of Food Network’s Chopped airing Tuesday, July 7 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Describing the television experience as more fun than he expected, Esteban will be hosting a socially-distanced watch party this Tuesday night at Novo Brazil Brewing in Otay Ranch, with seating starting at 4 p.m. Call (858) 294-3175 to reserve a table.