A family legacy is being carried on in Barrio Logan, where local food truck Lia’s Lumpia has found a home base to grow into. Run by a dynamo duo — chef Spencer Hunter and his mom, Benelia Santos-Hunter — it launched last fall as a takeout-only spot but the owners are grand opening the space on Wednesday, March 8 to welcome guests into their cozy cottage, redecorated by Santos-Hunter with personal photos and nostalgic items familiar to Filipinos.
Its expertly-fried lumpia comes in the classic beef and pork as well as creative departures filled with mac and cheese or pork sisig. There are also monthly flavors: February’s featured specials include Kansas City barbecue lumpia, inspired by the Super Bowl champs, and a soul food version made with pulled pork, collard greens, and dirty rice in honor of Black History Month.
While it’s not in use for catering or posted up at Snapdragon Stadium, the food truck is parked in the Barrio Logan restaurant’s backyard, which Hunter eventually plans to convert into additional seating and event space.
The Lia’s Lumpia menu extends to chicken adobo tacos, a Filipino Smashburger, kalamansi wings, and vegetable pancit along with other dishes like a longanisa Scotch egg served with pickled pico de Gallo, crispy garlic, and kalamansi mayo that is from Milagros, Hunter’s new multi-course pop-up dinner series.
Named after his grandmother, who ran a Filipino restaurant in National City in the 70s, the dinners are a preview of a modern Filipino restaurant that Hunter would like to operate full-time in the space. The once-a-month dinners — the next is scheduled for Tuesday, February 28 — will expand to weekly pop-ups starting in March after the grand opening.