White Rice To Bring Filipino Comfort Food To San Diego's Normal Heights

January 24, 2022

Lifelong San Diego Chef Phillip Esteban is launching a new location of his White Rice Filipino bodega restaurant in the Normal Heights neighborhood. 

Chef Phillip Esteban is a native San Diegan who has honed his craft at several top restaurants, including Michelin-starred chef David Chang's Momofuku Ssäm Bar in New York City, Nine-Ten in La Jolla, The Cork and Craft in Rancho Bernardo, and most recently as the R&D chef for Consortium Holdings - the company behind such San Diego hotspots as Born & Raised, Ironside Fish & Oyster and Craft & Commerce. During the pandemic, Esteban operated a catering company called Craft Meals that donated meals to front-line workers. Last year, the National City native launched several small-scale eateries - the White Rice Filipino comfort food and bowl stand inside Liberty Public Market, and Weapon Ramen, which has stalls in National City's Market on 8th Food Hall and inside Liberty Public Market in Point Loma. Esteban is also working on the opening of his first full restaurant, Well Fed, a concept he hopes will encapsulate the Filipino-American experience. 

Chef Esteban will open the second location of his White Rice eatery on the base floor of the brand new Orchid apartment building on Adams Avenue in Normal Heights. Designed like a Filipino "sari-sari," or neighborhood convenience store, expect a menu of traditional and modernized Filipino dishes like pinoy barbecue with grilled chicken skewers, pickled vegetables and a sous vide egg over garlic rice; lechon Kawali with crispy pork belly, a sous vide egg and seasonal vegetables over garlic rice; and Kinilaw, which is similar to ceviche, with local albacore tuna marinated in coconut milk, red onion, ginger, chili peppers and cilantro. Esteban will also feature specials and seasonal favorites, including his Longanisa burger with a sweet cured pork patty topped with pickled green mango and white sauce on a purple ube bun. 

White Rice is anticipated to open at some point in spring 2022 at 3586 Adams Avenue in San Diego's Normal Heights. For more information, visit ricebowlsforall.com.