San Diego-Born Chef Phil Esteban Opening Two New Area Locations Of White Rice Filipino Restaurant

May 25, 2023

San Diego native chef Phillip Esteban is bringing new locations of his White Rice Filipino restaurant concept to National City and Linda Vista.

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 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. 

In 2020, 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, Wild Flour modern California bakery and delicatessen, which is expected to open in Point Loma's Liberty Station by year's end.

Last year, Chef Esteban opened the second location and first standalone branch of his White Rice eatery on the base floor of the brand new Orchid apartment building on Adams Avenue in Normal Heights. He will soon repurpose his Weapon Ramen stall at National City's Market on 8th Food Hall to become the third branch of White Rice, which will unveil this June. Esteban is also in the process of taking over Fusion Eats restaurant space at 5299 Linda Vista Road within Presidio Plaza shopping center for another standalone branch of White Rice, which will also have a beer and wine license. The fourth location in Linda Vista is anticipated to open this fall. 

White Rice offers a menu of traditional and modernized Filipino dishes available from a walk-up window, including 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.

For more information about White Rice, visit