Filipino culture is rapidly permeating the American food scene, especially with the traditional dessert, ube, which is on Thrillist's hottest food trends of 2016. In the Filipino culture, food is one of the key ways for people to come together and celebrate life. An increasing amount of people in the United States are getting the chance to taste Filipino dishes as a new generation of Filipino chefs head popular new restaurants like Eggslut. Below are eight Filipino chefs in SoCal that you definitely need to know about.

1. Alvin Cailan: Unit 120

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From taking a food truck to a full-blown restaurant at Grand Central Market, Alvin Cailan is clearly a culinary powerhouse who has LA waiting in line for eggs all day at Eggslut. However, his newest endeavor, Unit 120, is even more inspiring. Located in Chinatown's Far East Plaza, Unit 120 is a culinary incubator, a space that Cailan set up for promising, new chefs to experiment and create their own concepts. 

2. Chad and Chase Valencia: LASA

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The first chefs to take up a residency at Unit 120, Chad and Chase Valencia are second-generation Filipino-American brothers that have created LASA. It is a restaurant project with the goal of "impart[ing] that joy of sharing a good meal with those you hold close."

For their seasonal four-course prix-fixe menu, Chad and Chase Valencia create sophisticated dishes, inspired by traditional Filipino foods, with high-quality ingredients, such as black kale. 

#SpoonTip: If you want to try LASA, be sure to make a reservation. They are open Fri-Sun, 6 pm-10 pm.

3. Eric de la Cruz: Oi Asian Fusion

Inspired by his role model, Roy Choi, Eric de la Cruz brought a heavenly menu of rice bowls and buns to the LA area. The Filipino-inspired adobo rice bowl with braised pork belly and chicken longanisa bowl set Oi Asian Fusion apart from any other rice bowl eatery.

A well-kept secret in the San Fernando Valley, Oi Asian Fusion has very little press coverage, but a huge fan base. It's one of my favorite hole-in-the-wall places, and I am trusting you to do good with this information. 

4. Margarita Manzke: République

Born and raised in the Philippines, Margarita Manzke's connection to food runs deep. She grew up in a kitchen at the White Rock Resort, a hotel and restaurant just outside Manila, which was owned and operated by her parents. After studying pastry at Le Cordon Bleu in London, Manzke enrolled in The Culinary Institute of America in New York, where she received a degree in Culinary Arts.

In December 2013, she and her husband opened République, an immensely popular restaurant and bakery in Hollywood. Manzke supervises the Pastry Department and bakes their famous breads. 

5. The Park's Finest Crew: The Park's Finest

On the end of West Temple Street in Filipinotown, The Park's Finest is a community-driven Filipino barbeque spot, whose transformation from a catering company to a full-blown restaurant was supported by locals and an Asian Pacific Islander small business program. With dishes like Ann's Cornbread Bibingka and San Pablo Pulled Pork, it's hard not to indulge by ordering every dish on the menu. 

6. Warren Almeda: Belly & Snout

Belly & Snout's motto is "Kumain na Kayo," which translates as "Eat now." However, we do not need much persuading to eat at Almeda's Belly & Snout, which has been given high praise from Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives among many other food publications, including Spoon.

Almeda presents Filipino-infused American dishes, such as Longanisa Grilled Cheese, Sisig Hot Dog, and Pork Adobo Tater Tots. His inspiration was childhood memories of eating fast food like Denny's and incorporating it with his mother's adobo recipe and grandmother's kare-kare recipe. The meeting of both cultures creates a special kind of comfort food that people of any culture can connect with. 

7. Andre Guerrero: Oinkster, Maximiliano, & Little Bear

Andre Guerrero has built himself a restaurant empire with such diverse tastes. One could only frequent his restaurants and rarely become bored. Oinkster reinvents the classics like pastrami, burgers, and chicken for the modern age. Filipino tastes are peppered in with the Pork Adobo Burger. Maximiliano, a sit-down Italian experience, has a vast menu, but perhaps the most important item is pizza, served at both dinner and brunch.

Little Bear is a Belgian beer cafe, which sounds just as unique as its neighborhood, the Arts District in Los Angeles. It serves Belgian favorites like Braised Short Rib Poutine with a rotating array of draft beers.  

8. Gary Menes: Le Comptoir

For a deluxe experience at Hotel Normandie, Chef Gary Menes serves an eight-course prix fixe menu that changes daily. They feature seasonal ingredients sourced from their own organic urban garden, Gladys Ave Farm, in Long Beach. Another level to the grandeur of Le Comptoir is the up front and personal preparation of the food on the counter in front of the guests. 

#SpoonTip: A reservation at Le Comptoir is absolutely necessary, so plan a few weeks in advance. 

These Filipino chefs have made their mark on the culinary world in a multitude of ways, ranging from recreating traditional Filipino flavors to delving into other countries' cuisines. It will be exciting to see these chefs grow and take on new culinary endeavors, and judging from how delicious they are now, I am sure that I will enjoy them.