Restaurant of the Week: Phil House


Phil House, inside Island Pacific Seafood Market, 6753 Carnelian Ave. (at 19th), Rancho Cucamonga

Like Market World, the Korean market chain that occupied this old Alpha Beta (and later IGA), the similarly Asian-grocery specialist Island Pacific Market has a small food court. Having never dined inside a supermarket before, I invited a friend for lunch.

The main food stall is a Filipino buffet, and there’s also a small dim sum stall. A couple of other spots are vacant. The market only opened in November. We lined up at the buffet, named Phil House. (Presumably no relation to reader Bob House.) It’s a little like a Panda Express: If you want a combo of one or more items, they grab a styrofoam container that already has rice in it and will add whichever items you request.

They had various pork, chicken, beef and seafood items, including barbecue skewers, and soups and stews. Other than an eggplant dish, we didn’t see any vegetables. Nothing is labeled, but we asked about various items that looked appealing. I had a pork dish and a soup with fish ($6, pictured below). My friend had a different pork dish and some kind of barbecued fish. No way you’re going to duplicate our order because even we don’t know what we had.

We sat in a nearby roped-off area of tables and chairs near the other stall. My grilled pork was tasty and the sauce at the bottom, flavored with onions and peppers, was great with a little rice mixed in. The soup, a broth with chunks of whitefish, was also enjoyable. My friend liked his fish (even though he had to pick out all the bones) and his other dish.

His wife arrived and got steamed buns from the dim sum stall. I had a pork bun (price unknown), and that was good too. The staff could be seen making them in the kitchen. About the only place I ever get steamed buns is the Famima in Union Station, and as you’d expect, these were better.

So, yes, you’d be eating inside a supermarket, but the food was good, fresh and cheap. Even if it might not have catchy names.

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  • Bob House

    No relation, but many thanks for the shout out. I’m still going to go there and try oro the family discount anyway next time I’m back in the homeland.

    • davidallen909

      You’re welcome. I couldn’t resist. I can imagine your opening line: “I’m Bob House. Is Phil here?”

  • Andy Sze

    Never dined inside a supermarket? When Flemings is a little too pricey, I go for the local market =)

    Try stopping by Super H mart in Diamond Bar and Hanam Market World in Diamond Bar. Both have food courts inside so you can enjoy your Supermarket dining next to your shopping cart =)

    I stopped by the Red Tomatoes Farmers market in RC today and they too have in market dining, though I elected to do takeout today. also forgot that Cardena’s too in Pomona has in market dining.

    Also Gelson’s has food court, as well as Mothers Market (an Orange County chain). Actually the Mothers Market is a full service vegetarian restaurant inside the market sharing the same kitchen as the deli. Some pavillions and Whole Foods have in market dining as well.

  • John Clifford

    Next time you’re in downtown LA, the Ralphs on 9th has a variety of food including a large salad bar, hot entrees (all steam table stuff, but not too bad), and a deli counter. There’s a dining area just inside the store where you can eat at watch the street traffic. Since this is just across the street from Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (where I teach one day a week) you’ll see a lot of future fashion designers, and a few future graphic designers (I’m a graphics instructor–those who know me would realize right away I wasn’t fashion).

    • davidallen909

      Since I’m in downtown LA only once per month on average, it’s tough to “waste” a meal at Ralphs as opposed to old favorites or new promising experiences, but you do make a good case. I like people-watching as much as the next person and I’ve never gone to an exhibit at FIDM.

  • Deep Singh

    Hi Allen,

    Will you please try Aroma Indian Restaurant in Upland CA, You will not be disspoint.