White Rice Officially Opens In Liberty Public Market
After a year and a half of waiting, White Rice has opened at the buzzing Liberty Public Market food hall in Point Loma’s historic Liberty Station. The creation of award-winning Filipino chef, Philip Esteban, alongside chef/kitchen manager, Jan Tejada, White Rice is a product of Chef Esteban’s vision to raise Filipino cuisine to the forefront of San Diego’s culinary scene and share the everyday meals of his childhood as told through bold Filipino flavors.
The rise of rice bowls
Prior to Covid, Esteban and his team operated Craft Meals Catering, specializing in business lunches and corporate clients, with offices across San Diego County closing in March 2020, the company quickly expanded their operations and launched a meal program preparing and delivering Filipino Silog (Rice Bowls) across southern San Diego County.
The success and demand for these rice bowls turned into an opportunity to open a physical location, an extension of the meal service company in the form of a food stall within Liberty Public Market. Following the 1-for-1 model, the team donates one meal for every meal purchased to local community groups like National City’s Olivewood Gardens and Father Joe’s Village.
White Rice features a diverse array of rice bowls based on traditional Filipino dishes, including Lechon Kawali, or crispy pork belly, Pinoy BBQ, Mushroom & Tofu Sisig, and Filipino Spaghetti with hot dog bolognese, egg noodles, queso de bola and fresh herbs, along with sides including the classic Ube Pandesal, a Filipino sweet roll made with ube and filled with Hayala served with cultured butter, and Lumpia Shanghai.
The largest space in the Market
White Rice is designed like a Filipino sari-sari, or corner bodega, occupying the largest space in the market at 600 square feet, with ample seating at the food stall, as well as communal seating around the market and Mess Hall. Guests may be able to catch chef Phillip wandering through the market, a space which holds significant meaning to him, with Philip having eaten at the same food hall while he was a ROTC recruit, and his father doing the same while he was enrolled in the Navy.
More to come!
Along with the opening of the quick-service eatery, additional culinary concepts opening this year will include Wordsmith, a chef-driven retail shop and bookstore; Wildflour, a grab and go concept; WellFed, an elevated Filipino restaurant that will open inside Market & 8th, a mixed-use community gathering space in National City, and more.
White Rice hours of operation are 11AM to 8PM daily, offering pickup, as well as delivery through third party apps, and catering options.
See you there….and stay healthy, San Diego!