We Got The Bee

200px-Jollibee.pngA few weeks ago Caryn and I noticed some work being done on a building on Beverly just west of Vermont. Well, not so much work as big signs being put up. Signs for Jollibee. At first we thought it was just another Mooby but not as clever. The following we week we start seeing more more work done on the building, which is odd because they seemed to be going to great lengths to protect the signs they’d installed the week earlier. It seems like they should have done all the painting and outside remodeling before installing huge electric signs. Since they weren’t done with it right away ruling out the movie prop theory, I decided to consult the interents for the answer to my questions. Turns out it’s a real joint, called Jollibee. Yes I mentioned that already but I’m trying to drive the point home. They claime to be the #1 fast food place in the Philippines. According to wikipedia they have almost 1000 locations in the Philippines and 24 in 6 other counties including the US. And by US, I mean California only. From their site it looks like they have laid claime to Carson, Cerritos, Daly City, Eaglerock, Mira Mesa, National City, San Jose, Union City and West Covina. Although I’ve never seen any of those.

More fun facts from wikipedia – “Jollibee is also the name of Jollibee’s mascot, a big bee in a blazer, shirt and chef’s hat. It primarily caters to Filipino taste, and has a Filipino as the CEO. It specializes in chicken, burgers, and spaghetti.”

13 thoughts on “We Got The Bee”

  1. If any of you mention that they serve dog, I’m going to go to your house and eat yours!

  2. Bah. Where’s that balut?

    But yeah I’ve seen the Jollibee in Cerritos. Never eaten there though. Never eaten any Filipino food that wasn’t home-cooked, actually. Not sure why.

  3. There is a Jollibee in Long Beach too. It’s a Filipino chain based in Manila. Their CEO is a Chinese-Filipino whose strategy was to create a chain of restaurants serving popular Filipino-fusion dishes in a fast food setting. Jollibee is now bigger than McDonalds in the Philippines.

    The food is, well, different. It’s not traditional Filipino fare, but rather Filipino takes on other cuisines. For example, one of their more popular dishes is spaghetti and hot dogs cooked in slabs of butter.

  4. I remember Mike at Franklin Avenue writing a lot about this when Jollibee opened in the Eagle Rock Westfield Shopping Center. In Eagle Rock, where there is also a huge population of Filipinos, there were lines out the mall doors for weeks after the restaurant opened there.

    Here’s their latest post about it, regarding the new Beverly location.

  5. Thanks for the shout-out, Darleene. At the risk of scooping my own next post at Franklin Avenue, I’m about to write more about the Eagle Rock Shopping Center, which is becoming more and more the Mall of Manila. Besides the Jollibee location and the brand-spanking new Goldilocks, the mall is about to be home to the Philippines’ other big fast food chain, Chow King. Chow King is owned by the same folks who own Jollibee, but it’s a Chinese fast food joint, featuring dim sum items and the like. It also boasts an excellent halo-halo (a shave ice-style dessert.) Also, the mall is about to be home to Bench, a clothing store that’s sort of the Philippines equivalent to the Gap.

  6. I remember once being told as a child that Jollibee hamburgers were made of ground up worms. I never wanted to eat there, and never have, even though I am Filipino – not here, nor when I visit the Philippines.

    On the other hand, I love the Chow King. I second the props to the Chow King halo-halo.

    I don’t know why, but the Bee is so offputting to me.

    When we get a fast food chain that serves Bangsilog 24/7, I will devote myself to that chain.

    Bang-si-log = bangus (fried milkfish) + sinigag (fried rice) +itlog = fried egg, sunny side up with crispy edges. Served with garlic vinegar and tomatoes. OMFG! sooooo goood.

  7. The one in Long Beach closed a while back, though. I ate there a few times–it was OK, but not like WOW. But I’m still kind of sad they closed.

    I work a mere walking distance from The Bee on Bee-verly. Wormburgers? No, that’s school cafeteria food. Actually the JB burgers in the Philippines are surperior because the beef’s marinated in beer. But because of the puritanical culture of the USA, that ain’t allowed here (without a liquor license). Oh well. The signs are up, now waiting for the construction gates to come down. Just like the Mervyn’s commercial: “Open! open! open!”

    p.s. Fear The Bee.

    The Eagle Rock Chow King will not be the first Los Angeles CK by any means. There was one circa 1990s on Vermont Avenue and 2nd (mere blocks from the under-construction JB), however that failed miserably because Chow King serves Chinese Food for Filipino tastes, but when you got a dish of chow mein going for $0.99 at the local Chinatown Express vs $3.95 at Chow King, you can easily do the math. Nevertheless, they shut down years ago.
    Unlike Jollibee, which is aparrently popular with non-Filipinos-in-the-know, and simply because California has always been condusive to establishments that claim to build the better burger, Chow King’s appeal is extremely limited in the USA, catering to the nostalgic sentiments of homesick immigrant Filipinos like an afternoon’s worth of programming on TFC. Because non-Asians will just find Chinese food cheaper elsewhere and Chinese people will just laugh.

  9. Jollibee: Absolutely THE BEST spaghetti on the face of the earth!!! Since the Beverly joint opened on Sunday the 16th, I’ve been there almost every freakin’ day just to fall in [long] line for at least 10 minutes so I can get my spaghetti. I grew up on this chain in Manila, and my other Jollibee gigs had been in far-flung corners like San Francisco and Long Beach (now closed), so I’m glad they finally opened up a store here in the heart of Hollywood.

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