TRAVEL CHANNEL – MAN V FOOD NATION
Man v. Food Nation hits the road for the Street Eats episode, sampling food trucks throughout the country. Adam visits the Taco Bus in Tampa, the Wafels and Dinges truck in NYC, and finally the White Rabbit truck in LA for the challenge. He coaches Sydney “Big Dawg” Colston in their White Rabbit Burrito Challenge. We wanted to learn more about the White Rabbit and burrito challenge, so we caught up with co-owner Michael Dimaguila.
The White Rabbit opened in June 2010, the creation of 3 high school friends – Michael, James Du and Melvin Chua. They realized there were no Filipino food trucks in LA and saw the need for a Filipino Fusion truck. They wanted a menu that combined traditional Filipino fare with dishes that LA residents were used to such as tacos and rice bowls. James, who is a graduate of Cordon Bleu and has worked under Gordon Ramsey, heads the kitchen and turns out top-notch dishes.
In November 2010, their dream got a permanent home as they opened a brick and mortar White Rabbit Café in Canoga Park, CA. The restaurant serves up similar dishes as the truck and also offers catering. The truck is now used as a promotional vehicle to help drive diners to the café. Both the truck and café have developed a following with families, retired folks, police officers and firefighters. Mike says the nice part about their fans is the diversity.
One of the biggest successes Mike and his co-owners have seen is the amazing support and press from the community. The truck and café have been featured in numerous blogs and news stories (check out some of it). And, in addition to Man v. Food Nation, the White Rabbit will also be featured on Food Network’s Outrageous Foods with Tom Pizzica.
All About the Challenge
We asked Mike how the White Rabbit Burrito Challenge came about. He explained that LA has many food truck festivals where more than 50 trucks will show up. To stand out, the White Rabbit wanted to do something different. So in addition to rockin’ out with a DJ, they added the burrito challenge.
The challenge is a burrito that is 6-lbs. and almost 2 feet in length. Their burrito was already a popular dish, and the ingredients are items they commonly stock on the truck, so it seemed like the perfect choice. Close to 100 people have attempted the challenge and only 2 have completed it. One of them was Naader Reda, who successfully completed the Brahma Bull Challenge in the MVFN Pacific Coast Highway episode. We will see if our Street Eats challenger Sydney “Big Dawg” Colston can earn a spot on that list.
White Rabbit Burrito
12 slices of swiss cheese
6 scoops of garlic fried rice
2-3 lbs of meat sauces
6 flour tortillas
The ingredients get wrapped up in the tortillas and it’s good to go. Think you could conquer it? Tune in to see if Big Dawg completes the White Rabbit Burrito Challenge on Wed, Sept 28 at 9 E/P, and if you are in the LA area visit the White Rabbit Food Truck or Café.
FOX NEWS GOOD DAY LA
Food Network : Outrageous Foods
In case you missed us on Food Network, here is the video. It is the director’s cut, so the video starts around 20 seconds.
White Rabbit Truck and White Rabbit Cafe will be featured on Food Network: Outrageous Foods with host Tom Pizzica. The episode will feature our 6 lbs Burrito Challenge, which 50 + contestants have tried and only 1 has finished it so far. The 6 lbs Burrito is composed of 6 scoops of rice, 12 slices of cheese, 3 pounds of meat, 6 flour tortillas, 6 eggs. Watch the episode as teams battle it out to see who will be the next to conquer our Burrito Challenge.
Kababayan LA 18 w/ Jannelle So
KTLA Channel 5 Morning News
Big Tony joined our Mark Kriski and showed us the delicious food that White Rabbit Truck and The Boba Truck will have on display at the 8th Annual Car Show & Gourmet Food Trucks on June 4th.
White Rabbit Food Truck Expands to a Brick and Mortar Locale
BY DANROCHELLE YUMUL
When the White Rabbit truck first rolled out onto the streets of Los Angeles, owners and long time high school buddies Melvin Chua, Michael Dimaguila, and Chef James Du had no idea that they were going to garner such an enormous following — so much so that the trio opened up a brick and mortar eatery, White Rabbit Fusion Cafe, in Canoga Park. And their popularity has soared so much, that they’ve also been nominated for Season Two of the Great Food Truck Race.
Chef Jame Du, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, who worked with Chef Gordon Ramsey), takes traditional Filipino food and serves it as tacos, burritos, lettuce cups, rice bowls, or “Fili Cheesesteaks.” The pork sisig (fried pork made with onions and jalapenos) is one of the crowd favorites. Other popular items include the beef steak lettuce cups and rice bowl, pork tocino Fili-cheesesteak, and desserts such as the white chocolate champorado (white chocolate rice pudding served warm topped with a strawberry and coconut shavings), creme brule toast, and banana creme chese Lumpia (eggroll).
- There are fun specials nightly.
The café, which opened its doors a few months ago, serves the same dishes as the White Rabbit Truck and also offers catering services for anyone interested parties.
There’s specials every night of the week, with highlights on the weekends — on Friday eve, the café hosts Friday Night Bites (5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.), where other gourmet food trucks gather and serve their fares; Top Secret Saturdays is a 10% off day with a secret code from Facebook; Sunday brings Family Sunday Fun Day—buy $40 of food and get an entree free.
A mainstay at the Downtown LA Artwalk, the White Rabbit truck travels from Santa Clarita to Long Beach, with regular stops in several Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley locations.
For an updated schedule, visit their website at www.whiterabbittruck.com. 8316 Winnetka Ave. Canoga Park, (818) 772-6900
Danrochelle Yumul is a freelance journalist always on the look out for stories that inspire people to pursue their passions and follow their dreams. Currently, she writes for the Examiner.com as their Burbank Restaurant examiner. She also contributes to the Studio City Patch and writes reviews for Yelp.com on a regular basis.
Kababayan 18 Interview with Jannelle So
Watch our live interview with Jannelle So from Kababayan LA 18 here or on Youtube.com. Jannelle So discusses the History & Background of White Rabbit Truck and taste some of our signature dishes.
Small Bites: White Rabbit Cafe brings Filipino food-truck fusion to Canoga Park restaurant
Carson Daly: Food Truck Friday with White Rabbit!
It’s clear that the food truck culture is alive and well in Los Angeles. Exhibit A: White Rabbit. The truck has done so well, they’ve even been able to open up a cafe with a more extensive menu. Owners Melvin & Mike tell Carson the secret behind their success:
Long-time high school friends Melvin, Mike, and James decided to launch a food truck back in June 2010 after they noticed that they couldn’t get good Filipino Fusion food in the Los Angeles area. They experimented by making food in their own kitchen for hundreds of family and friends.
If you’re new to Filipino cuisine, this is definitely a great way to get started. White Rabbit blends flavors from Filipino, Mexican, and American cultures to create delicious dishes. Some of White Rabbit’s cult favorites are the Pork Sigsig Burrito and Crème Brulee Toast.
Chef James is a Cordon Bleu graduate who once worked with Gordon Ramsey, so you know you’re getting top-notch food. Even better? White Rabbit has been nominated for the upcoming season of the Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race.
So what’s in it for all of you? Every Friday, we send out our featured truck to the office of an AMP Radio listener for a free lunch. Congratulations to today’s winner! Keep listening every Friday morning and maybe Carson will hook you up!
ABS-CBN INTERVIEW WITH STEVEN ANGELES
Our exclusive interview with White Rabbit at the 2010 Festival of Philippine Arts & Culture in San Pedro, CA Sept. 11-12.
Go to BakitWhy.com for more information on White Rabbit, FPAC, as well as more exclusive interviews, performances, and footage from other artist and the event!
The White Rabbit Food Truck-Helping Those Less
Fortunate-The Great Food Truck Race
The White Rabbit Food Truck Helping Those Less Fortunate The Great Food Truck Race Contest The Great Food Truck Race, where seven real teams representing the country’s best food trucks hit the road to cook their way across America. Each week, the teams that sell the most food race on to the next episode. The losing team drives home. In the end, one food truck remains, and the team behind the wheel and the grill wins the $50,000 grand prize.
Well if one truck of young chefs are fortunate to make it on the show they plan to donate back ALL of the prize money to the less fortunate. White Rabbit Truck a Filipino Fusion Food Truck has been Nominated for Food Network – The Great Truck Race Contest. But there are over 200 trucks nominated, THE WHITE RABBIT NEEDS YOUR VOTE. This is about supporting a group of young people giving back to the community.
White Rabbit will donate the prize money to assist the less fortunate children of the Philippines to provide educational materials, clothing and food. Please vote between August 29 and September 10. Vote up to 10 times Daily.
There are two ways to vote:
(1) Text: 66789 and Press: FT118
(2) Online: http://foodtrucks.teamdigital.com/index.php and select WHITE RABBIT TRUCK VOTE NOW FOR THE WHITE RABBIT FOOD TRUCK!!!!
OC Foodie Fest Media Coverage – by ArchiPrudencio.com
Featuring the White Rabbit Challenges!
Thank you White Rabbit Fans & Followers for the continued support! New photos taken at Menchies (Granada Hills), Art Walk (Downtown Los Angeles) , and Mountain Bar interview with Pac Rim Video (China Town).
Photos taken by Archi Prudencio.
White Rabbit Truck: Mobile Filipino Fusion Launches
|The White Rabbit Truck|
Yes, another food truck has arrived, and yes, they are serving fusion tacos. But the new White Rabbit Truck is not another Korean-Mexican Kogi impersonator. Instead they are, as far as we can tell, just the second Filipino food truck in Los Angeles, after the blogger-run Manila Machine. But while Manila Machine veers more in the direction of traditional Filipino cuisine, White Rabbit is a much more fusion endeavor, with menu items like tacos, burritos, lettuce cups and “Fili Cheesesteaks.”
White Rabbit is the creation of chef James Du, who owns the truck along with two other partners, and is an idea that he has been cultivating for a long time. “I was on a BBQ truck, LA BBQ Guy. I managed the whole deal, but I always wanted to have something like this.” Due to the general public’s lack of extensive knowledge of Filipino food, the chef spent the last eight to nine months working on the food and trying it out on, by his own estimation, “over five hundred people.”
|Fusion tacos: (from bottom to top) Pork Sisig, Beefsteak, Chicken Adobo|
The truck, which has been in soft open mode since Thursday, will be based in the San Fernando Valley, which will be their primary area of operation. They will spread it around town though, with visits planned in Hollywood, Downtown, and once the permits come through, Orange County.
Noah Galuten can be followed on Twitter via @ManBitesWorld.
|The soft-open menu at White Rabbit Truck|
|For dessert: White Chocolate Champorado|
THE WHITE RABBIT HOPS TO LOS ANGELES JULY 9th & 10th
The White Rabbit Truck is the first business to tap into this culinary arena. Combining foods isn’t new. It’s been around since the 1970s, but The White Rabbit Truck’s menu will be more Filipino than its Mexican and American counterparts.
follow on Twitter at WHITERABBITTRUK.
By Joshua Lurie 07/08/10 at 09:45AM
White Rabbit Filipino Fusion Truck Launches
White Rabbit Truck
“White Rabbit” isn’t just a Jefferson Airplane song anymore. On Monday, chef-founder James Du and his partners rolled out White Rabbit, a Filipino fusion food truck that follows closely on the heels of The Manila Machine, which offers a more traditional take on Filipino cooking. Du is a Le Cordon Bleu graduate who worked at Gordon Ramsay and Chateau Marmont before teaming with Melvin Chua and Michael Dimaguila, a pair of real estate and finance professionals and long-time friends from Alemany High School in Mission Hills.
“We wanted to fuse American, Mexican cuisines with a French cooking style to create Filipino Fusion food that mainstream Angelenos would like,” said Dimaguila. “We come from humble beginnings with not a lot of capital so we thought a food truck would be great due to its low overhead and mobility to move locations. Also James having years of experience working on a motion picture catering truck.”
Dimaguila insists they have “plenty of signature dishes we’ve been working on in our kitchen laboratory for almost 1 year now.” Since the business is so new, they’re not quite sure what the breakout dishes will be, but he touted White Chocolate Champorado, Ube Fries, Breakfast Burritos, Banana Creme Cheese Eggrolls, and Pork Sisig. [Feast LA]
ARTICLE # 4
Written by: nuts4pilinuts
Link to Article:
I’m usually searching twitter and the internet for something new on the local Filipino food scene. I have to admit though that since school ended for the kids I’ve taken myself out of the loop. Thanks to @FilipinoFood ‘s tweet early this Saturday morning, I now know about White Rabbit Truck.
Meet their logo and their schedule for this week… and I am loving the Philippine Star on the chef’s hat.
Let me start by saying… HOW DID I MISS THIS?
Oh well, no use crying over spilled milk. Must visit them tomorrow. Looking at their schedule and the places they’ve scheduled for this week, I’m happy to see a lot of venues here in the Valley. Love love love it.
Looking at their photo gallery I found a picture of their menu (since menu page on their webpage is blank)…
(image source: http://www.archiprudencio.com/portfolio//content/pictures2/White Rabbit Events/Soft Opening Launch July 2 2010)
Their menu reminds me of Chipotle’s menu. I likeI love their choice of meats. And UBE FRIES???? Got to try that one. You know me and ube. Have you heard of my recent obsession over Manila Machine‘s ube cupcakes. Yup! And WHITE CHOCOLATE CHAMPORADO??? … that sounded sooo sinful.
Okay so let me tell you my “gotta try” menu items based on the above menu…Beef Steak lettuce cups and rice bowl Pork Tocino Fili-cheesesteak WHITE CHOCOLATE CHAMPORADO Creme Brule Toast Banana Creme Cheese Lumpia
So, tomorrow I’ll be coming by. See ya…
Written by: nuts4pilinuts
Link to Article:
ARTICLE # 5
Written By: The Gourmet Princess
TRADITION vs. FUSION: Another Filipino Gourmet Food Truck Debuts
I thought I was seeing things a couple of weeks ago. I was on my way home after having dinner with a friend at a restaurant in Studio City when I passed what I thought was a food truck near Guitar Center in Sherman Oaks. In a split second, all I saw was was the word Filipino; I didn’t register anything else. I slowed down and checked back in my rear view mirror and all I saw was a white truck. I couldn’t make out anything else as I headed westbound on Ventura Boulevard. I then began to question whether or not I actually saw the word Filipino. I shrugged it off and promptly forgot about it.
Fast forward to tonight. I was checking my Twitter account and a specific tweet caught my eye, “FoodTruckLA RT @whiterabbitruk: En route to Menchies Granada Hills. Serving till 9. Orders will stop by 9, so get there early.” This was a retweet by FoodTruckLA on Twitter and was curious what White Rabbit was all about. I clicked on the Twitter name and lo and behold! It was another gourmet food truck…a FILIPINO-FUSION gourmet food truck, and unlike Manila Machine whose focus is more on the traditional Filipino fare, White Rabbit takes popular Filipino dishes and fuses it with an American and Mexican Twist. Then it hit me–this was the truck I saw two weeks ago!
It was already 6:45 p.m. and I was still at work. I quickly called a couple of friends to see if I could at least get one of them to go with me. Both didn’t answer their phones. So I called my husband (he had to work late) and my youngest son (he had plans to go out with friends) and my older son (he wanted to be home and talk to his girlfriend on Skype)–I couldn’t find one person who could go with me! I decided then and there that I would make the trip by myself and brave what I thought would be a very long line on my own.
I found Menchies (a frozen yogurt shop) and White Rabbit was parked in front of it not far from the corner of Chatsworth and Zelzah in Granada Hills. The line unfortunately was not long, only 6 people in line in front of me (however, about the time I left which was 45 minutes later, there were already 25-30 people in line).
White Rabbit is yet another player in the gourmet food truck game. Manila Machine, which debuted in early June was enjoying a huge following, and until recently, was the only Filipino game in town. In fact, earlier today, Manila Machine was on Fox’s Good Day L.A., one of four trucks featured that will be participating in this year’s LA Street Fair at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena next Saturday, July 24.
What sets White Rabbit apart from Manila Machine is their menu. Oh sure, their food offerings are the same–both include Chicken Adobo, Beefsteak, Sisig but that’s where the similarities ends. Manila Machine sticks to tradition while White Rabbit steps outside of its hole and has create an interesting and eclectic mix of savory dishes utilizing traditional, yet popular meats familiar to Filipino cuisine: Beefsteak, Pork Sisig, Chicken Adobo and Pork Tocino.
The Beefsteak is citrus marinated and slow cooked (I’m guessing they use either calmansi, a Filipino lime or a regular lemon as a base for their marinade). I liked how the citrus marinade brightened up the flavor of the beef. The Chicken Adobo is specially season and slowly braised in soy sauce and vinegar; the result is a very tender, very flavorful and savory chicken. The Pork Tocino is sweetened cured pork both braised and grilled. It was prepared differently from how my mother prepares Tocino. It was a bit on the spicy side but it was okay; I wasn’t completely wowed by it. The Pork Sisig, White Rabbit’s signature dish, is slightly sauteed and grilled pork, tossed in a medley of garlic, onions and jalapenos. Doesn’t that sound good? We ordered at least one item of the four meats offered with the exception of the Pork Sisig. They sold out which was disappointing but gives me an excuse to come back and try it and other dishes on their menu.
The way it works is that you pick a meat and decide how you want it prepared: Tacos–you get three small soft corn tortilla tacos, the tortillas were about the size of a music CD; Burrito, a generously stuffed burrito about 4-5 inches in length; in a Rice Bowl which literally means you get your choice of meat and two rounded scoops of rice; lettuce wrapped–you get three and the “Fili”Cheesecake, two slider style sandwich made with pan de sal rolls. I ordered the Chicken Adobo Burrito, chicken adobo wrapped in a flour tortilla with soft white rice, a fried egg and swiss cheese; The Pork Tocino Bowl; Beefsteak Tacos and Pork Tocino Tacos, both topped with a slightly spicy slaw; and the Fili-cheesesteak sliders, one with the Beefsteak and the other with the Pork Tocino.
They also offer sides and other extras: Fried Eggs, Lumpia, or Fries (Regular, Sweet or Ube–a purple yam); Mac ‘n Cheese and Spaghetti, and a dessert menu which includes the White Chocolate Champorado, a sweet porridge-like dessert (they sold out of this too) and Banana Cream Cheese Lumpia (not available tonight). The only dessert they did have available is the Creme Brulee Toast and I’m still trying to figure out what is “Filipino” about that dish (I’m guessing it’s french toast style toast made with the pan de sal roll and dipped in an egg-brulee type mix and then grilled, and served with some type of dipping syrup.) I’ll be sure to ask and order it next time around.
Overall, it was a good food experience. Comparing it to Manila Machine in some respects is like comparing apples and oranges. Both are unique in its style, flavor and concept and it wouldn’t be fair to judge them as equals. I do have favorites from each menu though and I hope that both White Rabbit and Manila Machine bring in a whole new legion of fans that will help bring Filipino food into the mainstream.
Website for menu, truck locations and serving hours: http://www.whiterabbittruck.com
Follow them on Twitter for truck locations and serving