While many restaurants are shutting their doors and struggling to stay afloat, this Filipino chef is braving the pandemic to open her dream restaurant in Downtown LA.
This is restaurant life now: Face coverings, takeout and delivery only, and empty Downtown Los Angeles streets. It’s far from ideal for anyone, but chefs and restaurant owners have always been a resilient bunch. Just ask Ria Barbosa.
Barbosa is a longtime Angeleno who has spent years working in kitchens like Sqirl and Forage, and ran the culinary programs for multi-unit spots like Go Get Em Tiger and Paramount Coffee Project. Now she’s doing her own project (along with partners Robert Villanueva and Tiffany Tanaka) with last weekend’s opening of Petite Peso, a surprise Filipino takeaway in the tiny former Ricebar space at 419 W. 7th Street. Ma’am Sir chef Charles Olalia vacated that address after four years back in May of 2019, and now after some twists and turns it’s in the hands of fellow Pinoy Barbosa, who opened last weekend despite the coronavirus times.