We'd never seen such a sight. So many Filipinos descending upon one area in Irvine. We thought we were in
Daly City Cerritos. It took three cycles to turn around the corner of Armstrong and Barranca on opening day. It made The District look like Cars Land.
Seafood City adds to the list of ethnic supermarket brands (Wholesome Choice, Farm Direct, Mitsuwa, H-Mart, Zion, Super Irvine and both 99 Ranch Markets) to call this seemingly vanilla landscape home. We shook our head in disbelief just writing that. The next time someone gripes about a lack of good eats that aren't a chain around there, just rattle this list off and see if they can comprehend.
At lunchtime, Jollibee's line wrapped around its entrance. The dining area in front of Grill City was full. We took a chance, heading towards the back. Our reward: Crispy Town. All the fried delights you need to cater that next office potluck. Or you could order a pre-cooked protein packed with veggie lumpia and steamed rice to-go, like we did.
Eight hours later, the place was still swarming. Instead of lines for dinner, everyone was paying for groceries. Folks were also milling around (Gossiping?) like an afternoon at the mall. Why were we back? For a quick pan de sal fix over at Valerio's. Chicken empanadas? We'll take four! It's going to be a brutal holiday season.
Seafood City is located at 2180 Barranca Pkwy; www.seafoodcity.com.