>> Jollibee | Eat the World Los Angeles

Wednesday 4 September 2019


Cerritos location facade

(And many other locations)

EDITOR'S NOTE: An updated version of this article (13 December 2023) is available as part of the Historical section of our Substack page. Check that out here:
If you have ever been to the modern, more upper-class neighborhoods of Manila recently, you know that Filipino people love their chains. Slick residential skyscrapers cast their shadows over everything from Starbucks and Burger King to Outback Steakhouse, Chili's, and everything in between. But even in these wealthy suburbs full of malls, Jollibee is and has always been king.

In Los Angeles, Jollibee cannot quite claim the throne of fast food, but it is not a restaurant to take lightly. As with most international franchises, they all have similar visual cues and are in the business of catering to memories. No matter what location you end up at, you can always take a photo with the red bee before you open the doors.

From the Valley to Orange County to the Inland Empire, every Jollibee restaurant always seems to be at or near capacity. Sit in the parking lot for a few minutes and you will also notice the sheer volume of takeout orders being hustled to vehicles and onto their final destinations back at homes.

The menu here is fairly simple, focusing on chicken, chicken sandwiches, and their signature spaghetti, sweet as can be just like the Filipino palate desires. The combo shown here with one piece of Chickenjoy, their name for fried chicken, a portion of jolly spaghetti, and a drink is $6.99. Any fried chicken always comes with a container of gravy for dunking, but this can also be more strategically used for their otherwise boring jolly crispy fries ($1.99). The fries are indeed crispy, perfect for dipping and definitely in need of the flavor bomb.

Always substitute the pineapple juice for a soda.

The spaghetti comes with sliced up weenies and shredded cheese, but it is the sauce that expats crave. If you did not know you were supposed to be eating a savory dish, it might just taste like candy. Besides these dishes, everything comes with a name including joy or jolly, it is required to be happy at a Jollibee. 

There may be no country in the world where people seem to be having a good time constantly, and Jollibee even with its flaws and high sugar content (or maybe because of that) is the perfect encapsulation for those that cannot travel there.


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