Isla Restaurant: A Filipino Restaurant in San Bruno, CA

We were almost starving when we landed at the San Francisco International Airport from a very long flight from Incheon, South Korea. The very first meal we ate upon arriving at the United States of America was a loaded late Filipino lunch at Isla Restaurant in San Bruno, California, USA.

Isla Restaurant is inspired largely by Kapampangan cuisine from Pampanga, largely acknowledged as the culinary capital of the Philippines. Curious to know what we ate? Continue reading for that list.

Freshly Cooked Pork Chicharon  

Dried pork rind then deep fried in lard, chicharon is a crunchy treat. Isla Restaurant's version comes very close to the best ones I have tried in the Philippines.

Crispy pork rind at Isla Restaurant


The fried calamari squid rings at Isla Restaurant come in larger sizes than I normally see at restaurants in the Philippines.

Squid rings at Isla Restaurant

Sinigang na Hipon

Sinigang is a soup dish that is sour and can have either pork or shrimp. We ordered the one with shrimp on it. 

Shrimp in sour soup at Isla Restaurant
Sinigang na Hipon

Chicken Tinola 

Tinola is a soup dish that can either have chicken or fish. At Isla Restaurant, we took the one with chicken in it.

Pork Barbecue 

My personal favorite. Isla Restaurant's pork barbecue has a sweet blend that is perfect for my Pinoy palate. It is easy to eat because it is boneless. If I'm ever going back, I'll definitely ordering this again.

Chicken Inasal 

Chicken inasal is a Bacolod original. I was munching on Isla Restaurant's chicken inasal and for a while, I thought I was eating pork only to realize that it was white meat turned red by it's sauce. This one is really good too!

chicken barbecue at Isla Restaurant
Chicken Inasal

Sisig Kapampangan 

I make good sisig myself and is quite hard to please with restaurant-prepared sisig. Not the best one I tasted but it wasn't bad.

Pork sisig at Isla Restaurant
Sisig Kapampangan

Pancit Bihon Guisado 

Other than pancit canton and palabok, I'm not really fond of Filipino noodle dishes. Pancit bihon is a noodle dish that uses vermicelli noodles sauteed with various other ingredients usually pork, chicken, shrimps, and vegetables.

Noodle dish at Isla Restaurant
Pancit bihon guisado

Kyle's Chicken Wings 

The usual breaded and fried chicken wings.

Kalderetang Short Ribs sa Gata 

Pork ribs stew cooked in coconut milk or cream.

Short ribs kaldereta at Isla Restaurant
Kalderetang short ribs sa gata

Crispy Pata 

Crispy pata is deep fried pork leg and knuckles, a Filipino favorite.

Crispy pata at Isla Restaurant
Crispy pata

TNT Prawns 

This came highly recommended from several family members saying this prawn dish cooked with crab fat is one of the best they have tasted.

TNT Prawns at Isla Restaurant
TNT Prawns

More About Isla Restaurant

Isla Restaurant has branches in San Bruno and Newark:

San Bruno 

Street address: 422 San Mateo Avenue, San Bruno, California, USA 94066
Telephone number: 650 872 5008


Street address: 5720 Mowry School Road, Newark, California, USA 94560
Telephone number: 510 445 1602
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About Thadz

Brothers Janus and Thadz document their travels around the United States and occasionally around the world.


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