The La Paz district of Iloilo City, located near the center of the Philippines, is famous for a noodle soup called batchoy. Joefred Devicais grew up eating batchoy in La Paz — “I was born a year before it was invented in 1968,” he says — and after he moved to the States he began making the soup for family celebrations and holidays.
Almost two years ago, he opened La Paz Batchoy near the border of San Francisco and Daly City, which has a couple of rice plates on the menu, corn dogs, and batchoy ($3.75 for a small bowl, $4.25 for a large). The cafe is barely wide enough for two tables, and after SFoodie ordered our bowl of soup, we sat next to a couple of retired guys, all of us watching Filipino game shows on TV, while a younger man drank coffee and answered e-mails on the cafe's computer.
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