LASA was founded by Filipino-American brothers, Chef Chad Valencia and Chase Valencia. The word lasa, meaning taste or flavor in Tagalog, always had a lot of meaning in the Valencia brothers’ upbringing. Food was always a centerpiece of any gathering and cooking was a way to bring their family together. The value of good food and a memorable dining experience is at the very core of their identity. With LASA, the Valencia brothers want to impart that joy of sharing a good meal with those you hold close.

The journey began in the summer of 2013 as a series of intimate backyard dinners among the Valencia brothers and their friends. During the following two years, LASA would see themselves grow from the backyard setting to restaurant pop-ups at the Highland Cafe in Highland Park and at the Elysian in Frogtown. With the popularity of their pop-ups, the Valencia brothers began to garner considerable attention in the LA dining scene.  In 2016, they caught the attention of Chef Alvin Cailan (Eggslut), where he saw the potential of the LASA restaurant project and ultimately offered the Valencia brothers a weekend residency at his Chinatown culinary incubator, Unit 120, at the Far East Plaza. After a successful year of operating 4 nights a week at Unit 120, in 2017, LASA took over the culinary incubator space to make it as their permanent home.

From backyards to their own brick and mortar, the LASA family finally have their own restaurant. 

Background & Bio Photo: Antonio Diaz


Chad valencia


Chad Valencia has spent over the last decade in professional kitchens. It wasn't until working at Corrina Weibel's Canele that he cut his teeth and learned how to truly cook seasonally. He then spent time cooking at Brett Emerson's seasonal Spanish neighborhood restaurant, Contigo, in San Francisco. He then returned home to Los Angeles and started the LASA Restaurant Project while cooking at Jessica Koslow's Sqirl. Since then, Chad along with his brother Chase and their team has taken the project from a backyard dinner to a brick and mortar restaurant in Los Angeles, creating Filipino-inspired cuisine. 

Background & Bio Photo: Antonio Diaz




Chase Valencia has been in the restaurant industry for over a decade. He has worked every position in front of the house, starting as a busser and making his way into management. His experience began at a neighborhood eatery called Owen's Bistro, where he first learned the value of food & hospitality. He then furthered his career by working at Wolfgang Puck Catering, where he was a Catering Sales & Operations Manager, Food & Beverage Controller, and Restaurant Manager for WPC accounts at LA Live, Sony Pictures Studios and Beats by Dre Headquarters. He worked for Silver Lake neighborhood favorites, Sqirl and Forage, while simultaneously developing the LASA concept until 2015.  

In addition to being in the restaurant industry, Chase co-founded a cultural and community organization called Kabalikat Society (now called LAKAS) and organized a Philippine Independence Day Festival in Chino Hills, which drew 3,000 attendees.

Background & Bio Photos: Antonio Diaz


nico de leon


Nico de Leon's professional career started in 2009. He has been involved with pop-ups and the opening of restaurants throughout his expanding career, beginning with the opening of Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel Air. Here he learned the beauty and importance of seasonality and farm-to-table cooking. Nico then spent time at Commonwealth (Jason Fox's revered San Francisco eatery), the long running neighborhood restaurant Blue Plate (helmed by Sean Thomas), and was on the opening team for Black Sands. During his time in SF, Nico met Chad and was asked to be a part of the LASA family as sous chef. He relocated back to Los Angeles, joined Ria Barbosa and Matt Wilson at their WILD residency in Canelé, and helped the progressive-Filipino pop-up Irenia Supper Club in Orange County all while being involved with the LASA Restaurant Project since the first dinner in 2013.

Bio Photo: Wyatt Conlon


Steff barros


Stephanie Barros has been working with LASA since the pop-up days in 2013 as front of house server. She has since been an integral part of the growth of the restaurant, taking on different roles from dinner service to behind the scenes. With her background in administration, she is responsible for LASA's finance & business operations and assisting in business development. 

On our weekend evenings, you can find her behind the host stand seating, greeting guests and fielding reservation calls. 

Bio Photo: Wyatt Conlon