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Jan 28, 2008 06:33 PM

New Pork City

Did you read Jonathan Gold's column this week in the LA Weekly? "New Pork City."
Here it is:

I take it that one motivation for this column would not just be to make us salivate over here in LA, but to motivate some LA restaurants to bring us to the level of pork wonders that this column claims for New York.

So here is my question: Do we already have such wonders? Where and what are the pork wonders of LA restaurants. I had my first visit to Mozza Osteria over the weekend, and started with the crispy pork trotter. The whole meal was above outstanding, one of the best I've had in LA since moving here; but sorry, this crispy pig trotter won't do, not visavis my question here. It was delicious. But it was TINY. You don't want tiny trotter. Refined feet? The second I saw it arrive, I ordered another antipasto (the testa). Mario, don't believe the hype about skinny LA. Treat us like NY. Bring us pork wonders to Mozza...!

One pork wonder that I know: Angelini Osteria's porchetta, served one night per week I believe. This is a wonder.

I'm kind of in love with my Whole Food butcher's organic pork chops, which I salt and cure for a day or two before grilling. After the cure, I feel like they are as good as the massive farmhouse pork chops I have had in France. Pork wonders.

I have known pork wonders in Mexican food since arriving. Cochinita pibil (Yuca's is a favorite), chicharones (I remember a place in / near Pasadena), the al pastor at Tacos La Fonda in the Valley.

I'm wondering about Gold's mention of the pork shoulder in Koreatown here in this column. Where is the best version of that? What is it called?

I'm wondering about pork ears. Temptation of St. Anthony.

Pork wonders people. Bring them on.

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    1. re: Servorg

      I rather thought Gold was referring to bossam (after all, this was at Ssam Bar), which you can get at Kobawoo (where I usually go) or Seo Rae Gwan:

      He says "cool braised pork," whereas at Honey Pig, you grill slices of pork on a griddle-type thing. With bossam, the pork is cold/room temp, and you wrap it in lettuce with condiments. Don't remember seeing oysters, but you usually get mini brined shrimp. Bossam is usually pork belly, but I don't think pork shoulder is necessarily inauthentic. And I had thought it was steamed rather than braised.

      Anyway, I recommend Kobawoo. It's a pretty popular place, so you may have to wait, and there may be no parking in the lot but I'd rather street-park and walk a few blocks than leave my keys with the valet, who stole change out of my car the last time. Haven't tried Seo Rae Gwan ... it's one of those weird places on Wilshire that kinda look like a hotel restaurant in Asia, but the review does sound really good.

      1. re: Servorg

        I love the Honey Pig. Plus I love saying the name when people ask for a restaurant recommendation. It's funny, I used to eat pork from time to time, but when I got married (my wife is Vietnamese), we now eat a lot of pork. In fact, we just came back eating and I had Pork Chop w/ Broken Rice which also had Sour Pork Patties and Pork steamed in banana leaves. We also had Spring Rolls w/ Shredded Pork Skin. After all, it IS the other white meat!

        1. Mikester requested George's recipe for salted and cured pork chops. We've moved that part of the discussion over to the Home Cooking board:

          1. Some notables:

            Pig candy at Lou

            Pork rump (or pump) at Mei Long Village

            Pork X at Park's BBQ

            Stewed pig's feet at Macau Street

            Pig ears at Sam Woo BBQ

            1. I have never been but my boyfriend loves the "pigskin sundays" @ bin8945.

              Bin 8945
              8945 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

              1. First, Bin 8945 is no longer doing the pig sunday thing. Second, I did a report on some chefs around town buying whole acorn-fed pigs from a farm in Iowa. La Quercia, known for its domestic proscuitto. I haven't checked in to see what the chefs did with their pork, or if their still doing, but it might be worth checking out.