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Favorite Pork Belly dishes in Los Angeles?

What have I been missing my entire life?

A few years ago in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, I discovered it was Cajun boudin...

A couple months ago at Trader Joe's it was Hendricks's Gin. Curiously I didn’t think I liked gin...

Then just last week I discovered what I’ve been missing out on is pork belly. I tried Wat Dong Moon Lek's pork belly (fried to a crunch) served with crispy spicy green beans. And last night Animal’s pork belly (braised) sliders-- perfect after a couple of Hendrick’s Martini’s.

Where else should I go for crunchy pork belly?

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  1. I hven't tried it yet so I don't know if it is crispy or not but I have heard a lot of good omments on the pork belly skewers at the Laurel Tavern. In fact I'm going next week just to try them. I've tried their marrow bones which were out of site but overlooked the porkbelly skewers.

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    Laurel Tavern
    11938 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

    2 Replies
    1. re: Hughlipton

      I don't remember them being crispy...but they are delicious.

      1. re: Hughlipton

        Went to Laurel Tavern last night. As good as advertised. Several skewers with a pinot noir and life was good.

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        Laurel Tavern
        11938 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

      2. Father's Office in Culver City served yesterday a fantastic "Braised Veronese Pancetta" ($16)

        Unfortunately, they adamantly refused to provide any bread with it.
        "That's the way He envisioned it" is all the guy at the counter would say.

        Just to avoid any misunderstandings:
        "He" referred to FO's owner Sang Yoon.
        Capitalized in my transliteration to convey the speaker's intended mystical emphasis.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysticism

        2 Replies
        1. re: RicRios

          Yah, that's how they roll there, as if SY is a god.

          1. re: RicRios

            That's about par for the course at Father's Office.

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            Father's Office Bar
            1618 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA

          2. WP24...expensive, but worth every bite!

            1. If you're in the SFV try Sanamluang Cafe on Sherman Way just west of Coldwater. They have a fantastic combo dish with crisp pork belly, duck and, I've forgotten what else is included. It's where all the local Thai people eat and they're open 24hrs.

              1. Also at Animal, the pork belly Kimchi with peanuts, chili soy and scallion is freaking RIDICULOUS!! We have to have it everytime we go. God Help Us, when they decide to take it off the menu!!

                Also, recently at Parks BBQ in K-Town, their seasoned pork belly ROCKED. My husband is a porketarian and he claimed it to be as close to heaven as, well, the Animal PB Kimchi, of course!!

                3 Replies
                1. re: Phurstluv

                  Since Animal was mentioned, the Pork Belly sandwiches are also insanely good. It just melts in your mouth.

                    1. re: kainzero

                      second the pork belly sliders we had at Animal. They were awesome

                    1. If you are going for Pork Belly, I recommend a place with pig in the name or a cute pig logo. Don Dae Gam has a cute logo of a pig's butt!

                      Had dinner at Don Dae Gam tonight and it was porkalicious. According to Food GPS, "Don means either “pork” or “money” in Korean. Dae Gam is loosely translated as a high-class person or government officer during an ancient Korean dynasty". As they said, "Dynastic Officer of Pork" is my kind of place.

                      The pork belly was very good as it is at Park's (they are owned by the same people). The panchan was good, but not as plentiful at Park's. Service was very good, but we were there early and got a lot of attention. I really wanted to get the Pork Belly with Baby Octopus, but we were too full and got the Soybean Paste soup (very tasty).

                      I also like Honey Pig too. Haven't been there in a bit, but it was tasty. They do the thing with the pork juice and kimchi fried rice. That is good stuff too.

                      I never ate that much pork until I married somebody from Vietnam. Now I am crazy for piggies. If I don't get Nem Nuong Spring Rolls once a week, I get cranky.

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                      Honey Pig
                      3400 W Eighth St, Los Angeles, CA 90010

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: bsquared2

                        Don Dae Gam is where you go for pork.

                        Park's is where you go for beef (esp. Kobe).

                        1. re: bsquared2

                          the panchan at Park's was unbelievable, could not get over how much food we got.

                          Pigs rule.

                        2. Yo, Hershey!

                          I hear you, man. You can satisfy your crispy pork belly desires in various ways at the following establishments:

                          BASIC:

                          Hoy-Ka Noodle House
                          5401 Hollywood Blvd.
                          Los Angeles, CA 90027
                          (323) 468-9302
                          Simple but excellent crispy pork belly dish. Similar to Wat Dong Moon's version, also Thai, but made with greens instead of beans.

                          SLIGHTLY UPSCALE:

                          Lazy Ox Canteen
                          241 S San Pedro
                          Los Angeles, CA 90012
                          (213) 626-5299
                          http://www.lazyoxcanteen.com
                          Wonderful small plate offering. Also try the chicharron skewers and the pig’s trotter.

                          Craftbar
                          10100 Constellation Boulevard
                          Los Angeles, CA 90067
                          (310) 279-4180
                          http://www.craftrestaurant.com/craftbar...
                          Crispy pork belly with huckleberry and a jalapeño vinaigrette. Delightful!

                          The Foundry on Melrose
                          7465 Melrose Ave.
                          Los Angeles, 90046
                          323.651.0915
                          http://thefoundryonmelrose.com
                          Usually on the Sunday menu. Call first. Outstanding!

                          UPSCALE:

                          Marché Moderne
                          3333 Bristol St
                          Costa Mesa, CA 92626
                          (714) 434-7900
                          http://www.marchemoderne.net
                          Usually on the menu. Available upon request. THE best preparation in SoCal, imho. Also check out the Crispy Pig Trotter Sausage with braised beluga lentils, ham hocks, agri-dulce vinegar jus, poached egg and a salade frisée. Phenomenal!

                          ALTERNATIVE:

                          Have you tried Filipino cuisine? If not, as a pork lover, you certainly must!

                          Lechon kawali is the Filipino version of crispy pork belly. Absolutely delectable stuff, especially when just made. The best, imho, is from Magic Wok (below), however, I just had an excellent version yesterday from:

                          Greenhill’s Meat & Seafood Market
                          1241 Grand Ave
                          Diamond Bar, CA 91765
                          (909) 861-6144
                          Primarily take-out. Menu changes daily. Great fresh meats and seafood as well.

                          Crispy pata is twice-fried pork knuckle that is sinfully crispy on the outside, tender and juicy inside. Best enjoyed hot, although it keeps well and some enjoy it cold. SoCal’s best can be found at:

                          The Magic Wok
                          11869 Artesia Blvd
                          Artesia, CA 90701
                          (562) 865-7340

                          Another dish to try is the sisig; essentially crispy, deep-fried pork parts (head, liver) chopped-up and combined with vegetables. Great hot, but traditionally enjoyed cold. Possesses a slight tang from the spices and vinegar – fret not. Imagine hog’s head salad.

                          Last, but not least, Magic Wok also serves up a fantastic dinuguan, a rich stew made with pork blood and innards. It is typically served over or alongside rice. Imagine a red boudin gumbo. Yum!

                          Although I haven’t been there yet, I understand from a trusted source that Fiesta Sa Barrio puts out a truly great Crispy Pata as well. Definitely worth a try.

                          Fiesta Sa Barrio
                          4326 Eagle Rock Blvd
                          Los Angeles, CA 90041
                          (323) 256-4380

                          Bon Appetit!

                          1. It would be hard to top the roasted, salt-sweet, gochuchang-rubbed pork belly at Chego, which does that crisp, spurting thing in the most delightful way.

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                            Chego
                            3300 Overland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: condiment

                              This was probably the weakest pork belly I've had (Chego). Not that it was bad or anything (I liked it), but it was more pork shoulder-ish than pork belly.

                              I think I liked their Chicken (Hen House?) bowl better (but both were WAY better than the prime rib bowl).

                            2. I recommend the crispy pork with greens at Ruen Pair...... one of the best dishes in Hollywood.

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                              Ruen Pair Restaurant
                              5257 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                              1. The Library Bar has pork belly skewers w/spicy maple glaze, cilantro & lime that is delish!

                                http://librarybarla.com/menu.html

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                                Library Bar
                                603 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90017

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: yinyangdi

                                  I second the pork belly skewers at the Library Bar... I can eat them almost endlessly with a good beer. lol

                                2. My favorite pork belly is Musha, but it's the braised kind.

                                  For crispy, I had some wonderful crisp porkbelly at Terroni

                                  http://www.flickr.com/photos/dommichu...

                                  --Dommy!

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                                  Musha
                                  424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                                  Terroni
                                  7605 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. The fried pork belly at Robata-ya is ridiculously good.

                                    1. <<And last night Animal’s pork belly (braised) sliders-- perfect after a couple of Hendrick’s Martini’s. >>
                                      I didn't know you could GET a Hendrick’s Martini at animal.

                                      3 Replies
                                        1. re: Phurstluv

                                          No, they definitely don't have a full bar but that sounds like a winning combination!

                                          1. re: mollyomormon

                                            No Hendrick's at Animal: 10:15 reservations at Animal soooo 8:30 drinks at Foundation Room.

                                      1. Bossam at Kobawoo. Steamed pork belly with shrimp pasty thingy with various kimchis all wrapped in steamed cabbage...so good

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                                        Kobawoo Restaurant
                                        698 S Vermont Ave Ste 109, Los Angeles, CA 90005

                                        1. The Kurobuta pork belly with tomatillo sauce at Nook is awesome.

                                          Also, the Gleason Ranch pork belly sopes at Red O are delicious.

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                                          Red O
                                          8155 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: lil mikey

                                            I concur, the Pork Belly at Nook is awesome!

                                          2. It seems you have a lot of options, although many are rec'ing places that have braised p.b. and I know you specified crunchy.

                                            Today I had a Kurobuta Pork Belly Bahn Mi at the Mendocino Farms sandwich market in Marina Del Rey. It was delicious, if not authentic. But it was certainly crunchy - they braise it first then caramelize it, and chop it up. Placed on a panini grilled ciabatta. But they give you a choice of breads also.

                                            The link is for one of their downtown restos, but you can get an idea of the menu.

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                                            Mendocino Farms
                                            300 S Grand Ave Ste Lp40, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: Phurstluv

                                              That is a good sandwich. Starry Kitchen has a really good Pork Belly Banh Mi. For either, don't expect Banh Mi Che Cali, but they are tasty.

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                                              Starry Kitchen
                                              350 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                                              1. re: Phurstluv

                                                I've been meaning to stop by there and try it but downtown parking sucks ass and they close at 3PM also which is lame since I usually don't get off work in time.

                                                1. re: Johnny L

                                                  Lots of free parking at the one in MDR.

                                                  1. re: Phurstluv

                                                    And I believe it is open 'til 9 pm.

                                                  2. re: Johnny L

                                                    The 5th & Flower Mendocino Farms is open 11:00am–7:15pm Mon-Fri and has 1hr validated parking available after 5pm in the Citigroup parking structure at 4th and Flower.
                                                    http://mendocinofarms.com/contact-us/

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                                                    Mendocino Farms
                                                    444 S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                                                2. I've been to Honey Pig in Koreatown several times and their pork belly is killer

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                                                  Honey Pig
                                                  3400 W Eighth St, Los Angeles, CA 90010