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Jun 7, 2006 01:39 PM

Norman's Pig Roast on Friday - Wonderful

  • c

Went to Norman's last friday for their pig roast in the Caja China. I must say it was the best pork I have had in a long time.

The pork itself was like butter, so tender and moist, and the skin was so crispy. They marinate it in a mojo sauce and the flavor was really rich. It came with a delicious coleslaw which was perfect to cut the grease of the pork and the "fufu" (mashed sweet potato & plantains) was delicious.

We had the corn & conch chowder to start which was very fresh and sweet. App, 2 orders of the pork and two cocktails for only $70. The pork at $19 is a steal. Definately worth trying out.

Norman's on Sunset
(323) 661-1887
8570 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069

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  1. I'm so glad to see such an enthusiastic post about Norman's. I think it is one of the best restaurants to open in Los Angeles in recent years, as do several of my colleagues, who are major foodies. The food, service and decor/ambience are just a cut above so much of what opens around town. This is a first-class place.

    It's troubling that the restaurant just has struggled to find an audience/customer base. (On recent nights, including Saturdays, the dining room has been only half full.)

    I really hope more people give it a try. Los Angeles needs more serious restaurants like Norman's. It'd be a real loss if the place doesn't make it.

    8 Replies
    1. re: JF Fresser

      Agree on all counts!

      1. re: RicRios

        I really agree with you. I forgot to mention that the service was amazing, and they ended the night with a small plate of petit fours because we were so full from our dinner that we couldn't have dessert.

        We also noticed that the restaurant wasn't filling up which is dissapointing because the food, ambiance & service was great.

        Aside from the pig roast, the tasting menu looked amazing! Might have to try that next.

        1. re: CarlieInLA

          I went last Friday with the girlfriend and had a great meal. She had the Pig Roast ($20) and I ordered the Tasting Menu ($75). They were nice enough to let me swap out the Roast Pork in the Tasting Menu for the Short Ribs with Halibut Cheeks entree since we were already getting some pig to taste. The entree (which was $40 a la carte alone) was quite good. Also, great Conch Chowder, Foie Gras French Toast, and Bananas / Rhum/Macadamia Nut Ice Cream Flambe in the Tasting. The bill was only $100 for before tip (including a great Pisco Sour from the bar) and we each had a ton to sample. I was definitely impressed.

      2. re: JF Fresser

        I couldn't agree with you more. I think Norman's is a wonderful restaurant and have posted about it often. I'd hate to see it disappear from Los Angeles.
        And, the cooking demonstrations that are held in the kitchen, are great fun and a very good deal!

        1. re: JF Fresser

          Hi... I walked passed Norman's several months ago and was greatly intrigued (while walking down the boulevard like a genuine rube - I'd mistakenly parked over a mile away from the House of Blues, in an effort to find reasonable parking). Just walking passed, I wanted to try Norman's, and due to so many positive reviews, shall do so. But I think Norman's may be suffering from an of unfortunate tendon in their culinary achille's heel: regrettably, I believe Los Angeles can be just superficial enough to overlook an above average restaurant, based solely upon it's moniker. Calling a restaurant of that caliber (on an expensive piece of real estate on the Sunset Strip) 'Norman's' is something akin to naming a child (who will grow up to be a supermodel) 'Bertha' or 'Hortense' (advanced apologies to any namesakes out there). Even Norm's is a better name than Norman's. Yeah, sounds koo-koo, but I think that the name doesn't engender any sense of panache, to the erudite diner. Presumably, one wouldn't go out of their way to investigate a high-end restaurant called 'Skank's' or 'Taint', either (assuming excellent food was the goal). I think 'Norman's' is an unfortunate choice for a name, in an area that is in every other way capitalizing on image/style... I plan to dine there, but "a rose, by any other name.." ain't called Norman's :-)

          1. re: silence9

            You might be right, in a way. But...
            what would you say of a pair of crazy guys that dare calling their fledgling garage computer business "Apple" ?
            Nonsense, right?

            1. re: RicRios

              No, "Apple" is kind of snappy. "Norman's" to me conjures up a picture of some pudgy guy in a bowling shirt.

              I *STILL* want me some of that pig, though!

            2. re: silence9

              I think the name is less of a problem than their location. In my experience, foodies are suspicious of Sunset Strip -- good food and glitz don't go together. So, we avoid Sunset typically, unless we're trying to talk our way into SkyBar. And the party people on the Sunset Strip aren't interested in seriously good food -- they want glitz and glamour, which Norman's does not provide. It provides a professionaly wait staff serving excellently prepared and creative food. Lindsay Lohan and the rest of the US Weekly starlets aren't interested in that, so the rest of the sunset strip crowd can't be interested in that either.

              now that foodies have discovered Norman's, we're all probably heading up there from time-to-time. Hopefully that's enough to keep them afloat. But the fact that they offer drink specials during a nightly happy hour is really discouraging. Really good restaurants shouldn't have to do that.

          2. I'm definitely going to have to try this soon. The only problem is that I have to battle Friday traffic from OC.

            1. b

              I waited tables at Norman's for a while. Truly a quality establishment, from the top down. Norman, as genuinely un-LA as his name (from the Midwest by way of Florida) once proclaimed, during one of his monthly stays in the kitchen, "If Angelenos can get into sushi to the extent they have, they can get into this food too." I would like to think he is right. (Think about all of the keystrokes devoted solely to raw fish on this board.) I am convinced that the restaurant would have done much better in Santa Monica or on the beach than it has on the Strip. Perhaps location is the Devil in this case. All one can do to preserve it is to keep talking it up I suppose.

              1 Reply
              1. re: BubbleandSqueak

                I went last Friday with a friend to celebrate my birthday differently with the Pig in cache dinner.
                Wonderful is not descriptive enough! Everything people have touted is TRUE!! Word of mouth cannot be enough to tout this hidden gem. Hopefully it will survive or move to "the valley"

              2. After last night's roast pork at Norman's, I gladly join its chorus of praise: food, drink, ambience, service were all excellent.

                Of the two problems mentioned on this board, we didn't find the Friday traffic particularly congested (OC a different story, of course), and, parking? There are lots of free parking for the Sunset Plaza half a block away.

                1. I've also experienced the almost-empty house feeling on weeknights. How much of a crowd was there on Friday night?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: djdebs

                    I hope that everyone gives Norman's a try. Peter Birmingham is one of the best sommeliers in the city. He has a vast knowledge and will treat wine with respect, but is never pompous with it. The location is tough for fine dining, but please it is our responsibility as Angelenos to support "people" doing it right. Norman's is a restaurant that does it right: Good food, great wine and service.....go tonight.

                    1. re: djdebs

                      It wasn't packed, but the dining room was almost full.