Pork belly is exasperatingly ubiquitous in Los Angeles. Every eatery seems to have a signature pork belly dish – a pork belly sandwich, or pork belly tacos, et cetera. In Venice, I visited a sandwich shop called Pork Belly's, and in Koreatown, there is a restaurant that serves "8 flavours of pork belly."
Pork Belly Chips (Beer Belly, Koreatown)
pork belly, sweet onion sugar, tabasco aioli
Chewy, bland, and paired with an acrid sauce – one of the rare plates in my life that I did not clean. My waitress graciously removed this atrocity from my bill.
Popcorn Bacon (Black Hogg, Silver Lake)
bite-sized house-made bacon morsels, maple crema
Or: Popcorn Pork Belly.
A nothing appetizer. Unlike pork belly chips, however, this one was at least mildly palatable.
Chicken Cracklin Sandwich (The Hart and the Hunter, Beverly Grove)
chicken skin, bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado
Chicken skin > pork belly.
thebomb.com (Petty Cash Taqueria, Mid-City)
guacamole, sea urchin, chicharrones
Lives up to its name.
Pig Ear Nachos (Petty Cash Taqueria, Mid-City)
crema poblana, soft egg
A waste of pig ear. It could have been any meat.
Steak Fries (TLT Food, Westwood)
marinated steak, asian slaw, homemade wontons, cilantro chimichurri
An atypically fresh fries dish that I ordered instead of pork belly nachos.
Death by Duck (Beer Belly, Koreatown)
duck fat fries, duck skin cracklins, duck confit, raspberry mustard dipping sauce
My favourite fries dish that I ate in Los Angeles. It could use some more duck meat.
Galbi Poutine (Seoul Sausage Company, Little Osaka)
8 hr. braised short ribs, twice fried french fries, cheese, kim-chi pickled onions, avocado lime crema
Honourable mention fries dish.
Cheesy Churros (Petty Cash Taqueria, Mid-City)
butternut squash mole dip
I expected, like, cheesy bread, not cheese-dusted choux. The dip didn't help.
Cheesy Weezy (The Alibi Room, Culver City)
grilled sourdough with cheddar, peanut butter, caramelized bananas, salsa naranja, sesame seeds
It was like a vegetarian Elvis.
[The Alibi Room is the famed Kogi BBQ food truck's brick-and-mortar outpost, serving the same menu plus alcoholic beverages.]
53rd and 6th Lamb and Rice (Black Hogg, Silver Lake)
roast lamb belly, jasmine rice, harissa slaw, garlic cream
A fancy play on the lamb platter by New York City's famed 53rd and 6th Halal Guys food cart.
Zeek Po' Boy (Uncle Darrow's, Marina del Rey)
catfish, shrimp, tater salad
The best thing I ate in Los Angeles. Immensely satisfying.
Butter Biscuits (The Hart and the Hunter, Beverly Grove)
cinnamon honey butter, pimento cheese, blackberry jam
Stupendous buttery wonders. Wish they were bigger.
Deep Dish Apple Pie (Al Gelato, Beverly Hills)
3 layers of apples, homemade caramel sauce
The slice I received was like eight inches tall (hashtag Jason Biggs). Way too much apple – tart apple – wrapped in a crappy dough.
Snickers Pancake (Beer Belly, Koreatown)
pancake, snickers, whipped cream, syrup
You can't see it, but this brunch item is also studded with chunks of Snickers.