Sometimes you just get a craving for pig, and a measly couple of pork chops or even Chi Spacca's massive Tomahawk chop won't cut it. You want roast pig, preferably with a crackling skin and moist, succulent flesh. Here are three places to satisfy the craving. Note that usually roast pig must be ordered in advance.
Eva's Lechon has been roasting Filipino-style whole pigs in a room-sized oven since 1980. This isn't the kind of place where you just walk in and buy some pig. You have to order it three to five days in advance and set a pickup time. There's no pork on view when you arrive at a gritty storefront decorated with pig memorabilia. Your little piggy arrives in a cardboard box, and it has shatteringly crisp skin and succulent meat. The house sauce, made of pork liver and bread, comes on the side. Order a whole roasted pig for a big party and you've got it covered.
4252 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, (213) 383-3179, http://www.evaslechon.com. Quarter pig (serves 12), $75; half pig (serves 25), $150; whole medium pig, $225, large, $235. Cash only.
Every couple of years, friends and I order a roast suckling pig from a San Gabriel Valley Chinese restaurant. This year it was Lunasia in Alhambra. We started with some dumplings and then Dungeness crab roasted in the shell with chiles and garlic. The pig arrived in all its glassy, crackling splendor, already hacked into pieces and then put back together again, so irresistible we had to force ourselves to slow down. It would have served 10 or 12 easily. We were just six and still managed to do some serious damage. I made fried rice the next day with the leftovers.
500 W. Main St., Alhambra, (626) 308-3222, http://www.lunasiachinesecuisine.com. Roast suckling pig, $238. Order a few days in advance.
The Factory Kitchen
For daintier appetites, might I suggest Angelo Auriana's porchetta at downtown's Factory Kitchen? Instead of using the whole pig, the former Valentino chef rolls up pork belly with fennel and black pepper and slow-roasts it. The texture is sublime, just a touch crunchy on the outside. Underneath, the flesh is tender, almost custardy, the essence of porky goodness. The porchetta has become my go-to main course at the 3-month-old restaurant. Right now he's also got wild boar braised in Rosso di Montacino and, at lunch, a panino porchetta.
1300 Factory Place, Los Angeles, (213) 996-6000, thefactorykitchen.com. Porchetta $25; panino porchetta $14; wild boar brasato $28.