Inspired by pork's versatility, some local chefs are going hog wild. Here are five unique takes on swine that are appearing on plates across the city.


Cuba native Luis Montesdeoca launched his beloved Tuesday-night pig roast in 1998, using his mother's recipe. He marinates a pig for 24 hours in citrus juices, oregano, garlic and bay leaves, then oven-roasts the animal for eight hours, until it's luscious inside, with crackling skin outside. The plate comes with black beans, rice and sweet plantains. 3615 Inglewood Ave., Redondo Beach, (310) 725-9075


Sunday nights at Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken's downtown restaurant, baby back ribs are rubbed with Latin chiles and spices before being roasted for four hours. The tender ribs are deboned, glazed with a sweetened serrano reduction and served with a shot of mistela -- a complex blend of Cachaca, herbs, cinnamon and honey. 445 S. Figueroa St., downtown L.A., (213) 486-5171


At his north Glendale gourmet shop, Michael Ruiz braises pork shoulder in pig and duck fats for eight hours with sweet Cara Cara oranges, bay leaves and spices. Before serving, he encloses the nearly caramelized meat with a glass dome and pipes in apple-wood smoke, then lifts the dome tableside to unleash enticing aromas. 3521-A N. Verdugo Road, Glendale, (818) 249-4971



Chiang Mai native Kanlaya "Nong" Sriyana specializes in spicy northern Thai dishes at her East Hollywood cafe, highlighted by fried ground pork cakes, a Nong original. She grinds pork, cilantro, garlic, onion, mint and red chiles (including the seeds for spice), then forms patties, which are baked and deep fried. Before serving, Nong tops her ferocious dish with fried garlic, crispy mint leaves and more chiles. 5101 Santa Monica Blvd., (323) 663-4211


Kyung Hah kick-starts palates at her home-style Korean restaurant with Jae-Yuk Boke-Um, a chile-blasted bowl of pork belly and kimchi. After sauteing vegetables with pepper sauce and sesame oil, she adds strips of belly at the end so they're not overcooked. The dish pairs well with beer, which helps extinguish the fire. 3189 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 387-0909


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