A carnivorous follower asked @latimesfood this week where to get suckling pig in L.A., which led deputy Food editor Betty Hallock and restaurant critic Jonathan Gold to offer these suggestions, sending at least one of us, ahem, to Eagle Rock for suckling pig tacos that night.
In some cases, you’ll get that shattering, crispy skin with the tender flesh. In other instances, you won’t, but the porky goodness is there. It’s all there.
Keep in mind that some of these recommendations are time sensitive - they’ll be coming off a menu soon or they’re only available during certain days of the week.
But if you want that pig -- and why wouldn’t you? -- here’s where you can find it.
AOC‘s suckling pig confit is served with coconut rice, lemon grass sambal, bok choy and fried skin. The small-plates restaurant, which moved from Melrose Boulevard to 3rd Street a few months ago, serves the large dish, meant to be shared, every night. The new spot offers this bonus: a full bar with 150 wines and where you can get martinis named Sancho Panza, 3rd Street Hotel and the Lebowski.
At Bestia, chef Ori Menashe roasts a whole Sonoma suckling pig in his wood-burning oven on Friday and Saturday nights. The weekly arriving pigs are brined for 24 hours with orange zest and herbs such as fennel, rosemary and juniper berries, then roasted with white oak until the meat is fall-apart tender and the skin is crackly and burnished. It’s served over Anson Mills polenta and Menashe’s housemade mostarda. Get in there early, because it sometimes sells out.
The suckling pig tacos at Cacao Mexicatessen in Eagle Rock will be available through Tuesday. They’re served on freshly made tortillas and garnished with slivered radish and pickled onion. The rotation of taco specials at Cacao, which started as a Mexican deli of sorts and has now expanded to include a bar and second dining room, is worth checking in on. Some weeks you will be surprised: scallops in sea urchin butter. Other weeks you will just be comforted. The signature taco is made with duck carnitas, which will taste more porky and assertive than their carnitas.
The lure of the roast suckling pig at Alhambra’s Lunasia is strong, especially the crackling, sweet, golden wisps of skin. The dim sum house serves steamed shrimp dumplings, turnip cakes pan-fried in XO sauce, steamed luscious chicken feet and fried wings with spicy salt. So while you may crave dim sum for dinner, that pig shouldn’t be ignored.