“If you’re Jewish, then why do you eat pork?”
This is a question I am asked a surprising amount, by people who have no idea that there are, in fact, a large number of Jews who eat pork. A particularly good place to indulge in such heathen activities is Black Hogg in Silver Lake.
Black Hogg Chef Eric Park worked under award-winning chef April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig in New York City—a woman whose website slogan is simply “a girl and her pig.” It is safe to say both chefs have a true understanding of the succulent pleasures a pig can generate.
When Black Hogg first opened in Silver Lake in 2012, it got mixed reviews. This shocked me; Black Hogg has one of the most creative and mouth-watering menus I have ever laid eyes on. As I looked further into said mixed reviews, I realized the people reviewing Black Hogg not only had little appreciation for pork, but also probably considered chicken fingers an eclectic food. One review from early 2013 reads:
“Octopus on the “grilled octopus chana masala” is tough and rubbery, the chickpeas and potatoes so aggressively spiced and salted that no clean flavors shine through.”
The author also goes on to describe the menu as “aggressively meat-focused,” as if that were a bad thing. I wonder how one could ever eat any type of ethnic cuisine and describe it as “aggressively-spiced” without deeply offending the chef. I once read something along the lines of “white people destroyed three-quarters of the world for spices and have the nerve to not season their food,” which seems fitting here.
Black Hogg’s pork belly tacos with fuji apple slaw and Jalapeño relish are the perfect Mexican-Asian combination—extremely juicy and refreshing with a precise pork belly to relish ratio. For more adventurous eaters, I would highly recommend the bone-marrow street corn with cotija cheese and chile piquin, a dish reminiscent of the spring street fairs in New York City. Chef Park manages to evoke all types of nostalgia as well with the 53rd and 6th lamb and rice, a dish he describes as “reminiscent of the fare at the famous Halal cart on 53rd and 6th in NYC.” This diversity of meats on the menu is impeccable and pleasantly surprising.
Black Hogg is a culinary establishment not to be missed by anyone, even vegetarians. The egg-in-a-hole mushroom toast with poached egg, hen of the wood and shimeji mushrooms on brioche encompasses a richness so heavy both quinoa and quail-lovers will be satisfied.
With the passion of a thousand kosher pigs,
*Note: Follow @oxytigerchow on Instagram and Twitter for more delicious photos!