Insights, tips, and restaurant reports from CHOW editors and Chowhound.
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At Porky’s, the pig’s the thing, unsurprisingly. Following a hound tip, kjs wandered into this place and found excellent, smoky and tender pulled pork. It makes a good sandwich too, with a boatload of BBQ sauce.
Brisket has some gristly bits, but wilp says it’s usually awesome. Ribs are spice-rubbed, meaty and tender. Nothing comes up short on flavor.
Chicken dishes look good–smoked and fried–but no one ever seems to get around to trying them.
Sides tend to be on the sweet side. Dirty rice is really good, slaw is above average and macaroni and cheese standard-issue stuff. Potato salad is the mustardy kind, and tastes like there’s a touch of curry in there, too.
Prices are kind of high for ‘cue, but you get a lot: a combo plate of two kinds of meat, Texas toast and two sides is $18. But that’s 12 ounces of meat, guaranteed. A more economical option is a sandwich: the pulled pork one is just $5.
Porky’s BBQ [South LA]
801 E. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood
porky’s bb on manchester
Chinese American joints in SGV serving Western food are a fantastic deal–at K.T. Grille, a $4.25 breakfast gets you bacon, eggs, toast, tea or coffee, and oatmeal or macaroni soup. Go before 6 p.m. and get an early-bird special of quail, pork chop, or fish fillet, plus soup of the day, for $6.95. It’s all reliably good, says kure.
Along the same line, try Regents Cafe and/or ABC Cafe, says cfylong–you can’t go wrong.
KT Grille [San Gabriel Valley]
501 W. Garvey Ave. #108, at Ynez, Monterey Park
Regent Cafe [San Gabriel Valley]
1411 S. Garfield Ave., Alhambra
ABC Cafe [San Gabriel Valley]
100 N. Garfield Ave., Monterey Park
At the Valencia Street branch of Ali Baba’s Cave, you can get a dish called Ohzi Al-sham. It’s a baked filo pastry, about five inches in diameter and three inches deep, weighing about a pound. Inside you’ll find lamb, pine nuts, basmati rice, almonds, and peas. The bottom is soaked in a spicy, pepper-infused oil. zippo pronounces it one of the best Middle Eastern dishes ever. It costs $4.50, and they also have a vegetarian version.
hankstramm likes it, too, but warns that you have to get it fresh–if it’s been on the steam table too long, the bottom of the pastry gets tough and chewy.
Ali Baba’s Cave [Mission]
799 Valencia St., San Francisco
Ali Baba’s on Valencia
David Sloo has been going to La Bodeguita del Medio for a decade, and the quality of the food has been variable. However, he thinks that they’ve hit their stride, and he can now recommend the place for the excellent food–not just the lively atmosphere and rummy rum.
He recommends the oyster shooters–good-quality oysters served in a shot glass, adorned with cocktail sauce, a generous dose of grated horseradish, and habanero rum. The rim of the shotglass is dipped in salt and powdered habanero, making for an intense and delicious experience for non-crybabies. Lamb chops are thin and elegant, grilled beautifully with lots of cumin. Surf-and-turf (a piece of grilled skirt steak and a couple of grilled shrimp) was delightful years ago, then started to be overcooked and lame, and now looks delightful again. And “the purple mashed potatoes are the sort of thing you’ll like if you like that sort of thing,” says David Sloo.
La Bodeguita del Medio [Peninsula]
463 S. California Ave., Palo Alto
Bodeguita del Medio: the quality returns