Ask Mr. Gold 

Thursday, Jun 24 2004

QUESTION: When I was in Bangkok, a lot of the restaurants served a dish of plain rice topped with mustard greens and what tasted like a stewed ham hock — it was like the food I grew up on back in Texas, only Thai. Have you run across anything like that here?

—Bill, Eagle Rock

ANSWER: Red-cooked pork leg with pickled greens is a classic of Thai-Chinese cooking in Los Angeles, not spicy so much as piquant in flavor, and a dish that holds well, even improves, on a steam table. You’ll see it a lot at buffets in Hollywood and beyond — the version at Ganda comes to mind. The stewed pork hock at Krua Thai in North Hollywood is pretty good, especially when you catch it on a night when the meat has all but collapsed into a sweet, fragrant goo. But my favorite pork hock is probably the one served at Rodded, a café in the heart of Thai Town better known for its spicy duck noodle soup. Rodded’s hock is soft, supple, falling into pieces, a truly soulful rendition of the dish. And when you’re finished, you can have a plate of the best fried bananas in town. Rodded, 5623 Hollywood Blvd., (323) 464-9689.

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