100 Favorite Dishes

23: The Tasting Kitchen's Pork Rillettes

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Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 12:12 PM

click to enlarge The Tasting Kitchen's rillette - A. SCATTERGOOD
  • A. Scattergood
  • The Tasting Kitchen's rillette
Celebrating this year's Best of L.A. issue -- now out in print and online -- we're counting down, in no particular order, 100 of our favorite dishes.

23. The Tasting Kitchen's Pork Rillettes:

Deciding what to order at The Tasting Kitchen, the Abbott Kinney restaurant run by chef Casey Lane that has been one of the best restaurants in the city pretty much since it opened, is always a happy quandary. You might ask if Lane has been breaking down whole animals recently, or what form the many pastas, made daily in the small kitchen, might have taken. You could certainly order the chicken wings, a glorious tower of laquered poultry that comes with a rolled damp towel (a slice of lemon, a sprig of rosemary), as if you somehow wandered into a swank Korean barbecue restaurant. You could just close your eyes and stick your fork on the menu and let the restaurant's household gods decide.

But whatever you choose, you should really start with the rillettes, a rustic ode to pork that comes shaped into an enormous quenelle, with a bit of tangled greenery, a ramekin of whole grain mustard and some pieces of the glorious housemade bread, nicely charred by the kitchen fires.

This is French peasant food re-envisioned by a chef who tracked here by way of the Pacific Northwest and who has been having, it would seem, a grand time in his adopted city. Lane opened The Parish this fall, and has a third restaurant -- Itri, in the space formerly occupied by Evan Kleiman's late, lamented Angeli Caffe -- in the works, but the upswing in his projects hasn't seemed to have taken any toll on his Venice kitchen. The rillettes are coarsely built, the shreds of confit pork laced with fat and black pepper, and they knife easily onto the pieces of bread, the mustard, parsley and frisée serving as tart counterpoint to the the lush meat. If you were at the Gold Standard event this past March, you may have tasted them. But if you'd like the distinct pleasure of eating the dish in better surroundings than an auto museum, you might pull up a chair at the restaurant's high communal table, with folks so pleasant that the last time I went there a man shared his plate of chicken wings for no other reason than he saw me staring at them, entranced. I'd have shared my rillettes, had he not already ordered, and happily consumed, his own.
Check out the rest of our 100 of our favorite dishes. Suggestion? Write us a comment.

100: Lukshon's Dan Dan Noodles
99: Cemita de Milanesa at Cemitas Poblanos Elviritas #1
98: Chichen Itza's Cochinita Pibil
97: Tsukemen at Tsujita L.A.
96: La Cevicheria's Bloody Clam Ceviche
95: Duck Shawarma at Momed
94: Peruvian Chicken at Pollo a la Brasa
93: Squash Blossom Quesadilla at Antojitos Carmen
92: Thai Boat Noodles at Pa-Ord
91: Baco Mercat's Bazole
90: Furikake Kettle Corn at A-Frame
89: Live Santa Barbara Spot Prawns at Providence
88: Fried Pig Tails at Night + Market
87: Egg Salad Sandwich at Euro Pane
86: Galbi Jjim at Soban
85: Truffle Honey-Laced Fried Chicken at Manhattan Beach Post
84: Mool Naeng Myun at Yu Chic Naeng Myun
83: Chicken Vampiro at Mexicali Taco & Co
82: Sooo Cali Dog at Dog Haus
81: White Anchovy, Tomato and Fresno Chile Pizza at Pizzeria Mozza
80: Shu Mai at Elite Restaurant
79: Tandoori Chicken at Al-Watan
78: Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding at The Hungry Cat
77: Agedashi Tofu at Izakaya Bincho
76: Pork Chop at Salt's Cure
75: Porcetto at Sotto
74: The Sea Urchin Tostada at La Guerrerense
73: Wood-Roasted English Peas at Tar & Roses
72: Persian Mulberries at Weiser Family Farms

71: Hunan-Style Preserved Pork with Tofu at Hunan Chilli King
70: Brisket Banh Mi at Gjelina Take Away
69: Yukhwe Bibimbap at Oo-Kook Korean BBQ
68: Lamb Pie at Beijing Pie House
67: Son of a Gun's Uni and Burrata
66: Pastrami Reuben at Art's Delicatessen

65: Beef Koobideh at Kabab Mahaleh
64: The Whipper Burger at Hawkins House of Burgers
63: Slippery Shrimp at Yang Chow
62: Whole Channel Island Red Sea Urchin at Water Grill
61: Going Dutch Panini at Bread Lounge
60: Huckleberry's Green Eggs & Ham
59: Pickled Watermelon Salad at L&E Oyster Bar
58: Spaghettini with Abalone, Pickled Cod Roe and Truffles at n/naka
57: Brown Brown Bread Ice Cream at Scoops Westside
56: Smothered Chicken at R and R Soul Food
55: Duck Fried Rice at Jar
54: Taco Sampler at Guisados
53: The Sycamore Kitchen's Double BLT-A Sandwich
52: House Wonton Soup at China Cafe
51: Almond Croissant at Proof Bakery
50: The Southern Fry at Plan Check Kitchen + Bar
49: The Dodger Dog at Dodger Stadium
48: Papaya Salad at Krua Siri
47: Lucky Baldwins' Traditional Full English Breakfast
46: Edomae Tendon Bowl at Hannosuke
45: The Pescado Zarandeado at Coni'Seafood
44: Hot Wings at Beer Belly
43: Raw Kale Salad at Elf Cafe
42: Steak Tartare Tacos at MessHall
41: Banh Mi at Buu Dien
40: Sicilian Slice at Pizzanista
39: Grilled Baby Goat T-bone at Mozza's Scuola di Pizza Salumi Bar
38: Papri Chaat at Jay Bharat
37: The Island Combo at TiGeorges' Chicken
36: Tacos Al Pastor at Tacos Leo
35: "Sandwich" at Roma Italian Deli
34: Bossam at Kobawoo House
33: Cauliflower T-Bone at Superba Snack Bar
32: Pupusa Revuelta at Atlacatl
31: Bonjiri Yakitori at Kokekokko
30: Crispy Pork with Morning Glory at Crispy Pork Gang & Grill
29: Sashimi Special at Sushi Gen

28: Tamal de Mole Negro at Guelaguetza
27: The Hickoryburger at Apple Pan
26: Lobster Thermidor at Musso & Frank's
25: Poached Pear Coupe at Tavern
24: Coconut Bavarois at Red Medicine

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