On Friday and Saturday nights at Bestia, chef Ori Menashe orchestrates a whole suckling pig, one each night, like a weekend floor show. The restaurant is a warehouse-chic jigsaw of metal and brick and glass built into what was once an actual downtown loft so close to the railroad that you could hear the trains blow by at night above the din of hipsteropolis — a terrific setting for the Fergus Henderson school of whole-animal cookery that Menashe practices. The Sonoma pigs are brined for 24 hours in fennel and orange and juniper, then roasted over more fennel and garlic in the white oak–fired oven, as central to the open kitchen as the hearth in a Bavarian forest hut. Once roasted to a dark copper, the pig comes to rest in its entirety on a board, carved up and served bone-in, with Anson Mills polenta and whatever greenery Menashe currently favors. There may be some apples, which is fitting — if only to signify the beautifully medieval aspect of the dish. 2121 E. Seventh Place, dwntwn. (213) 514-5724, bestiala.com. —Amy Scattergood

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