Flying Pig Truck, a new mobile eatery specializing in (surprise!) pork-themed tacos and other items, rolled out last Friday. (Thanks to Eater LA for the heads up on this.) Run by two chefs who recently graduated from the California School of Culinary Arts, the Cordon Bleu program in Pasadena, and staffed by graduates of the same school, Flying Pig markets itself as high-end street food with “Asian and Pacific Rim flavors with French technique.” Owner Joe Kim is one of the two classically trained chefs and says that he came up with the idea not just to capitalize on the recent food truck trend, but to use the truck as a testing ground for the restaurant he'll be opening up early next year.
Kim says he'll open Butalanai restaurant on Beverly near Fairfax within the next 6 months, serving some of the same upscale pork-influenced small plates that Kim and fellow chef and CSCA grad James Seitz are debuting on Flying Pig. Right now Flying Pig dishes include braised pork belly with red onion escabeche; tamarind duck tacos with pickled beet salad and toasted almonds; and Flying Pig fries with saba, parsnip and black garlic aïoli.
Kim says he hopes his brick-and-mortar restaurant will move along quickly (one of Kim's previous careers before culinary school was in construction), but until then he's enjoying a test run, as it were, in the truck. Look for Hawaiian influences on both menus, as Kim has spent a lot of time in surfing Hawaii. “I moved to California because of the surf,” says Kim a surfer and New York native. As for the name Butalanai, Kim says he made it up by combining the Japanese word for 'pig' with the Hawaiian for 'heaven'. “If the pig flies high enough, it'll land in heaven,” said Kim yesterday. Or on Beverly Boulevard.
To find Flying Pig truck, check out their website or follow them, of course, on Twitter