Last time we poked around inside Pork Belly's Sandwich Shop in Venice, the namesake slabs of swine were winning over customers in the Abbot Kinney location, even if some people couldn't handle all that fat. But owner Jon Swire has always been looking beyond his diminutive Venice space, with an eye toward pushing the concept into other corners of Los Angeles.
Step one came in the form of a food truck, offering limited lunchtime service in Santa Monica and Hollywood, with the occasional private catering gig. Now, Pork Belly's is hitting the next inevitable stage: a pop-up.
Beginning today, Pork Belly's is putting together a monthlong stand inside the existing District 13, at the corner of Cahuenga and Selma. The move is fitting, considering that shop's reliance on its own meat selections, with bratwursts, duck and bacon sausages, and an alligator andouille for folks really hankering for a taste of the bayou. But the Pork Belly's drop-ins, running every Monday and Tuesday night from 6 p.m. to midnight, will bring in the Westside shop's own fatty flavors.
Sandwiches like the classic Belly Up, a decadent and smoky pork belly affair topped with coleslaw on a brioche roll, come as a combo with a choice of tater tots, fried pickles or mac and cheese. There's also a chopped chicken sandwich on offer, plus an array of salads to satiate those customers that can't handle so much meat — though, of course, you can layer the protein of your choice on top of a light kale salad, should you so choose.
Perhaps best of all, the weekly pop-ups will include a half-rack of pork ribs option, served with that same mac and cheese, baked beans and corn bread for $16. And, Pork Belly's will be piggy-backing (hehe) on District 13's existing craft beer and wine list to offer libations with its meals.
The rounded-out menu and alcohol availability makes the Hollywood pop-up feel like a real first run at testing the Hollywood customer base to gauge interest in porky late-night sandwiches and simple, meaty entrees. And with the recent proliferation of places like Roadside Eats and other BBQ-leaning operations, it sure seems like there are plenty of willing eaters.
Pork Belly's Hollywood pop-up inside District 13 runs Mondays and Tuesday from 6 p.m. to midnight, through the month of January.
Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. Farley Elliott writes about food, drink and entertainment at OverOverUnder.com.