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Grilled heritage pork rib chopEXPAND
Grilled heritage pork rib chop
Michele Stueven

Pork Chop Perfection From Yours Truly

Let’s face it, pork chops are just something we give a fleeting look on L.A. menus. They’re tempting at first glance, but never seem worth the gamble and you just end up going for the security of a juicy overpriced ribeye instead. Still a little old school in the current California cuisine climate, the grilled chops have been eclipsed by their trendy porchetta cousin.

It’s time to take a second look. Chef Vartan Abgaryan has elevated the lowly chop to new heights and is alone worth the visit to Abbot Kinney’s newest neighborhood restaurant, Yours Truly, in Venice. The light and airy beachy spot is “a love letter to food, L.A. and the neighborhood” from Vartan and partners Dave Reiss and Paul Pruitt.

The grilled heritage pork rib chop is enough for two, charred to perfection on the outside with juices running from the inside. The bone is separated from the loin with just enough meat on it for a satisfying gnaw. The pink meat is dusted with sesame, fleur de sel and topped with about a dozen whole soft and sweet garlic cloves that have been slowly poached in milk and then preserved in olive oil. The dilemma is whether to allow them to melt in your mouth whole or smear them across the chop. The plate is served with sautéed rainbow chard (stems included, thank you) that still has a gentle bite to it. This is not your parent’s pork chop.

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Abgaryan’s modern California cuisine combines ingredients from the Middle East, Asia and his Armenian roots for dishes on the menu like a crispy octopus with strawberry harissa, lebni, walnut dukkah and pickled strawberries. The asparagus with pistachios, tarragon and calamansi vinegar with orange and grapefruit supremes is the perfect family style accompaniment to the exalted chop. For starters, try the avocado hummus drizzled with salsa macha, peanut, lime and warm house-made zaatar flatbread.

In addition to a selection of wine and beer, beverage director Brian Butler of A-Frame and Sunny Spot fame has created an interesting low alcohol by volume cocktail menu. The Yours Truly Tonic, made with white port, juniper, lavender, cucumber and citrus is a good cool-down match to spicy offerings like the Nashville hot shrimp.

Yours Truly, 1616 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; (310) 396-9333 ytvenice.com

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