Last night, less than a month after Josef Centeno and Michael Cardenas opened The Lazy Ox Canteen in Little Tokyo, Centeno made his first bäco. It was on the chalkboard menu, scrawled discreetly above the crispy pigs ears with horseradish sauce and escabeche of branzino and whelk (also spelled welk, it's a sea snail, not an accordian-playing bandleader).
For people who have trailed the chef, from Meson G to Opus to Lot 1, where he had–albeit briefly–a whole menu of bäcos, this was happy news. Last night's bäco was a rough facsimile of the original, created for staff meal at Meson G some years ago, comprised of pork belly, arugula, slices of raw apple, and a melange of sauces, all atop the chef's grilled flatbread. Centeno isn't sure if his signature sandwich (think something between a gyro, a pizza and a taco) will be on the lunch menu when the Lazy Ox opens for lunch in a week and a half, on the 18th, but for now it's a limited nightly board special. Hey, whatever works.
Lazy Ox Canteen: 241 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles; (213) 626-5299.