It took Sotto co-owner Zach Pollack to reinvigorate a space near the Silver Lake Reservoir that last served food in 2008. The chef and L.A. native, who helped distinguish the Beverlywood restaurant as a bastion of Southern Italian cuisine, turned to the boot’s northern half to find inspiration for Alimento, which only opened in June, but is already on its way to feeling like a neighborhood fixture. He’s got house-made pastas, large format platters topped with pork shanks and whole fish, and a particularly memorable pork dish: Pig in a Blanket.
“It’s kind of like if you take a Dodger dog and break it down with very cool Italian ingredients.” That’s how my server described the $11 plate, which Pollack thought of after visiting Modena during a R&D trip. That’s where he ate messy late night sandwiches filled with mortadella and Stracchino, a cow’s milk cheese with a consistency that borders on yogurt. Pollack braises thick-cut mortadella before searing and serving the firm slab on flaky spelt-fueled “rough puff” pastry with pickled mustard seeds, tangy summer tomato jam, a pickled turnip kraut called brovada, a soft, creamy cow’s milk cheese called stracchinata, and a drizzle of red wine vinegar to brighten up the rich proceedings.
Pollack plans to substitute Stracchino, now that he’s found a reliable supplier. Regardless of the cheese he chooses, Pig in the Blanket is a hit that requires two hands, and if you’re looking to go deep with Alimento’s menu, at least one tablemate to split the (Heath) plate.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.