At Bestia, the industrial chic, primarily Italian restaurant in downtown L.A.’s Arts District, chef Ori Menashe’s passion for pork (and whole animal butchery) knows no bounds. The latest evidence arrived in the form of Pan-Fried Ciccioli ($14), a pork cake from Italy’s Emilia Romagna region that’s traditionally crafted from spare pork parts.
At Bestia, where no scrap of any animal gets left behind, they form the cake from neck meat, shoulder meat, rib eye and collagen-filled trotter, which helps to bind the united Dose of Vitamin P. Together, the parts cook down with white wine, and then they’re formed into a terrine. Each slice gets a light coat of breadcrumbs and pan-fries with butter and olive oil. As you might imagine, this is not an innately light dish, but Menashe and his crew balance the plate by adding pears, creme fraiche, pea tendrils, pickled fennel and fennel pollen.
It’s no surprise that Bestia continues to produce out tasty creations from parts that less enterprising chefs might allow to go to waste. After all, getting maximum mileage from overlooked ingredients is the Italian way.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.