In back rooms of Chinese restaurants across the San Gabriel Valley, families and friends hold banquets on a nightly basis, with menus that were often negotiated weeks or months in advance to honor birthdays, anniversaries, marriages and more. At Elite Restaurant in Monterey Park, which is best known for dim sum, I’ve now enjoyed multiple feasts in their private dining rooms, and Sunday was my first time trying their porcine specialty: suckling pig!
All of the pig’s prized organs were mysteriously missing. However, instead of having LAPD detectives unlock the internal riddle, I started dismantling the remaining half (hooves included). The animal sported crispy skin and featured a grid of deep slices, which made it easy to pluck from the bed of seaweed salad. Accompaniments consisted of thin-shaved scallions, savory hoisin, and sugar, all designed to join the pig meat in steamed clamshell buns. I steered clear of sugar, since the juicy roast pork already had enough natural sweetness.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.