Technically, Restaurant Week started on January 22, but dineLA teamed with KCRW on a preview dinner, featuring the entire three-course menu and appearances from KCRW Music Director Jason Bentley and Matt Holzman of Matt’s Movies, who joined 50 adventurous people in eating Talesai scion Kris Yenbamroong’s aggressive Thai cuisine. My favorite dish of the night of course involved pork, and it paid tribute to the northern Thai city of Chiengrai.
Yenbamroong’s stew – Hanglay Hang Moo Teen Moo – starred tails and trotters slow braised in a flavorful red oil slick seasoned with palm sugar and pickled garlic cloves, which soaked up residual pork jus, infusing the skin until it became almost candy-like. Textures varied as gelatinous cartilage and juicy meat hid behind the dish’s many bones. The topping was crisp, julienne ginger, which didn’t exactly lighten up the dish, but did at least distract my taste buds from the unabashed richness.
Chiengrai Stew has got to be the natural gateway to “startled pig,” a pork dish that Yenbamroong apparently assaults with chilies and spice. Yes, these types of dishes actually exist on the Sunset Strip, which may be even more startling.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.