Not all successful restaurant groups have celebrity chefs or a big name owner. Global Meat Company operates 10 brands in Japan and Los Angeles, most notably Manpuku and Izakaya Hachi. Their latest izakaya resides in a Costa Mesa strip mall and specializes in bincho grill dishes, but does so much more in support of their “global meat” mission.
My friend Victor Tam is a regular at Izakaya Hachi Torrance and turned me on to their multi-stage Pork Shabu Shabu ($40). Thin-sliced Berkshire pork loin and belly arrives on a wood box with a plate of raw vegetables: Napa cabbage, spinach enoki mushrooms, and white fish cakes sporting pink spirals. Flash boil the fat-rimmed meat and veg in cloudy, fat-rich Kurobuta pork broth. Finish with a bamboo tray of springy ramen with broth clinging to each noodle. Izakaya Hachi calls this a “wholesome finish,” a stretch at best, but damn good.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.