The humble pork chop might seem like a relic in the meat world, but this cut has proven to have the kind of staying power that defies trends. In 2016, pork chops are seemingly even more popular on L.A. dinner menus. Local Kitchen & Wine Bar, Maire Byrne’s Thyme Cafe spinoff in Santa Monica’s Ocean Park, is on board with pork chops.
Stephen Murray first started cooking with Steve Samson and Zach Pollack at Pizzeria Ortica at South Coast Plaza and spent time at Bay Area restaurants like Michael Chiarello’s Bottega before returning to Southern California to take his first executive chef position.
Murray is currently serving a Niman Ranch Duroc bone-in 10 oz pork chop ($26) with Swiss chard, peach mostarda, and pistachio pesto at Local Kitchen. He starts by brining the chop for one hour, cold-smoking with applewood for just 10 minutes, and grilling to order at medium. Accompaniments include Swiss chard sautéed with a sofrito of shallots and garlic. Pickled Swiss chard stems join the mix at the end to boost acidity and crunch. Chunky peach mostarda benefits from spicy mustard oil. Pistachio pesto features a rough chop with garlic, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and extra virgin olive oil. In full, the meaty chop sports a championship level grill marks and achieves good balance thanks to the accompaniments.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.