I had an early affinity for Osteria La Buca, a neighborhood Italian restaurant that Graham Snyder opened in 2005, right when I was starting to write professionally about restaurants and worked nearby at Sunset Gower Studios. Since then, the space received a facelift and Stephen Sakulsky and John Moezzi grabbed the ownership reins.
When I arrived for my most recent dinner at Osteria La Buca, the sun was setting and Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel” played, a good sign. Still, what bode best was the semi-recent arrival of Chef Cameron Slaugh, a Utah native who previously clocked time at Eleven Madison Park and brings a seasonal approach to cooking.
One of my favorite dishes to date came from former chef Jason Neroni, now with Rose Cafe, who served a delectable pork chop. Chef Slaugh showed that pork chops still deserve the spotlight. His 20-ounce Pork Chop ($26) benefits from a 24-hour brine. They’re slow-cooked to medium rare, rested, and finished to order on the grill. Each rosy chop is sliced and glazed in aged balsamic. Accompanying oats are toasted and fortified with white wine and rosemary. Arugula luxuriates in rendered guanciale before joining sticky stock and oats. Salt, cracked pepper and lime juice help to complete the plate, along with fresh parsley. In cooler months, kale replaces arugula. Otherwise, the dish remains intact year-round, which works for me.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.