Passing Opinion Off As Fact Since 2009

Passing Opinion Off As Fact Since 2009

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My Favorite Thing: July 2010

The Country Style Pork Chop with Cornbread-Chorizo Stuffing and Santa Rosa Plum Salsa at Lucques.

Lucques is a cozy, particularly humble, damn-great LA restaurant that is ran by the (apparently) remarkably talented Suzanne Goin. The restaurant is very ingredient focused and rooted in a de rigueur New American worldliness. The menu reads so overly simple and spare that it is easy to overlook, which I sadly had done for 14 months in LA. The aforementioned pork chop more than validates the overall quality of the restaurant, it justifies the existence of this order of chefs.

Listing it as “country style” effectively exists as a wink at some sort of homespun rusticity. One bite and I literally laughed in response to the obviously obscene level of skill necessary to both prepare and conceptualize the dish. This is not home-cooking.

“Melt in your mouth” is such an overly cliché phrase that I have never ever once thought to use it as a description, yet two bites into my consumption of the chop and I used it with a first-timers vigor. My first assumption was that maybe it was all a lie, that I was eating not swine but some newly discovered beast of maximum deliciousness. More likely, however, is she sourced a higher quality of pig than I might have ever before had the luxury of being presented.

I have never been an ingredient for ingredient-sake type of eater, as the result is often lazy or at least not particularly compelling. This one dish confirmed that deep down there is a point to it all. Celebrating a chef for her ability to shop might be hard to swallow, but I assure you, in truly gifted hands, the end product is most definitely not.

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