Flying Pig Cafe (Los Angeles, CA)
Flying Pig Cafe
141 S Central Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Dining date: 7/28/11
Flying Pig Truck is probably one of the more popular food trucks in LA and one of the few to successfully make the leap to a physical storefront thus far (it seems to be the next step for food trucks nowadays). I’ve had a chance to try the truck once for their signature pork belly buns, and I thought they were just okay. It wasn’t enough of an impression to make a special trip out to their restaurant. However, when it opened up right where I live, I knew it was only a matter of time until I found myself here.
House special crab cakes
I thought these were pretty solid, especially at $7 for a pair. I’m not sure it was real crab, but it had good flavor while the cakes were light and crispy. I would’ve preferred them to be served a little warmer, though.
Uni Pasta 6oz of fresh uni, spaghetti
The uni pasta, on the other hand, was rather one-dimensional. I thought the uni and pasta were incongruent as there wasn’t a noticeable sauce holding everything together. The ratio of pasta:uni was too high, so I would’ve appreciated less pasta (more uni was probably too much to ask for).
Ahi LA marinated short ribs, rice, mango slaw
I thought the flavor of the grilled short ribs was pretty good, though there wasn’t a lot of it. The mango salsa was solid, adding some sweetness and acidity. However, much of the dish was the brown rice and broccolini, which I found to be fairly plain.
Oxtail marinated oxtail with FP sauce
I thought this dish fell flat. Disappointingly, the oxtail didn’t have a ton to offer – I wanted some rich, beefy flavors that weren’t present here. Similar to the short rib, I thought the vegetables and starch could’ve been incorporated better.
Flying Pig Cafe was a bit of a disappointment. Admittedly, I didn’t have very high expectations, but those weren’t met either. The crab cakes started fairly strong, but I felt the rest of the dishes were conceptually disjointed and lacking in finesse.
What a bummer on the Flying Pig front. I dug the truck quite a bit! Oh, well… There’s so much goodness to eat in your hood.
It is unfortunate…but yes, luckily there are many other good options!
How crowded was it? When I walked by when it first opened, it was insane. Past couple times it has seemed pretty quiet.
I went a number of weeks ago now. It was maybe half full. I’ve seen it fairly empty every time I’ve walked by recently, as well.
I went a few weeks back through an offer on a dining deals site and to coincide with my visit to Art in the Streets. The service was a total mess and the present staff had no idea abut the deal we were attempting to claim. The nice waiter kept throwing his hands up and telling us he’s just a friend of the owner who was called just to come work because they were unexpectedly busy (it’d probably be a good idea to sufficiently staff your new restaurant, especially while a huge art show is closing up the street) and the food arrived SO slowly. One more permanent staffer was fairly rude about our desperation to eat something and in general, the place left a bad impression that it was taking a food truck approach to a restaurant and not the other way around. I’d like to see it do well, but there are much better options in Downtown right now competing with Flying Pig to go back.
Ouch. I had heard nightmarish stories about the service before going in…but somehow the service when I went was fine. Not flawless, but fine. Especially considering our server admitted that it was his first day. I agree that they need to step up their game especially in the DTLA/LT area. From other reviews I’ve read lately, it doesn’t seem like that’s happened yet.
As a former employee of the truck the owner did not know anything about running a food business. Everybody who worked on the truck left one by one until it was only a handful of us left and I left to work at Rivera afterwards.
The cafe was a total waste of time and I am glad I did not stay for it, felt sorry for the employees who stuck around but even they have left by now.
Also the seafood curry ramen uses packaged flavoring mixed with some curry powder.
Thanks for weighing in, Johnny. Clearly, you’re not the only one sharing those sentiments.
johnny i worked there too. joe is a big lier with just to hire people with false promises during job interview. he would said i pay you this much and work full time. those words never happen. foods are over priced . you can have beef taco for one dollar in many place and taste better so why pay more than double in flying pig truck!!!!!
Well that’s unfortunate. I’m surprised they’re opening another location given this LT spot is always empty.