2852 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Dining date: 5/4/12
Black Hogg opened in March and has quickly become a popular destination in Silver Lake. Early reviews I’ve read note long waits for the no-reservation tables and bold, flavorful cooking. The food is very much gastropub-like, composed of mostly small plates meant for sharing and a few more substantial large plates. It’s hard to be a gastropub without alcohol though, and Black Hogg is still pursuing its alcohol license. In the meantime, it’s BYOB with no corkage (nice!).
The chef of Black Hogg is Eric Park, who has The Spotted Pig and Eleven Madison Park on his resume – I’m pretty sure Black Hogg’s cuisine more closely resembles the former. The menu offers a number of intriguing options; since there were just two of us dining this evening, we didn’t want to go too crazy. We probably still over-ordered, ordering three of the smaller plates and three of the more substantial plates.
Popcorn Bacon, Maple Crema
This has to be one of their most notable dishes so far. I’m not sure why I haven’t seen this before, but these were bite-sized chunks of bacon that were deep fried – think popcorn chicken, not corn popcorn. I think the pork was braised before frying since it was so tender; hard to go wrong with something like this and it was definitely tasty albeit very rich. A maple crema was a nice sweet accompaniment.
Uni Toast, Scallion Vinagrette
I thought the toast was a bit dense here, but I liked the cool uni with the sesame oil vinaigrette and the cool bite of scallions.
Pork Belly Tacos, Fuji Apple Slaw, Jalepeño Relish
This might’ve been the most successful complete dish of the evening for me. Chunks of pork belly (again) were topped by a crisp, sweet apple slaw and a spicy jalapeño relish. I found each ingredient to be very well balanced, between the richness of the pork, cool acidity of the slaw and the spiciness of the jalapeno. Quite nice.
Longaniza Sausage Hash, Fried Egg
I found this dish to have a good balance too. Spicy sausage, green peppers, onions, and both red and purple potatoes were accompanied by a fried egg and warm tortillas. I liked how all the flavors came together; simple and satisfying.
Fat Tire Ale Battered Cod and Ruffled Chips
The cod was fairly typical in preparation – moist and flaky, though I thought the batter could’ve been a little crispier. Ruffled chips were a fun accompaniment – some were delightfully crispy while some (especially those that stuck to other pieces) were on the oily, soggy side.
Buttery Lamb Burger, Habanero Onions, Onetik Bleu, Fries
We ordered this burger medium-rare, and I think I’m being a little generous by saying it came out medium-well. Still, it was fairly juicy with a little bit of gaminess working in tandem with the funky bleu cheese. Not bad.
Black Hogg was one of the better gastropub-type meals I’ve had recently, which isn’t to say it didn’t have its faults. I found the ‘untypical’ pub dishes to be more interesting than typical ones such as the fish & chips and burger. Highlights for me were definitely the popcorn bacon and pork belly tacos; because the food is so heavy, coming in larger parties is probably recommended. It’s definitely grub that would go well with alcohol, so I’m curious what they’ll bring to the mix once they get their alcohol license.