Feature

Critics’ choice: Nose-to-tail dining’s new frontiers

B.O.S. | Le Petit Cochon | CBD Provisions

B.O.S. Los Angeles
“If you are going to eat a cow, you might as well eat all of a cow,” said Jonathan Gold in the Los Angeles Times. In today’s L.A., where such thinking has become so widespread that no self-respecting food blogger can ever again refuse an offer of grilled heart, this modest-size new restaurant on the edge of Little Tokyo has distinguished itself as the first in L.A. that’s fully dedicated to serving offal. It also may be the first whose menu features a “liver of the day” and where you’re likely to hear waiters sighing about the unavailability of lungs. The emphasis is on bovine innards, and because there’s a delicacy to virtually every preparation, “the effect is more or less curated cow.” Some dishes barely register as offal: “A child could eat the tacos stuffed with lightly fried sweetbreads without comment,” and the tripe “calamari” really does resemble good fried squid. “There are many flavors inside a cow,” it turns out. The beef heart that replaces tuna in a tataki dish offers “basically the same luxurious mouthfeel” as the fish but with “the clean, beefy flavor of rare steak.” 424 E. 2nd St., (213) 700-7834

Le Petit Cochon Seattle
Finding a date for dinner at Le Petit Cochon can be a tall order, said Providence Cicero in The Seattle Times. A few taps on a smartphone will bring up a menu that’s loaded with daunting options—a pig’s face here, duck feet there. But by the end of the night, forks are practically guaranteed to be competing for the “pig-face fritter,” a fried nugget of pork that rises out of “a sweet sea of carrot-rutabaga soup.” Chef Derek Ronspies renders the meat “both melty and crisp,” a trick he performs again with his “tempura corn bellies,” which are like corn dogs made of pork belly, and that arrived nestled in a caraway-flecked cabbage slaw. The duck feet never stop looking like feet, but they “offer great rewards for fried-fat aficionados.” The menu “remains interesting right up to the end,” but the squeamish don’t have to wait for dessert time’s foie gras doughnuts to fill themselves up. “If there’s a signature dish at Le Petit Cochon, it’s the ‘phat-ass’ pork chop”—an expertly cooked, 2-inch-thick hunk of meat that’s “rightly named on all levels.” 701 N. 36th St. No. 200, (206) 829-8943

CBD Provisions Dallas
The halved pig heads served at this new Texas brasserie are treated with great care before they arrive at your table, said Scott Reitz in the Dallas Observer. Harvested from Berkshire hogs, they’re brined for five days, cooked sous vide for 18 hours, and basted regularly while they roast in an oven. Disassembling them can be a “somewhat grisly” task for a family out for taco night, but the rewards are great. Tender, succulent meat pulled from the skull and jawbone share the cutting board with cracklings “that rival kettle-cooked potato chips” in their crispness. Chef Michael Sindoni is proving himself a master of nose-to-tail cooking. His braised tripe, topped with chorizo and paprika, is “capable of converting the most devout haters,” and his pig’s tails painted with barbecue sauce are “surprisingly meaty.” “Not everything served at CBD is grit and guts,” but offal clearly brings out Sindoni’s best. 1530 Main St., (214) 261-4500

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