LAReview

In the 1890s, Claude Monet painted a series of impressionist pieces of the Rouen Cathedral. There are more than 30 of them, and each one looks almost completely different, because he made them in rented apartments with distinct views of the cathedral. Monet wasn’t trying to capture the cathedral itself, but rather, how light shone on its exterior - so some paintings are beige, some are dark green, some are blue, and some are bright red.

That’s a lot like a meal at Spoon & Pork, the Filipino comfort food spot on Sunset. If the name doesn’t make it abundantly clear, the three-foot-tall neon pig above the door will: There are enough pork varieties here to rival Monet’s cathedral perspectives - adobo pork nigiri, pork belly banh mi, deep-fried pork shank, adobo pork belly, lechon kawali. And each dish shines in its own distinct way.

The adobo-glazed, twice-cooked pork belly, served with a fried egg, rice, tomatoes, chives, and fried garlic, is so tender you can use your fork to flake off pieces. The lechon kawali, on the other hand, is the same cut of meat, only deep-fried, resulting in a hunk of pork belly that’s crisp and intensely crunchy on the outside, but so soft on the inside that it melts in your mouth.

Spoon & Pork review image

The star of the show here, and the thing everyone should order, is the patita. This slow-cooked (then deep-fried) pork shank is absolutely massive - big enough for two - rubbed with an excellent chili garlic mixture, and served with jasmine rice. It’s also just $22, a pretty incredible deal considering we’ve gotten less meat for twice the price at fancier restaurants, and it didn’t taste nearly as good.

If it sounds like a meal at Spoon & Pork can be a bit of a one-note affair - that’s not far from the truth. The main knock on this place is that, while the iterations of what they serve are different, at the end of the day, it’s still a lot of pork, and a lot of oil. The menu doesn’t have much balance, and even the best non-pork dishes (like the fried chicken, or the short rib-topped caldereta bravas) are heavy, fried, and - while highly worth your time - will still leave you feeling ready for a nap afterward. The lightest dish on the menu is probably a very good, very vinegary rice porridge. But even that’s topped with fried chicken skins.

Then again, balance isn’t why you eat comfort food. You eat it to feel like you’re at home, even if it’s just for a minute. If that’s the goal, Spoon & Pork achieve it in a big way. They also manage to do it while presenting pork in interesting, innovative, and (above all else) delicious ways. And they didn’t even have to rent a single apartment in Rouen to do it.

Food Rundown

Caldereta Bravas

Our favorite way to start a meal at Spoon & Pork - these are their house patatas bravas (twice-cooked home fries), covered in goat cheese, olives, and short ribs. It’s a funky, stew-like combination of flavors that we really like.

Spoon & Pork review image

Patita

The patita is a pork shank, slow-roasted, then deep-fried, then doused in chili and garlic vinegar, then eaten by you in one sitting, even though it could have easily lasted another meal or two.

Spoon & Pork review image

Arroz Coddled Egg

If you’re not looking for anything too heavy, this porridge is your best bet. The garlic and ginger could have come through a bit more in the porridge, but the chicken chicharrons on top gives this a nice crunch.

Spoon & Pork review image

Pork Belly Banh Mi

One of the most interesting banh mis around, this one has pork belly with a tocino (Filipino bacon) glaze, pâté, peanuts, and chicharrons. Which, even just writing it out, seems like too much, but when you’re eating it, you’ll be happy about it.

Spoon & Pork review image

Chori Burger

The simpler of the two sandwich options, this is a very solid chorizo burger with a fried egg on top, and a nice acidic, sweet, and crunchy apple slaw underneath.

Spoon & Pork review image

FGC

You can’t go wrong with either the FGC (Filipino grilled chicken) or the fried chicken. We give a slight edge to the FGC because of how well it goes with the accompanying charred scallions and tomato.

Spoon & Pork review image

Vegetable Sides

You need some vegetables on the table with all this pork. You’ve got three options - the eggplant (pictured) is tender but not too mushy, and the salted egg cream underneath complements it nicely. The Brussels sprouts are frizzled and nice and crunchy, and the garlic and oyster sauce on the mushrooms is super addictive. If we’re here with someone else, we usually just get all three.

Spoon & Pork review image

Featured in

.
The Best Restaurants In Silver Lake guide image
Guide
The Best Restaurants In Silver Lake

26 great restaurants in Silver Lake.

The Best Filipino Restaurants in Los Angeles guide image
Guide
The Best Filipino Restaurants in Los Angeles

From pork adobo to house-made Spam, here are 14 of our favorite Filipino restaurants in LA.

Where To Get Affordable Takeout In LA guide image
Guide
Where To Get Affordable Takeout In LA

33 spots offering great food for around $15 right now.

The LA (Takeout) Dinner & A Movie Guide guide image
Guide
The LA (Takeout) Dinner & A Movie Guide

Where to order from, and what to watch: We pick some of our favorite spots for delivery, and pair a movie with them.

Suggested Reading

.
Mh Zh review image
Review
Mh Zh

Mh Zh is a Mediterranean spot in Sunset Junction and home to some of the prettiest (and most delicious) food you’ll find on the Eastside.

Sqirl review image
Review
Sqirl

Sqirl is a perpetually-crowded cafe/bakery in Virgil Village and our favorite brunch spot in LA.

Alimento review image
8.2
Review
Alimento

Alimento is Silver Lake’s neighborhood Italian restaurant where you can have a formal experience in a relaxed setting.

Ma’am Sir review image
Review
Ma’am Sir

Ma’am Sir is an excellent modern Filipino restaurant in Silver Lake.