Tag Archives: great pork chops

Kurobuta Pork Chop – The House, SF

KUROBUTA (BERKSHIRE) PORK CHOP

Berkshire pigs, called Kurobuta in Japan, are  big black hogs that make phenomenal pork chops, bacon, and other meaty treats. They’re thought to be the oldest breed of pig from Britain. Kurobuta pigs have been finding their way through fine American restaurants, thankfully, to be served up by masterful chefs.

The House in SF’s North Beach District serves up one of the best pork chops I’ve had in 2009, and a likely meatmeister award-winning dish for this year.

Awesome Kurobuta Pork Chop - The House, SF

Awesome Kurobuta Pork Chop – The House, SF

First of all, the dish is beautiful and vibrant with a jet-black and orange swirl, plus bright green, purple, yellow and white on the plate. The purple and yellow potato crisps extend up from the back of the chop like a manic koi tail; this makes the thick body of the prok chop look like a prehistoric sea-beast plunging into the inky tar pits.  The pomegranate-current sauce really resembles tar pits, or a runaway oil slick, its purpleness darker than night. Slicing through the pork chop is like slicing through time. Each morsel is otherworldly.

Kurobuta pork chop (detail), The House - SF

Kurobuta pork chop (detail), The House – SF

The pork chop is perfectly grilled and thankfully, the pomegranate-curry sauce is not sweet.  The mashed-up potatoes propping up the chop are that right mix of slightly chunky but smooth. The potatoes and a couple asparagus spears cut the richness of the dish well, and the crispy purple potato sliver offers another textural contrast. A mix of New American and Asian flavors in perfect balance, the Kurobuta pork chop is terrific.

THE GRADE: Awesome (highest grade)

THE DAMAGE: $21

THE SKINNY: 

The House
1230 Grant Ave  (at Broadway St)
San Francisco, CA 94133

Phone: (415) 986-8612

 

 

The House, North Beach, SF

The House, North Beach, SF

Pork Chop (Town Hall, SF)

Peanut Tasso Crusted Pork Chop – Town Hall, San Francisco CA

Peanut Tasso Crusted Pork Chop, Town Hall, SF
Peanut Tasso Crusted Pork Chop, Town Hall, SF

The Dish: Peanut Tasso Crusted Pork Chop

I’m not a huge peanut fan, to be frank. Peanuts are like the chickens of nuts; you might enjoy eating them, but you probably don’t want to know where they’ve been before entering your mouth. But the peanuts reinforcing the crust of this Town Hall version of the pork chop are well suited. They provide sufficient Southern crunch and a mild, earthy undertone to the smokiness of the tasso (a Cajun dish enhancement staple that has a smoky, cayenne-bolstered pork flavor).

So the pork chop itself comes somewhere betwixt medium and medium-rare, the thick cut pork showing just a blush of pink. The soft, juicy interior’s textural contrast to the nutty, crunchy crust is a balanced counterpoint. It’s one of the best pork chops in San Francisco, to be lauded both for its flavor and its originality.

But another reason for this dish’s power is certainly the crafty selection and rendering of the accompaniments: wonderful, subtle, and smart. Town Hall acknowledges familiar and classic pork partners like fruit and winter vegetables, then reinterprets their presence entirely. Rich, dark apple butter swirls around the plate instead of the expected dollop of baked apple compote. A sprinkling of pomegranate , the crunchy, juicy seeds relating directly to both the sweet apple and the crunchy peanut exterior on the chop. The flavor relationships between the ingredients become as a whole deeper, more vibrant and, somehow, altogether correct, like a symphony. Described on the menu: peanut tasso crusted pork chop, butternut squash, apple butter.

The Grade: Excellent

The Damage: $24

The Skinny: Town Hall, 342 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA

Phone: (415) 908-3900

Website: http://www.townhallsf.com/

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