Crispy Pig Ears at Lazy Ox Canteen
Everybody says you should order off the chalkboard specials at Lazy Ox Canteen, a small-plates restaurant with a decidedly meaty bent in downtown LA. But if you did that, you wouldn't get to try their best dish: pig ears with a mayonnaise-y dippin' sauce. The pig ears are deep-fried, salty, and lime-y, like chicharrones, and have a gristly, fatty texture you either love or hate: crisp, buttery, and chewy, all at the same time. Cut into strips, they were perfect for sharing, with a glass of crisp Scrimshaw pilsner.
Lazy Ox, a small, casual, insanely popular new restaurant, is the latest sign that formerly creepy and deserted downtown LA is becoming the new hot spot. Housed inside the bottom of a prefab condo building, the restaurant had a number of standout specials, too, including an incredibly rich farro dish with melted bone marrow (our dining companion remarked with delight: "It's amazing how they can make a healthy dish so unhealthy!"), and albondigas (meatballs) covered in a rich, mildly spicy, and creamy poblano and cashew sauce.