Monday, April 09, 2012

Black Hogg: When hipsters lie down with lambs

Black Hogg's cod n' chips with waffle fries
There's no place more emblematic of how much Silver Lake has changed in the past few years than the  new Black Hogg. Once home to L.A. Chinese, known as "The scariest restaurant in L.A.," it's now a sleekly spare room with hand-crafted looking plywood furniture and a window fronting on Sunset Blvd. A few antique mirrors on the back wall serve as the only decoration; thankfully, the lighting fixtures are LED rather than the ubiquitous filament.
Right now it's the place everyone wants to be, from TV stars to adorkable couples, and the wait can be painful. (Hint: If only four-tops are available, see if another couple wants to share -- you may make some new friends.)
The food is gastropubbish in nature, and not entirely as piggy as the name might suggest. A Black Hogg is apparently a young sheep, so the signature burger is a lamb burger with blue cheese ($17). A liquor license is still in the works, so a trip to Sunset Beer or Silver Lake Wine beforehand is highly recommended.
9 lettuce salad with ricotta salata
Nearly everything (save the oysters on the half shell) is buttery or fried or meaty, and vegetarians are not particularly well accommodated. The menu's lone salad, a messy heap of nine lettuces with grated ricotta salata ($10), was somewhat one-note but slicked with a nice lemony dressing.
herbed chicken liver with chicken skin garnish
Spicy chicken liver was piled on toast in a sloppy heap with an alarming dog food-esque color ($7). Aesthetics aside, the zingy, herbed take on chopped liver was rustic and delicious, enough for four people to share. Perky pieces of fried chicken skin set sail on top, vaulting the presentation into decadent territory.
Most everyone orders the fried olives or fried "popcorn bacon," but we saved our oil rations for fish 'n chips ($15). Matt was crazy for the ruffled chips, which fall somewhere between crispy potato chips and fried potatoes and would make a terrific bar snack with a good dipping sauce. The fish itself was bland, though perhaps that can't be helped with cod, but we liked the crunchy nut-brown ale batter. We skipped dessert, as the angry mobs waiting for tables looked ready to break out the pitchforks.
Verdict: Black Hogg is fun and buzzy, though a little uneven in its first weeks. I love this kind of greasy, over-the-top meatiness at a casual drinking spot like Beer Belly, but I'm not sure I like it as much in a real restaurant. Add a few creative vegetable small plates to vary the non-stop pork parade, and we'll talk.
Black Hogg
2852 Sunset Blvd.

 Black Hogg on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

philippe garnier said...

Pat, you didn't try the brussel sprouts with anchovies, zut alors. . .

How are you? Would like to have dinner sometime so you can meet my new girlfriend of three years already, Eva Gardos. But Cannes is looming. . . . Maybe in June, to dispel the gloom?

Yes, isn't that something, the scary Chinese redux. I don't know ANYONE who dared eat there. Maybe Dashiell Hammett when he was researching Red Harvest.