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>Czech Improved White vs. Vietnamese Potbelly

It reads like a veritable list of representatives to the United Nations.*

Tasty pork goes beyond Hampshire and Yorkshire. It goes beyond Middle White, Large White and Large Black.

Restaurant menus love flaunting the particular breeds of swine they sous-vide, pull, smoke, etc., etc. Their current crush breed is Berkshire (a black pig) or kurobuta ("black pig"). I know black is beautiful, but how about some fair representation.

Last Wednesday, I had late dinner at Kokkari where happy mayor Gavin Newsom (obviously still uninformed of the oil spill) was celebrating his win.

Time to pig out.

>pikti, terrine of Berkshire Pig trotters & head with radishes, cucumber & black olives - Kokkari Estiatorio, San Francisco

>pork chop with fontina, spinach and caramelized shallot stuffed kurobuta pork chop with sauteed sweet potatoes and granny smith apples with haricot verts and brandy cream sauce - the Fig Tree, Charlotte, NC

>satsuma marinated grilled Yorkshire pork loin with purple yam hash; shishito pepper and white truffles - L'Espalier, Boston, MA

*A sample of our proudly international hog reps - may the best pork win!

American Landrace, Bantu, Basque Black Pied, Beijing Black, Belarus Black Pied, Belgian Landrace, Black Slavonian, British Lop, Bulgarian White, Canadian Landrace, Cantonese, Czech Improved White, Danish Duroc, Dutch Landrace, Estonian Bacon, Finnish Landrace, French Landrace, German Landrace, Iberian, Italian Landrace, Japanese Kurobuta, Latvian White, Lithuanian Native, Mexican Wattled, Norwegian Landrace, Philippine Native, Poland China, Russian Large White, Swedish Landrace, Swiss (Schweizerisches) Edelschwein
, Tibetan, Ukrainian Spotted Steppe, Vietnamese Potbelly


>acacia honey and sweet 100 tomatoes

There is finally a there there in Oakland. (Rockridge, honorary Berkeley, doesn't count.)

Soft-opening of restaurant Flora (located opposite the beautiful Fox theater) yesterday soft-marked a new era of exciting downtown nightlife.

The building couldn't be any prettier. People will flock to this former floral depot no matter what, I promise. (Alas, no liquor license yet...).

Just look at the menu.

Since I couldn't find their online menu yet, I am printing it here myself.

Flora Restaurant Dinner Menu


-soup of the day
-little gem lettuce, red thumb potatoes, hard cooked egg, caramelized shallot, shaved pecorino, black truffle vinaigrette
-mixed chicories, gravenstein apples, shaved fennel, point reyes blue, pomegranate vinaigrette
-red wine braised short ribs, pan gravy, crispy potatoes, cheddar cheese bechamel
-scallop crudo, serrano chile, cucumber, cilantro, fried garlic, yuzu, soy, hawaiian red salt
-house crafted wild mushroom and sheep's milk ricotta ravioli, mushroom broth, fried sage, pomegranate, shaved pepato cheese


-prosciutto wrapped swordfish, green risotto, citrus soup, olive oil
-grilled new york strip, housemade worcestershire, horseradish cream, potato gratin, sauteed spinach
-spiced and grilled giant shrimp, beurre monte, cauliflower pudding, grilled tardivo

-pasta norma - bucatini, eggplant, olives, marinara, ricotta salata, olive oil
- " with crisp pork and beef meatballs
-grilled chicken breast, lemon-caper sauce, mashed potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts
-house ground carmelized onion and chuck burger, french fries, 3 bean salad
- " with mccadam cheddar cheese
-butternut squash pancake, creme fraiche, roasted beets and fennel, green salad
-pan roasted duck breast, fig and port reduction, wilted cabbage, sweet potato puree


-mashed potatoes
-sauteed spinach
-cheddar fries
-green salad
-cauliflower pudding


-warm apple galette, butterscotch ice cream, acacia honey

-meyer lemon, huckleberry, pomegranate-orange sorbets, crisp ginger cookie
-peanut brittle ice cream sundae, hot fudge, whipped cream, roasted salted peanuts
-buttermilk panna cotta, muddled huckleberries, shortbread cookie
-affogato-cardamom ice cream, hot blue bottle espresso, almond batons
-chocolate souffle, cacao nib creme anglaise

Yes, I wll definitely be there, there, again.

All right, all right, here's their lunch menu, too.


-soup of the day
-arugula, roasted red peppers, roasted red onions, pecans, sheep's milk feta, red wine vinaigrette
-avocado green goddess, little gems lettuce, applewood smoked bacon, cucumber, sweet 100 tomatoes, radishes, garlic croutons
-dungeness crab and shrimp louie, tomato, avocado, hard cooked egg, little gems lettuce, classic louie dressing
-red leaf lettuce, baby bok choy, shredded chicken, mango, celery, daikon, spicy red peppers, cashews, bean sprouts, mint, thai basil, cilantro, vietnamese-stye sweet lime-chili vinaigrette


-cubano - ham, roasted pork, swiss cheese, house cured pickles, mustard, rustic roll, cabbage slaw
-saltimbocca - sliced chicken breast, prosciutto, mozzarella, lemon sage aioli, greens, poppy roll, potato salad
-grilled persimmon, robiola cheese, acacia honey, arugula, levain bread, 3 bean salad
-tuna melt - house preserved local albacore, red bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, ginger, soy, cheddar cheese, greens, rustic roll, chili-orange noodles
-house ground caramelized onion and chuck burger, fries
- " with mccadam cheddar cheese


-butternut squash risotto, leeks, ricotta salata, dressed greens
-grilled chicken breast, lemon-caper sauce, mashed potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts
-grilled escolar, jicama, grapefruit, sweet potato puree

No wine list yet - why don't you try some Boylan's birch beer or Ancient Forest black tea?


>roasted lamb belly and whole pork butt bo ssam

A late night visit to this East Village ssam bar can be a bewildering experience.
Where's the sign? (There is no sign).
The "bar food" is 3 notches above the usual fare. I am perfectly willing to frequent bars if they had food like this. The only complaint was their chintzy portions.

I am printing their menu in its entirety, since it hardly resembles anything elsewhere. I've put asterisks on the items with accompanying
pictures (courtesy of my sister). The price for the last item on the menu is worth a mention. Bo Ssam, (wrap, "whole butt" here) which you have to reserve in advance, is $180.00.

Momofuku Ssam Bar Menu, one night in October

Raw Bar

*Glidden Point Oysters (ME) - with kimchi consomme
Cracked Epress Jonah Crab Claws (ME) - 1/2 dozen with yuzu mayo
Cured Hamachi - edamame, horseradish, pea leaves
Diver Sea Scallops (ME) - lemon puree, pickled cherries, seaweed
*Santa Barbara Uni - tapioca, whipped tofu, scallions

Small Dishes

Seasonal Pickles
Steamed Buns - pork belly, hoisin, cucumber, scallions
Bread & Butter - sea salt butter (VT), St. Helen's Farm goat's butter (England)
Four Story Hill Farm Chicken Ballotine (PA) - porcini mushrooms, walnuts
Spicy Squid Salad - celery, sichuan pepper, red chili
*Wagyu Beef Tartare - pinenuts, pear, ginger, scallion

Country Hams

Finchville Farm's Country Ham (Finchville, Kentucky)

Burger's Smokehouse Ozark Country Cured Ham (California, Missouri)
Edward's Wigwam Smoked Ham (Surry, Virginia)
Benton's Smoky Mountain Country Ham (Madisonville, Tennessee)


Red Jacket Cortland & Mutsu Apple Salad - Benton's bacon, lychee, peanuts

Satur Farm Fried Cauliflower - chilies, mint, fish sauce
*Tello's Chawan Mushi - maple syrup, smoked trout roe


Banh Mi - three terrine sandwich

Warm Veal Head Terrine
*Grilled Veal Sweetreads - pickled roasted chilies, lime
Crispy Pig's Head Torchon (Newman's Farm, MO) - red adzuki beans, spicy mustard

Fish & Shellfish

Old Bay Pan-Fried Skate - roasted fingerlings, preserved lemons, spicy aioli

Steamed Manila Clams - duck sausage, kimchi, poached egg


*Roasted Lamb Belly (Four Story Hill Farm, PA) - Mountain Sweet Berry Farm's swiss chard
Pork Spare Ribs (Newman's Farm, MO) - tomatillos, yukon golds, mustard seeds
Pan-Roasted Dry Aged Ribeye - shallot confit


Momofuku Ssam -with flour pancake, pork, onions, shiitake, edamame, red kimchi puree
Grilled Lemongrass Pork Sausage - fish sauce, bibb lettuce
Marinated Hanger Steak Ssam - ginger scallion, kimchi, bibb lettuce

Bo Ssam - whole butt, dozen oysters, kimchi, rice bibb lettuce

I *peach* New York.