Crispy Pork Gang isn’t a very well-known place in Thai Town. It gets overshadowed by the popular Ruen Pair next door. And there are at least a couple of dozen restaurants in the area that are more popular. However, I was attracted to what they were specializing in: crispy pork. Think about it – fried pork belly. Can’t get any better than that, right?
So I went after slurping a bowl of boat noodles from Sapp, around 11am on a Saturday. I was the only table. I ordered the crispy pork w/ morning glory, which was featured fairly recently as part of LA Weekly’s 100 Favorite Dishes column. The crispy pork is interesting – it’s only crispy initially, then the tiny porcine cubes kind of dissolve into dried, chewy pork belly. Not exactly a revelation, as I prefer my pork belly soft, melty fat pieces, but still a very enjoyable plate.
The pad gra pow, with the same crispy pork stir-fried with basil, garlic, Thai chili, and thousand year-old eggs, was actually a little better than the version w/ morning glory. I think the sauce for the pad gra pow was just better – the version w/ morning glory had a hot bean sauce of sorts. Overall, Crispy Pork Gang & Grill differentiates itself with some interesting dishes involving crispy pork, but doesn’t necessarily separates itself from the pack in Thai Town.
However, there is one amazing selling point for Crispy Pork: it’s open 24/7. That’s right. I didn’t stutter. Ruen Pair, GTFO with your 4am closings. If you’re hungry for some drunken grub after Harvard & Stone or just want to get a 4th meal in at 5am, this is your spot.
Chris Hei grade: B
Crispy Pork Gang & Grill
5253 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027