June 21, 2009
Big Pig Blowout at Campanile, Los Angeles
After reading about the Big Pig Blowout at Campanile to celebrate the restaurant's 20th Anniversary, I quickly picked up the phone and made a reservation. We arrived to a packed restaurant and were quickly seated in the atrium. It was the most wonderful dining area in the whole restaurant. With the kitchen to one side and natural lighting shining down from above, I could not have asked for a better seat. Since they were only serving the family style prix fixed meal at $20 a person, the only menu on the table was for the wines.
The white sangria was light and fresh with a nice fruity taste. It tasted more like a summer drink than the typical red sangria.
Cornbread with Honey butter
The cornbread was scrumptious. Definitely the most delicious cornbread I have ever tasted. It was moist, light, fluffy, and the perfect balance of sweet and corn flavor. The honey butter was a nice addition, but the cornbread was just perfect on its own. It was a wonderful start to the meal.
Spit Roasted Pig with Baked Beans
The roasted pig was cooked to perfection. The meat was juicy, tender and flavorful with just the right amount of fat. I could not have imagined a more perfectly cooked piece of pork. The beans were wonderful as well. Not cooked to mush like most baked beans I have tasted. These beans had a nice bite and tang that I really enjoyed.
The potato salad was inconsistent. Some of the potatoes were firm and slightly undercooked, others were overcooked and mashed potato like and others were cooked perfectly. The creamy sauce gave the salad a good flavor, but it was uninspiring.
The green bean were deliciously firm and crunchy. Tossed in a citrus dressing and topped with toasted hazelnuts, it was the best side dish.
Lobster and Corn Cobb Salad
The lobster and corn cobb salad was lacking in lobster and quality control. The tiny pieces of lobster was indistinguishable and some of the corn as cut too close to the cobb and made the salad inedible.
Classic Iceberg Wedge
The iceberg wedge was the least appetizing of the sides. The blue cheese dressing was under powering and over powering depending on which piece of the wedge was cut into. A waste of space on the plate.
Apple Crisp with Lemon Sorbet and Creme Fraiche
The apple crisp was disappointing. The lemon sorbet was too tangy and slightly bitter for my taste and did not go very well with the apple crisp. I also found the chewiness of the apple skin unappetizing.
Overall, it was a good meal. Cut out the dessert and sides and it was an amazing meal. The service was on point and the wait staff was very friendly. The dinner did feel rushed, and at $20 a person, I'm sure the restaurant was trying to turn as many tables as quickly as possible. The cornbread, roasted pig, baked beans and green beans were the highlights of the meal. With plenty of people behind the kitchen just standing around and chatting, more attention should have been paid to the side dishes. That could have made this meal exceptional. At $20 a person, it was a great price for the excellent food that did come out of the kitchen.
3.5 out of 5 Stars
624 South La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Valet is available and limited street parking.