No. 68: Whole Pig Roast at Haven Gastropub

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Dave Lieberman
Hey, kids: guess what time is it? It's time to restart that Long March known as 100 Favorite Dishes (INSERT YEAR). YEAH!!!

Hey, don't ding us for listicles: Weekly DataLab studies show ustedes love this gimmick, launched in honor of our coming Best Of issue. Besides, it is rather fun to do this for us Forkers--an opportunity to highlight dishes from restaurants we'll never fully review, or secrets from old standbys. Anyhoo, let the march begin...

There's something primal about going with a group of people and ordering a whole roasted pig. Maybe you're channeling Robert Baratheon as he feasts away the hours until his murder; maybe you're giving free rein to the hunter in you, long squashed by years of Excel spreadsheets and meetings with doughnuts. It doesn't matter.

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Once the pig is displayed in front of you, you cease to be civilized. You start off innocently enough, allowing the hapless Haven server to slice the first pieces of meat, but eventually you're sucking, chewing and gnawing your way through every ounce of meat a benevolent god put on the animal for our delectation. Ears, trotters, cheeks, spleen. You leave trails of porcine gristle and splashes of side dishes through the corner of the restaurant. Once outside, you let loose a roar of satisfaction that can be heard from Francoli, much to the bemusement of elderly antiquers prowling the south side of the Circle.

It's only a matter of time before you branch out and find the quasi-legal carnitas tents that spring up throughout the Southland on weekends, because like Mike Tyson, you will be intoxicated by the taste of ear. When that happens, the words you're looking for are dos tacos de oreja, por favor. Until then, keep the memory of your pig roast with you.

The list this year:

69. Chingaderas at Smoqued BBQ
70. The Continuous Ramen Chronicles at The Playground
71. Shrimp & Grits at Slapfish
72. Bacon Cotton Candy at Biggy's Meat Market
73. Urban 3b at Urban Seoul
74. Waffles & Chicken from The Slummin' Gourmet & Waffles de Liege
75. Ahi Tuna Tartar at Nieuport 17
76. Chicken Wings at Hashigo Korean Kitchen
77. Brussels Sprouts Pizza at Pizzeria Mozza
78. Breakfast Sausage Hash at Thasos Greek Island Grille
79. Chocolate Doughnut with Jacobsen Sea Salt at Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee
80. Loco Moco Dog at Dogzilla
81. Fruit Tart at Le Croissant Dore
82. Daing Na Bangus (Marinated Milkfish) Silog Breakfast at Chowking
83. Strawberry Basil Lemonade at Mick's Karma Bar
84. Lemongrass Chicken Salad at Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop
85. Tofu Soup at Tasty Thai
86. Take-Out Dim Sum at Capital B.B.Q. and Dim Sum Express
87. Hodo Gwaja at Cocohodo
88. Popcorn Chicken Salad at Guppy House
89. Fried Okra at Memphis Soul Cafe & Bar
90. Salted Egg With Bitter Melon & Scrambled Egg at Tasty Noodle House
91. Boysenberry Lemonade from Bautista Creek Local Produce at SOCO Farmers' Market
92. Scallop Carpaccio with Curry Oil and Yuzu Vinaigrette from Cafe Hiro
93. White Board Specials at Taco Adobe
94. Coney Dog at LinX
95. Halal Pizzas from San Giovanni Pizzas
96. Clayuda at El Fortín
97. Lunch Buffet at Dosa Express
98. The Meats at Darya in Orange
99. Panocha at Taquería Zamora
100. Bean-and-Cheese Burrito from Del Taco

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Location Info

Haven Gastropub

190 S. Glassell St., Orange, CA

Category: Restaurant

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