Hock + Hoof: Butchering Barriers
Within the cultural collage of our bustling city, various concepts of cuisine and ambiance have begun to swing fast through our food and drink scene. As the options begin to stack up, it’s only natural for a mental pendulum to sway the opposite direction, in search to fulfill a perceptual appetite of a setting that doesn’t appear to be over manufactured or synthetic. When a pendulum is at rest, not swinging, it hangs straight down. This position is called the "equilibrium position." This is where you will find Hock + Hoof, comfortable, still and confident, weighted by the belief of classic approaches, innovative flavors and uniting a neighborhood with damn fine food.
The tunes of Bone Thugs-N- Harmony, Tupac and Snoop are the perfect welcome to the joints upbeat and audacious atmosphere. Hock + Hoof, much like early West Coast rap pioneers, is sampling classic techniques with new bold ideas. In other words, changing the game when it comes to expression of food, culture and different cuts of the animal used.
This new lively joint is run by three absolute badass names in the food and beverage industry. Mastermind chef and creative force Kat Hu exudes an addicting flow of lively energy, “We created exactly where we would want to hang out.” Justin Yi is the backbone in the kitchen, determined on his principle of “ trust — it’s the biggest thing. This is our home, we are here seven days a week with a full staff working together.” Sunny Lam is behind the bar, a master mixologist of a menu spearheaded by Soju concoctions, “this is chill, respectful service in a relaxed atmosphere.”
Kat’s mind wanders for a moment, “Listen, I’m a weirdo, I live for controlled chaos.” Well, from brunch to dinner, chaos never tasted so good. Slice into the Fried Chicken on pandan egg puffed waffles with a coconut reduction. Revel over the Burrata with Asian pears and osmanthus honey — edible art in its finest form.
The Duck Breast with wok cabbage and ancient grains is simply celestial, mouthwatering yet? Then there is the almighty Beef Heart Tartare, bound together with egg yolk, apple pear and a rice cracker. Literally — eat your heart out Angelenos.
Pair any dish with one of Sunny’s Soju imbibes like the ‘Why So Celery’ mixed with Soju, lime, celery, cayenne, mint, bitters and tonic, and you won't ever look back.
Kat adds her final wisdom mixed with laugher “We just want to play. Colors, flavors — it’s a puzzle to us.” So, Maybe Hock + Hoof is more of a puzzle than a pendulum. Whichever way you choose to look at it, this isn’t just cuisine, it’s community. These are not just recipes, they are respectful revelations in the purest form. Hock + Hoof is dangling in the middle of a very noisy food scene, and doesn’t need to swing in any direction to prove itself. It’s right where it needs to be, arriving to introduce inventive flavors to our city. Hock + Hoof is the delicious piece in our DTLA culinary puzzle that we’ve all been waiting for.
Written by Travis Platt | Photography by Robiee Ziegler