One of my favorite spots in Little Tokyo lives again in the FigAt7th Taste Hall.
It’s been a number of years since my friend Jonathan first introduced me to Flying Pig in Little Tokyo (Website link broken). I ate there, had their Duck Fried Rice, had their Pork Belly Buns, had a beer. They’re basically Gua Bao, but Japanese style…only…I gotta say, these were always my favorite in town. No if ands or buts about it.
Flying Pig started out as a Truck, and eventually moved into it’s space just outside the Japanese Village in Little Tokyo…
…and no one was coming.
Flying Pig was my bad mood meal for a while. If I was in a bad mood, I’d hop in my car and get down there. Mostly because I needed the Duck Fried Rice, but also because I was going to support this place if it killed me.
When I saw the new Liquor License with another Restaurant’s name on it, I knew the end was night. I came a few more times to get in my last licks.
That…was supposed to be it.
Then I’m walking around FigAt7th, I’m working on my piece for Gentaro Soba, by…you know…having some Soba, and there I see it.
Oh dear Lord, she lives again.
SHE LIVES AGAIN!!
I actually called Father to tell him it lived again. And the next day, I made plans to come back.
And come back I did.
Things have changed a little bit. The space is way smaller. You can’t get beer here (at least not that I saw), the Pork Belly was a touch overcooked.
But I didn’t care.
I was happy, joyous and well fed.
And if I have to support this place again, you watch me.
Okay, and now to the food:
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: You’re getting the Duck Fried Rice. Trust me, you thank me for it later.
It’s a lovely bowl of duck confit, some veggies and…of course…an egg. That along makes it wonderful, but there’s a dash of…what? I’m not sure. It may be Sriracha, but it tasted a bit sweeter than that.
Anyway, the bowl sent me to a happy place. Do we have a challenger for my new happy place, supplanting Wurstküche?
Ehhh, not yet. But it came damn, damn close.
Besides the Duck Fried Rice, I also love me anyplace that has Bao Buns. Now they come in several varieties, but I dove in for the Pork Belly. What made these special was the addition of Japanese pickles. So imagine: soft, sweet steamed bread, a hunk of fatty, buttery pork belly, and sweet and sour pickles. Come, you know want that. EVERYBODY should want that.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: The main thing is going to be seating. Taste Hall, even on weekdays, gets packed. So if you want to sit comfortably and eat your food, you might want to get here a little ahead of the 12:00 pm lunch crush.
Also, the Food Court location doesn’t seem to have a Liquor license, so don’t expect any Kirin or Sapporo Black.
I haz a sad.
PARKING: Okay, FigAt7th has a…unique parking situation. It shares it’s structure with a number of other Office complexes around it. You can park for the facility at Levels P1, P2 or P3. You’ll enter at Level P7, and the have to spiral downward to P6, P5, P4, etc.
Got it? You enter in at the top and work your way to the bottom, where you can park.
Once you do park, you really have to walk up the hill to the elevators.
For example, I parked on P3, and had to walk up to P4 to hit the elevators that would take me down to P1…where the entrance of the mall is.
There’s a visual guide on the wall that will explain all this, but despite all this, despite how unusual the structure is, and how odd it is to get to where you’re going…Parking with validation is ridiculously cheap. I bopped in and out for lunch, paid a buck.
That’s right: one dollar.
Pay the machines by the mall entrance. Hit your car. Slide the card in, and right there…you’re at the mouth of the 110 Freeway. Hang a right and you’re on your way home.
Flying Pig (FigAt7th)
735 W. 7th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Tel: (213) 689-8888
Monday-Friday: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Saturday-Sunday: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm