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One Dish Wonder: Pork Belly on Fried Grits with Root Beer Gelée at Vu

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Pork Belly on Fried Grits with Root Beer Gelée from Vu (Lindsay William-Ross/LAist)
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In the Venn Diagram of dining out in Los Angeles, Marina Del Rey's recently opened Vu is the unique intersection of three options: Small plates, molecular gastronomy, and Southern comfort.

Under the direction of Executive Chef Kyle Schutte, a Virginia native with kitchen time logged in Georgia and North Carolina, the restaurant (pronounced "view" and named in honor of the charming marina vista) inside the Jamaica Bay Inn serves up share-able dishes that bridge traditional flavors of Southern cuisine with the innovative twists and technology of cutting edge contemporary cooking. No dish better exemplifies this than the Pork Belly on Fried Grits with a Root Beer Gelée at Vu.

The rib-sticking foundation are grits are formed into a pillow and fried to a golden brown crisp on the exterior. Atop the soothing footstool of grits is a slice of pork belly, offering the palate a meaty variable on the tender side of texture, with just enough porcine tooth to offer a mild contrast. Lastly, shimmering as the crown of the nearly mono-chromatic tower is a piece of Root Beer gelée. Cut from top to bottom to get the trifecta in one bite, and it's a perfect trio of mellow, meaty, and sweet. The best comparison in terms of flavor balance would be fried chicken and waffles, which has a similar set up of carb meets fried meets meat meets sweet.

Order up this, and a few of the other inspired bites on the menu, and pair it with one (or more) of the cocktails from the bar. Time it with one of our spectacular SoCal sunsets, and you'll have a perfect evening.