The Korean barbecue restaurant Honey Pig is coming to Irvine this summer. Chin Kim, a co-owner of the original Los Angeles location, confirmed that Irvine will host the third outpost of the unusual K-BBQ restaurant owned by a loosely-affiliated group of relatives and business partners. Mr. Kim will have an ownership stake in the Irvine shop, and tells us that its concept and pork-centric menu that you cook at your table atop a blazing-hot, domed plate of cast iron will be identical, minus the hump up to L.A. K-town. That's great news for South County residents especially.
North county folks can still ease over to the Buena Park location called Wako Honey Pig, which Edwin reviewed three years ago. The specialty of the house? Various grades of pristine pork belly and their porcine strata of fat-meat that crisp up on the scorching iron discada. The crispy bits of meat and toasty lard left behind like rendered ghosts of your hog-slabs are really just precursor reagents for the true reason you're there: rice fried in the drippings and toasty pork-fond stuck to the pan, which all fuse into a beautifully crunchy crust.
Mr. Kim projects a tentative opening date of late May or June, and will move into the shopping center anchored by Kohl's. It will line up next to Tri-Village, Da Luau, and Gourmet Grill Master, and will bring a more indie-vibe to a space formerly occupied by La Salsa.
Coming soon: Honey Pig BBQ.14171 Jeffrey Rd., Irvine.