Wood-Fired Meats in a Little Tokyo Cove

by UrbanDaddy, March 11, 2011

Another beautiful Southern California day.

But you’re thinking about tracking down some dark, smoky intrigue tonight…

Say, a date you know won’t end responsibly, tucked into a weathered brick cove.

Filled with red wine, a thick haze of wood-fired meats and, of course, some random birdcages.

Welcome to The Spice Table, an elegantly dilapidated shack of pork satay and short rib stew from a Mozza vet, now soft-open in Little Tokyo.

This is the kind of place where the walls have secrets—the brick’s original, and the building’s been here for more than 100 years. And those secrets are revealed slowly. First you’ll take a seat at the intimate bar for a pint of Bruery beer, and maybe some pork, chicken or lamb-belly satay from the wood-fired oven located behind the counter. (When you want meat on a stick, you want it now.)

Then you’ll duck through a small dining room and into another little cavern. Quarters are tight, the lights are dim, and everybody will probably be having a little too much wine under some strung-up birdcages. And you’ll smell something. Maybe it’s Curry Fried Chicken Wings mingling with Black Pepper Crab Toast. Maybe it’s Oxtail & Short Rib Stew.

In fact, it might feel a bit like you’re in Singapore. Or maybe Vietnam. The chef’s from the former, his wife from the latter—and her sister brought the birdcages.

No one makes birdcages like Saigon.