Hugs for Nugs!

by Lia
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The Cutest Bar Food In Southern California

Bar food isn’t known for its looks, but the pork nugs from Mastiff Kitchen at North Park Beer Company in San Diego are the cutest — and tastiest — things ever. The “nugs” are squares of crispy pork belly that are smothered in gochujang glaze and topped with sesame seeds, crushed peanuts, and scallions. They’re served with a small bowl of pineapple and jicama salad to give a fruity and citrusy balance to the richness of the pork belly.

A good pork belly can be hard to find. But the pork nugs from Mastiff Kitchen are perfectly crispy on the outside, while tender and melty on the inside. Each square is covered with gochujang; so every bite is savory, sweet, AND spicy. Plus, the crushed peanuts and sesame seeds add a slight crunch that gives the nugs extra texture.

Mastiff is known for “manly” food — refined. And after eating these nugs, I totally get it. It’s meaty bar food, but elevated. They use quality ingredients from local sources, and the pork they use comes from Salmon Creek Farms, which is where the Sari Sari Store gets the delicious pork for their adobo fried rice bowl. In addition to these nugs, Mastiff also makes their own sausages with all natural meat, spices, and natural casings. I had their housemade sausage as well, and the link was juicy and packed with flavor. Just like the nugs!

These little pork belly squares are some of the best I’ve had in SoCal so far. They’re the perfect bar snack, and I think they actually stole the show from the brewery. The craft beer from North Park was good, but the food from Mastiff was the real gem.

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