Crispy Pata

Barbara Ries

There are plenty of fancier places to get delicious pork in the San Francisco Bay area, but for sheer pork bliss, nothing compares to crispy pata, which you can find at Philippine restaurants. The version at Patio Filipino in San Bruno is the best I've found. Two meaty foreshanks are simmered until they're tender; then they're rubbed with fish sauce and deep-fried just until their skin turns crunchy, with a delicious, gooey layer of fat underneath. Served with pickled vegetables and a vinegar-onion sauce to cut the meat's richness, this is what pork lovers' dreams are made of. —David Bolosan, San Francisco, California