Beloved and I had dinner at Livestock a couple of days ago. I’ve been craving for something unhealthy, something to make me younger recently, and Livestock’s famous crispy pata seemed to be a good candidate to fill that craving. We’ve been to this place before, but we didn’t have any good pictures due to bad lighting. Since our technology has improved, we were hopeful to try again. As the place was easily accessible from home, it wasn’t a problem to revisit.
Livestock is a bar and restaurant located at Sgt. Esguerra, near Tomas Morato and parallel to Timog. It’s named such because it serves pork dishes, with specialties using different parts of the entire pig, like sisig from the pig face, crackling pork belly, and many different pork rib dish variants. However, this place is most famous for its crispy pata, as I mentioned earlier, due to the very Instagrammable presentation of their deep-fried pork trotters which are served with a popsicle stick stabbed in, showing how tender it is.
Of course, we ordered this dish, officially called Melts-in-your-mouth Crispy Pata (680 Php). As it seemed like it will definitely be nakakaumay on its own, we also ordered their Goat Cheese Ensalada (230 Php) from their small salad menu. Finally, and sadly, they didn’t have their Bacon Mushroom Risotto available that day, so we settled for their Garlic Fried Rice (95 Php).
Our other dishes arrived earlier, actually. But since it’s the featured dish, I’ll start with their Melts-in-your-mouth Crispy Pata. As shown, there’s a popsicle stick protruding from the deep-fried thigh. Evidently, the pork meat was quite soft and I firmly believe the best way to enjoy it is using your clean fingers; although they do offer to chop it up for you after you take your pre-meal prayers and/or photos. What’s amazing is despite being soft, the skin is still very crispy. As Beloved dislikes crispy skin, most of the skin went to me, which is both a blessing and curse. She’s quite happy with the very tender meat that’s enough to feed four. And since there’s only two of us to share this thigh-and-trotter, there’s a lot of well-seasoned meat enough to make us cloy and not able to finish entirely. More on this later.
The Goat Cheese Ensalada was quite good on its own. It’s a simple dish of a bed of arugula leaves topped with three slices of tomatoes each topped with creamy goat cheese all smothered in Balsamic vinegar with the random capers here and there. It’s definitely refreshing as a salad, with the arugula leaves having a nice crisp texture and the tomato and cheese an established pairing. My primary complaints are the amount you get for its price and the fact that it’s not a very good pair with the star of our meal due to its acidity and saltiness. Maybe something a bit on the sweet side would’ve done the trick.
I forgot to mention that their Garlic Fried Rice comes in petite or grande sizes. We ordered the petite version which is good for two to three. It definitely delivered in the size aspect, but it’s nothing too special really. It’s a nice pair with the savory, crispy-and-tender pork, slightly alleviating the cloyness it brings. Since I wasn’t a big rice eater, we had a lot left over this dish.
Our aftermath of the meal can be seen above. Yes, there’s some leftovers, but not bad for something good for three to four with a handicap where one of us does not each much of the crispy pork skin. And, admittedly, it’s definitely good for three to four. A lot of people claim that this is the best crispy pata in the Metro and I’m inclined to agree. However, this is definitely a dish you shouldn’t come back for very often. Have it with company and have it once or twice a year.
As an added bonus, you can ask to take home the bones and give it to your pet dog(s) if you have one or two. At first, they might reject this offering, depending on how picky and cautious your dogs are, but they’ll definitely accept this new treat:
Be forewarned, though, soon they might be possessive of their treat and turn against you if you try to take it away from them:
Oh, and I recommend not doing this if you have more than two dogs for each pata you order as there’s only a couple of bones to take home.
All in all, our trip to Livestock was a worthwhile one. We spent a little over 1K PHP, which is not bad for a meal good for four. It definitely sated my unhealthy food cravings and it felt like it took a good couple of months out of my good-till-date. It’s also one of the few places that can satisfy both my cravings and Beloved’s dogs’. If I get the same cravings again, Livestock’s crispy pata will definitely be among my list of choices.