Word first arrived last year that chef Ben Ford would be pulling up stakes on his Culver City mainstay Ford’s Filling Station in favor of a larger overall deal with the JW Marriott team, particularly at their Downtown location at L.A. Live. In taking over the former LA Market, the idea was that Ford would be allowed to spread his concept into a casual all-day eatery within the hotel — and likely in many other Marriotts down the line.
Some, of course, were worried that turning Ford’s Filling Station into an in-and-out hotel restaurant might water down what Ford himself was doing with the first iteration of his restaurant. Namely, the whole animal dinners and patio parties that had made the eatery a Culver City staple (for what it’s worth, the upcoming replacement there, Sāmbār, is hoping to become a staple all its own).
At least for now, those worries appear to be unfounded, as Ford is continuing his penchant for cooking whole animals for large parties, even if he is right in the touristy heart of the Staples Center-adjacent complex. Though more of an off-menu addition than an ongoing dinner series, Ford will happily go whole hog (literally) for groups of six to eight, beginning this June.
The $800 party requires an eight to ten day advanced notice, but that's easy enough to manage, and comes with a full menu of appetizers, entree, and dessert to compliment the whole pig. Wine and beer pairings come in at an additional cost.
If you'd like to work up a true nose-to-tail dinner with some friends and are willing to split the cost, a whole hog dinner from chef Ben Ford is pretty hard to beat. Contact the restaurant for details.