Taste 09.012.19

Porter’s in the Forest

Should Chef Jaime Santiago step into Pat’s King of Steaks, the staff would show him the door accompanied by a string of choice words. It would be the same at Geno’s or Dalessandro’s – or any of Philadelphia’s famed sandwich shops.

That’s just an assumption, mind you. But the liberties Santiago takes with the city’s namesake sandwich are so audacious they are bound to take it as an affront. Kimchi? Muenster? Scallions? Who does such a thing to cheesesteak?

Ah, but the Korean Philly Cheesesteak at Porter’s in the Forest is much more than a simple, sloppy sandwich. Slivers of tri-tip carry a charred, smoky note – faintly bitter and a neat foil to the tangy sweetness of the restaurant’s house-cured kimchi. The pickled mélange also brings a modest heat, which reaches out to the Sriracha aioli drizzled on top. Meanwhile the nutty bite of Muenster offers a rich yet rustic character that improves the husky savor of beef.

It’s not just a hulking, messy filler. Chef Santiago’s interpretation turns the cheesesteak into a composition, with bold strokes, varying hues and nuance. Sometimes in the course of sandwich events it pays to break a few bonds.

PORTER’S IN THE FOREST 3200 Lopez Road (Poppy Hills Golf Course), Pebble Beach. 622-8237, poppyhillsgolf.com

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