In a Muhammad Ali-like display of chutzpah, the acronym for this delicious Caribbean-inflected dish, G.O.A.T., from chef Roy Choi stands for “Greatest of All Time.” And truthfully, it is the best goat dish that we’ve ever tried. The whole goat is treated to a bath of garlic, allspice, cloves, three different chilies, orange juice and apple cider vinegar, then cooked sous vide until it’s meltingly tender. A slow roast-and-baste follows, then a final hit of chili vinegar. Wrapped in iceberg lettuce bulgogi-style alongside a slice of pickled mango, these morsels ambush the sweet, sour and sunny spots of the brain’s pleasure center. Choi, who pioneered Korean-Mexican cross-over cooking and conquered L.A. with his ground-breaking Kogi BBQ trucks, has made Sunny Spot his tribute to the laid-back culture of the islands. The “beats and rhythms” of those climes, he says, “come to me in flavors and ingredients — I flow like a deejay.” The G.O.A.T. holds spiritual significance for him, too: goat is the first and only animal he’s ever butchered, when a Mexican dishwasher buddy invited Choi to share in this family tradition.
Photography credit: Eric Shin