Chris Shepherd has shuttered Underbelly but kept its mojo going at UB Preserv—the name basically meaning “Underbelly, preserv(ed).” It’s just down the road, at a smaller, more casual site, and sure enough the spirit survives, with dishes such as the famous pork dumplings—plump, tender little guys with touches of soy, chile, vinegar, and crispy onion and garlic—and a mixed tomato salad with blackberries, peach, a touch of chile, and queso fresco. Our only disappointment? Crispy pork ribs with black bean mole and onions that came off a bit chewy and lacking in flavor. No complaints, though, with the wickedly rich queso fundido, a crock of queso oaxaca, crumbled blood sausage, and chile toreado, served with pork-fat tortillas—a luscious combination. Prepare for hard surfaces (including the seating) that amplify the crowd noise. And you can expect those crowds, especially at popular times, because reservations are not accepted.
Cuisine: New American