6 Places to Wallow in LA’s New Meat Cuisine

Famous for power lunches of sushi and plankton water, LA has gone all lusty at the table. From the memorable foie gras dinners before the California ban took hold, to a pastrami revival and regular nose-to-tail feasts at bistros, Angelenos can’t seem to get enough flesh (Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold calls it "transgressive eating"). Here—listed alphabetically, not by ranking—are six restaurants where Chowhounds enjoy LA's suddenly dominant meat cuisine, a diverse collection where the arts of curing, braising, and smoking are on full display. Leave your LDL worries at the door and mingle with the beautiful carnivores.

1. ANIMAL
435 N. Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles
323-782-9225

Culinary school buddies Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo opened Animal five years ago and have won national attention for their meat-handling skills. Menu items rotate, but if bone marrow (pictured), chicken liver toasts, or oxtail poutine is available, go for any or all. Oh, and don't be afraid to order a salad or a vegetable dish, for the fiber. “They have as deft a hand with produce as they do with protein,” djquinnc says.

2. BESTIA
2121 Seventh Place, Los Angeles
213-514-5724

At aptly named Bestia ("beast" in Italian), cliché dishes get intensely carnivorous twists. Here, the tartare is made from beef heart, fusilli comes with braised goat, and pizza is topped with house-made spicy nduja.

3. BLUDSO’S BAR-&-QUE
609 N. La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles
323-931-2583

The original Bludso’s in Compton perfected the art of Texas-style barbecue, and now there’s a sister location on high-profile La Brea Avenue. Meat options include pulled pork, brisket, smoked chicken, rib tips, and hot links, but don’t forget killer sides like mac 'n' cheese, cornbread, and collard greens. Fun fact: There’s a full bar.

4. CHI SPACCA
6610 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles
323-297-1133

Chad Colby holds the grip at Chi SPACCA (“The Cleaver”), LA’s first restaurant with its very own dry-curing room. On weekdays there’s an a la carte menu featuring cured cuts like speck and capocollo, plus larger entrées like beef and bone marrow pie. Saturdays are snout-to-tail feasts with a rotating menagerie.

5. NIGHT + MARKET
9041 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles
310-275-9724

Pork-centric, Northern Thai street food is the deal at this restaurant-within-a-restaurant (enter Talésai, then turn right). 'Hounds swear by the fried pig tails and pork toro (fatty hog collars). Much of the food jolts the spice meter.

6. SOTTO
9575 W. Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles
310-277-0210

When Sotto opened in 2011, slinging lardo and pig skin, Jonathan Gold called the chefs "abbatoir jocks." 'Hounds love the fennel-crusted pork chop, when it’s on as a special, and pasta with rabbit or lamb ragu.

Photo of Animal’s bone marrow by Flickr member djjewelz under Creative Commons


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