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Chi Spacca

This has been on a list for awhile and I feel another Italian kick coming on.  Let's go try this new meat-centric eatery (right next to Osteria Mozza, in the former Scoula di Pizza space).

Excerpted from Jonathan Gold's Review:

The first time you visit Chi Spacca, you are probably going to want the bistecca fiorentina, a sizzling cliff of meat that weighs in at a stunning 42 ounces, all salt and char and dripping red flesh, rising from the plate in a spectacle that seems almost geological. Is there a sauce, a potato or a decorative sprig of parsley? There is not — just the steak, which feeds four, willed into slices the size of poker decks, plus the bone and a small, salty puddle of olive oil and blood should you find yourself in need of a condiment. The experience of meat, abetted by small, sharp steak knives that resemble scalpels, does not generally get any purer than this.

Chi Spacca is the new meat-intensive restaurant room in Mozza's Italian-cuisine complex on Melrose, overseen by Nancy Silverton (and her partners Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali) and the particular obsession of its chef Chad Colby, who has been the young meat chef to watch in Los Angeles for years.


Colby is a scholar of meat, and a tour of his open kitchen is likely to include a peek at the binder in which he has recorded the provenance of every pig, the pH of every prosciutto and salami that has traveled through his meat room over the last couple of years, and his operation is still the only local curing facility to be certified by the board of health. He runs what is by far the most ambitious salumi program in Los Angeles.

So you probably want to start with the affettati misti here, a plank piled with Colby's cured meats, which may include crisp breadsticks wrapped with the cured pork belly called pancetta, dense salami flavored with fennel or Tellicherry pepper, a profoundly funky fermented salami made with goat meat, and a pork-loin terrine dotted with pistachios and wrapped in bacon.


But you have come to Chi Spacca for the meat — if not for the steak, then for the spice-rubbed lamb shoulder chops, or the stuffed, braised veal breast, or for the bony, intense braised lamb neck that concentrates all the flavor of the animal into a few taut mouthfuls. There is a grilled "segreto," a lean fillet of pork prized from a section of the belly, much more commonly seen in fancy Spanish restaurants than in Italian ones, and a "tomahawk" pork chop, a monumental rib cross-section that actually dwarfs the fiorentina, rubbed with fennel pollen and grilled slowly until it becomes what great spareribs might be like if Alabama bordered on Umbria.

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