BEST of the BEST 2014 | Leisure | Dining: Chi Spacca
With La Brea bakery, Nancy Silverton reinvented the neighborhood bakery. With Pizzeria Mozza, she introduced pizza to the gastrocenti. And with Chi Spacca (323.297.1133, www.chispacca.com), she and chef Chad Colby have devised an ingenious take on the chophouse. The menu at this intimate, 36-seat Los Angeles restaurant focuses on extraordinary beef, heritage pork, and house-made salumi that may be the best in the country. But the menu is also peppered with unexpected Italian touches, such as the focaccia di Recco, a crisp, cheese-filled version of the flatbread that took Silverton two years to perfect. The 50-ounce, dry-aged costata alla fiorentina ($210) is cooked simply on a wood-burning grill in the open kitchen. The massive, 42-ounce tomahawk pork chop ($80) is rubbed with salt, pepper, and fennel seed; grilled; finished with fennel pollen; and served sliced beside the charred rib bone. Desserts, such as a haunting olive oil and rosemary cake, are made by Dahlia Narvaez, who was nominated for a James Beard Award this year.