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.

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