Meat Lovers Unite in LA

Steak

 

Los Angeles proves to be an excellent place to satisfy carnivorous cravings. Whether it's a juicy burger, decadent foie gras, pulled pork, or tableside carved Brazilian BBQ, LA is full of options for the meat lover. If you agree that the redder-the-better, that a vegetable is the parsley garnish atop your steak, and that everything is better with bacon, then this article is for you.

Animal

435 N Fairfax Ave

Los Angeles, CA 90048

Chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo are two young, enthusiastic chefs who have been serving a meat-centered menu at Animal, since 2008. The two chefs have a Food Network show, a cookbook, and plenty of awards under their belt. Animal's menu is a carnivores dream with its main stars including pig ear, foie gras, sweetbreads, lamb, ribs, pork belly, and plenty of bacon.

Animal's menu changes often, but notable first courses include Marrow Bone with Carmelized Onions, Pig Ear with Lime, Chili and Fried Egg, BBQ Pork Belly Sandwiches, and Foie Gras with Maple Sausage Gravy. Main courses include but are not limited to the Rib-Eye for Two with Escargot Butter or the Crispy Rabbit Legs with Meyer Lemon Aioli. Another highlight on Animal's menu is the unique Foie Gras Loco Moco that is anything but traditional. It is based on the Hawaiian dish consisting of a hamburger patty and fried egg over rice that is topped with gravy. Animal's version has a bun-less beef hamburger, Spam, fried quail egg, and a decadent piece of foie gras. All of these rich ingredients are laid over rice and accompanied with a light, Asian-inspired sauce. Meat-centric dishes are not limited to dinner and also show up on the dessert menu. The famous Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar is the ideal marriage of sweet and salty with layers of chocolate mousse, rich chocolate ganache, hazelnut paste, roasted peanuts, and of course, perfectly crisp bacon.

25 Degrees

7000 Hollywood Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA 90028

Burger aficionados rave about 25 Degrees in The Roosevelt Hotel, in Hollywood. The premium burger bar presents unique and high-quality ingredients in a chic Hollywood ambiance. The Bordello decor includes large, leather-backed booths, hanging chandeliers, and red vintage-inspired wallpaper. A haven for burger lovers, the name itself can even be considered an inside joke for the meat-devotee -- 25 degrees is the difference in Celsius between a rare and well-done piece of beef.

The menu is mostly Build-Your-Own with only three pre-set choices, and allows you to be as creative as you'd like. First, choose your patty: ground sirloin, turkey, or veggie. Next, choose your cheese from a list of 13 different options. Options include but are not limited to Burrata, Point Reyes Blue, Mezzo Secco Jack, and Smoked Mozzarella. Finally, choose your toppings and sauce from seemingly endless selection of options. Toppings include jalapeno bacon, roasted tomato, green chili, fried egg, or prosciutto; sauces range from Chipotle to Tarragon Remoulade to Horseradish Cream. Almost any variety of taste or craving can be satisfied here. Salads, sandwiches, and hot dogs also make an appearance on the menu. Burgers start at $7-$9, and go up from there depending on toppings; house burgers are $12, hot dogs are $9, and sides are $4. What is there to wash these delicious burgers down with, you ask? The clear choice is their infamous Guinness Milkshake. This grown-up version of a shake consists of vanilla ice cream and chocolate, spiked with rich, velvety Guinness.

The Oinkster

2005 Colorado Boulevard

Eagle Rock, CA 90041

The name says it all at this Eagle Rock restaurant whose motto is "Slow Fast Food." Locals rave about this casual restaurant’s delicious and under-$10 menu. While the price may be cheap, the quality of the food certainly is not. Former fine-dining Chef Andre Guerrero is creating a new meaning for "fast food" by serving house-made and high-quality food in a casual counter-service environment.

Everything at The Oinkster is made in-house, from their mustard and ketchup to their house-cured apple wood-smoked pastrami. The menu showcases burgers, pastrami, pulled pork, house-roasted chicken; and even delicious salads; but honestly, it's all about the meat. The pastrami for the Oinkster Pastrami Sandwich is seasoned in a peppery spice rub and slow-cooked for four hours. It's then topped with caramelized onions, Gruyere cheese, and a red cabbage coleslaw. It's so good that The Oinkster sells 1500 pounds of pastrami a week. The BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich is another menu favorite. The pork itself is brined in honey, molasses, and soy sauce, and slow cooked overnight. The sandwich becomes over-the-top when coleslaw, caramelized onions, and their house-made vinegar-based BBQ sauce are added. Sides include Chili and twice-fried perfectly crunchy French Fries that are even better when paired with garlic aoili. Piggy Fries, while not for the faint of heart, are topped with caramelized onions, Thousand Island dressing, and cheese. Beer and wine are also served, but be sure to try the unique and ultra-creamy Ube Milkshake made from sweet Filipino purple yams.

Fogo de Chao

133 N La Cienega Blvd

Beverly Hills, CA 90211

A Churrascaria, or Brazilian steakhouse, is a must-try for carnivores everywhere. The trend of Brazilian steakhouses has grown and Fogo de Chao, in Beverly Hills, tops the list for many local meat-lovers. Like a traditional Churrascaria, meat is carved and served tableside in a copious array of type and variety until you say ‘when.’ You are given a card with one red and one green side -- keep the card on green and meat keeps coming; turn it over to red to stop or take a breather. Fogo offers a set price of $56.50 for dinner that includes the salad bar, sides, and all-you-can-eat meat.

Come hungry at Fogo de Chao. They serve 15 cuts of fire-roasted meats including tender Filet Mignon, marbled Rib-Eye, fall-off-the-bone Beef Ribs, and juicy Lamb Chops. Their signature cut, Picanha, is a Prime Sirloin flavored generously with sea salt and garlic. They also offer chicken, sausage and pork tenderloin options, and some meats even come wrapped in bacon. Don't forget about the sides at Fogo: a trip to the salad bar will not disappoint with their Caesar Salad, fresh asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, Prosciutto, and wide assortment of cheeses. The pão de queijo, or authentic Brazilian cheese rolls, are light and airy with a chewy cheesy center and are suitably delicious. Side dishes like creamy, buttery mashed potatoes, Parmesan-dusted crispy polenta, or fried plantains are also brought to your table. If you're not in a meat-induced coma by the time dessert comes, you will enjoy the Papaya Cream; it’s delicious, light and refreshing, and is topped with Creme de Cassis.

 

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