Food Oddities

L.A.'s Top 10 Raw Beef Dishes: Some Like It Cold

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Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 11:30 AM

click to enlarge FLICKR/MEL HILL
Few words have the power to simultaneously sour stomachs and whet appetites like the mention of raw meat. Indians abhor the idea. Ethiopians consider it their national dish. We once knew a Russian butcher who insisted a plate of raw bacon was the ultimate companion to a glass of vodka. Attitudes amongst American eaters, though, are decidedly more skeptical.

Yes, we've read The Jungle, we've seen Food, Inc. and we remember what our mothers told us about touching an unwashed cutting board. Still, there is something about eating raw beef so primally decadent, so unabashedly rich, that it makes ignoring the 'uncooked food' warning printed at the bottom of the menu well worth it. Hell, if Lady Gaga is wearing it, why shouldn't be eating it?

If you do decide to throw E. coli caution into the wind and sample some raw beef, Los Angeles may be the ultimate destination. Here is a round up of some of the city's more intriguing uncooked offerings (children, the elderly, and pregnant women be forewarned).

click to enlarge Yuk Hwe - CHOW.COM
  • chow.com
  • Yuk Hwe
10. Yuk Hwe (Yook Hoe): Found at a few meat-centric restaurants in Koreatown, Yuk hwe is popular as a topping for bibimbap or as an anju, a soju-friendly appetizer. Thin 'noodles' of raw beef are marinated in soy, garlic, and sesame oil then topped with a raw quail egg and matchsticks of crisp Korean pear. Baek Ha Chong, 3929 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles (323) 935-5554

click to enlarge Beef Carpaccio - FLICKR/EETO
  • Flickr/eeto
  • Beef Carpaccio
click to enlarge Kibbeh Nayeh - STREETGOURMETLA
  • streetgourmetla
  • Kibbeh Nayeh
click to enlarge Kitfo - FLICKR/MMMYOSO
click to enlarge Mettwurst - FLICKR/BAYERNERNST
click to enlarge Koi Soi - FLICKR/MMMYOSO
click to enlarge Gyu Tataki - FLICKR/JOSEWOLFF
4. Gyu Tataki: If you don't mind paying for omakase at Urasawa, or securing access to a secretive Totoraku dinner, you can sample kobe beef tataki, a sliver of velvety, marbled raw beef whisked over the flame for a brief second. For a version made with a lesser cut (that doesn't equate to a month's rent) try Yabu in West L.A. Yabu, 11820 W Pico Blvd., Los Angeles 90064 (310) 473-9757

click to enlarge Bo Tai Chanh - FLICKR/TRICIAWANG
click to enlarge Steak Tartare - WOLFGANGPUCK.COM
  • wolfgangpuck.com
  • Steak Tartare
click to enlarge Carne Apache - TATIANA ARBOGAST
  • Tatiana Arbogast
  • Carne Apache
1. Carne Apache: The most elusive member of the list, carne apache is simply ceviche with ground beef substituted in for seafood. Cacao Mexicatessen and Sofiy's Catering both offer superb versions upon special request, though only for catered parties. As for a restaurant or street cart that serves it, the search continues. Cacao Mexicastessen 1576 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles (323) 478-2791 (upon special request, catering only)

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