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).
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
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
1. Carne Apache: Cacao Mexicastessen 1576 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles (323) 478-2791 (upon special request, catering only)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.