?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).

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Yuk Hwe; Credit: chow.com

Yuk Hwe; Credit: chow.com

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

Beef Carpaccio; Credit: Flickr/eeto

Beef Carpaccio; Credit: Flickr/eeto

Kibbeh Nayeh; Credit: streetgourmetla

Kibbeh Nayeh; Credit: streetgourmetla

Kitfo; Credit: Flickr/mmmyoso

Kitfo; Credit: Flickr/mmmyoso

Mettwurst; Credit: Flickr/bayernernst

Mettwurst; Credit: Flickr/bayernernst

Koi Soi; Credit: Flickr/mmmyoso

Koi Soi; Credit: Flickr/mmmyoso

Gyu Tataki; Credit: Flickr/josewolff

Gyu Tataki; Credit: 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

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Bo Tai Chanh; Credit: Flickr/triciawang

Bo Tai Chanh; Credit: Flickr/triciawang

Steak Tartare; Credit: wolfgangpuck.com

Steak Tartare; Credit: wolfgangpuck.com

Carne Apache; Credit: Tatiana Arbogast

Carne Apache; Credit: Tatiana Arbogast

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)