You could say a passion for meat runs in Brad Miller's family. The chef grew up lending a hand in his father's butcher shop, and that, plus his time spent cooking alongside his grandmother, gave him a clear career path. After four years as executive chef at the Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga, Miller joined the Fork n' Awesome Hospitality Group to head up the kitchen at beer garden Ashland Hill in Santa Monica, and also Ox & Son, where his focus is on rustic, meat-heavy dishes. We thought Miller, a lifelong meat enthusiast, would be the perfect person to ask about his favorite meat-and-bread dishes in L.A. (and a couple meat-and-pastry ones). Here are his 10 picks.
10. Aussie Pie Kitchen’s steak & shiraz pie
“This place is a hidden gem on Main Street in Santa Monica. I stumbled upon it when we were walking up and down the street meeting Ashland Hill’s neighbors. The crust is perfectly flakey and buttery. The steak is soft and cooked with the right amount of herbs and spices. Get it with mashed potatoes and smothered in gravy!” 2510 Main St., Santa Monica; (310) 399-0743, aussiepiekitchen.com.
9. Tortas Ahogadas El Guero’s torta ahogada
“'Torta ahogada' translates to 'drowned sandwich,' which is exactly what it is. I get it way too spicy and regret it every time. I suggest you do the same.” 4508 Whittier Blvd., East Los Angeles; (323) 262-8900, tortasahogadaselguero.com.
8. Banh Mí Venice's Oink Me bánh mì
“I would be chastised if I didn’t talk about a bánh mì. If you live in Alhambra, head to Bánh Mì My Tho. But for a Westsider, Venice is a little closer then Alhambra. This pork belly country pâté and classic accoutrement sandwich is exactly what I need to satisfy my constant craving and is as close as you can find to an authentic bánh mì on this side of town.” 307 Lincoln Blvd., Venice. (310) 429-1959. banhmivenice.com.
7. Sunnin Lebanese Café's chicken shawarma
“This chicken shawarma wrap is what inspired my version at Ashland Hill. Juicy, spiced chicken with LOTS of garlic, lettuce, tomato, thin pita and the best tahini EVER! I haven’t tried the beef because I can never bring myself to not order the chicken.” 1776 Westwood Blvd., Westwood; (310) 475-3358, sunnin.com.
6. Barrel & Ashes’ smoked pork biscuit with pepper jelly
“If you smoke pork, you’re already winning. But when you put a delicious pepper jelly on it and sandwich it between a biscuit, no more can be said.” 11801 Ventura Blvd., Studio City; (818) 623-8883, barrelandashes.com.
5. Hole in the Wall Burger Joint's burger
“When it comes to L.A.’s best burger, we could all go in the vein of Father’s Office, Umami or even In & Out. But for me, when it comes down to craving a classic, my go-to is Hole in the Wall Burger Joint. Their motto is 'the Working Man’s Gourmet Burger' and you get to build your own.” 2200 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica; (310) 449-0147, holeinthewallburgerjoint.com.
4. The Palace Seafood & Dim Sum’s baked BBQ pork buns
“This Westside gem freshly bakes its buns each day, and they are so good that I’m going to get one as soon as I’m done writing this. From the soft, steamed bun with its Wonder Bread–esque qualities to the flavorful BBQ inside of it, it’s perfection.” 11701 Wilshire Blvd., Brentwood; (310) 979-3377, palaceseafooddimsum.com.
3. Ye Olde King’s Head's sausage roll
“The sausage roll at this British pub is just as basic as it sounds. It’s a large, bratwurst-esque pork sausage cooked in puff pastry. That’s it! But the sausage has an almost boudin blanc texture to it. It takes me back to eating pigs in a blanket during Christmas time in the Midwest. Unpretentious and delicious.” 116 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 451-1402, yeoldekingshead.com.
2. Son of a Gun’s crispy chicken sandwich
“All right, so everybody already knows about this one, but we can’t talk about the best meat between buns and not mention this delicious chicken sandwich. It has everything I want in a sandwich, from the spicy B&B pickle slaw to the rooster aioli.” 8370 W. Third St., Beverly Grove; (323) 782-9033, sonofagunrestaurant.com.
1. Cricca’s Italian Deli’s Fatsos Delight sandwich
“This is just a no-nonsense, old-school sub sandwich. It’s packed with Genoa salami, mortadella, capicola, Molinari salame, provolone cheese and shredded iceberg lettuce. I like to order it with way too much oil and vinegar so that it gets semi-soggy. This sub doesn't try and be anything it’s not. Packed with nitrates and all. You gotta love it!” 4876 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills; (818) 340-0515, criccasitaliandeli.com.