The April birthday dinners in my family were pretty good with Orsa & Winston and Sushi Sushi.  September rolled around (yes I’m behind on the blogging!), and it was time to treat Smooth Obturator to something tasty.  Triple T, being the thoughtful wife that she is, made reservations at chi SPACCA knowing the carnivorous glutton in my brother would appreciate the offerings here.  She isn’t a fan of fatty meats or the odd bits of animals, but knew I would like this place too so majority rules I guess.  Chi SPACCA has been on my to-try list for a while but I never got around to it because the menu seemed so unbalanced.  I like meat but I don’t want to eat JUST meat.  To my surprise, 3 other LA based chefs were dining there that night: Jet Tila, Govind Armstrong, and Susan Goin.  My lingering reservations morphed into excitement because I knew a restaurant had to be pretty good if other chefs were eating there.
Culatello lambrusco washed, aged 15 months
The waitress did a good job selling this.  Made in house, cured by the chef himself, blah blah blah.  Smooth Obturator and I are suckers for cured meats.  I can’t say this was all that amazing given the price tag.  I’d rather have some Iberico ham.

Roasted Squash Blossoms ricotta, tomato vinaigrette

I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad squash blossom.  I loved the little vinaigrette, which felt like a looser tomato sauce.

Trotter Fritti

Smooth Obturator was completely in love with this dish, and I’ll have to agree that it was the stand out starter. Random piggy bits  were fashioned into crispy fried patties, whose richness was cut by a slightly tangy sauce.  Yums!

Roasted Cauliflower crushed lemon bagna cauda

I actually loved this cauliflower so much, I looked up the recipe and made it at home.  It turned out pretty nicely.  A little bit of char on the cauliflower, tang from the lemon zest, salt funk from the anchovies.

Whole Branzino herb salad, olive oil

Branzino is ALWAYS a solid get at any Italian restaurant.  The flesh is always moist, sweet, and meaty, while the skin is deliciously crispy.  The herbs and lemon really brightened things up.

Baby Kale & Rucola apples, red walnuts, piave

A nice salad, but nothing too spectacular.

Beef & Bone Marrow Pie beef cheek, cioppolini, funghi

Ok, it’s time to write home to mom about this one.  Wait, mom was sitting right next to me.  Scratch that.  But damn, you have to get this pie.  The crust was incredibly buttery and flakey.  The filling was chunks of tender beef cheeks in a dark brown gravy.  It was kinda salty, but that just allowed me to drink more wine.  It would definitely be difficult to eat this with just one other person.  It’s pretty darn heavy. Honestly, the marrow was just excessive, but makes for a cool presentation.

Tomahawk Pork Chop 42 oz fennel pollen

So stuffed by the time this dinosauric hunk of meat came by.  It was well charred and juicy.  The fennel pollen felt like a flavored salt.  I couldn’t have more than 1 piece but I enjoyed the leftovers.

Birthday boy was happy with the meal here.  I would also give this place an solid 2 thumbs up.  The menu options turned out to be more satisfying than I originally expected.  The trotter fritti and bone marrow pie are musts.  I would gladly come back to eat like a glutton again.  Make sure to enjoy your meal with some wine because you’re gonna need something to cut through all that fat and salt.


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