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10 Must-Try Restaurants for Crudo in LA

By Lesley Balla
January 13, 2014

Crudo simply means “raw” in Italian, but it’s most often used to describe raw sashimi-style seafood on menus. The Mediterranean specialty is hard to beat - beautifully thin-sliced salmon, hamachi, tuna, octopus and more, lightly seasoned with olive oil and salts, perhaps plated with some citrus or herbs, are delicate with pure and simple flavors. Like good sushi, the key is in the ingredients: as long as the fish is fresh, it needs very little adornment. Here’s where to find some of the best crudo around town right now.

  • Photo by: Scarpetta

    Scarpetta

    Scott Conant might be best-known for his spaghetti with tomato and basil, but some of the other stars at the Beverly Hills restaurant are the crudo, like yellowtail with Olio di Zenzero and pickled red onion, or big-eye tuna with heirloom tomato vinaigrette. Simple and sublime.

    225 N. Canon Dr.; 310-860-7970

  • Photo by: Il Grano

    Il Grano

    Chef Salvatore Marino has been serving crudo at this wonderful neighborhood gem since opening in 1997. He was one of the first chefs to do so in LA, gaining access to some of the same Japanese fish markets that the best local sushi chefs frequent, which means top-quality sashimi-grade fish on the plate. His signature crudo changes with what’s available, and is often plated in order of the way Marino suggests eating it.

    11359 Santa Monica Blvd.; 310-477-7886

  • Photo by: Orsa & Winston

    Orsa & Winston

    Josef Centeno combines Italian and Japanese flavors at his latest Downtown LA restaurant, so it’s no surprise that just about every prix fixe menu has some sort of crudo on it, often elevated with seasonal ingredients like kanpachi with persimmon, anchovy essence and red shiso.

    122 W. Fourth St.; 213-687-0300

  • Photo by: Joe's

    Joe’s Venice

    The menu might veer more toward France than Italy at Joe Miller’s eponymous Venice restaurant, but his philosophy of serving foods based on the seasons and selecting ingredients based on availability goes hand in hand with great crudo. Some dishes you might see are albacore with tomato cilantro gelée and braised daikon, tuna with lemon oil, or hamachi with apple.

    1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd.; 310-399-5811

  • Mr. C Beverly Hills

    Like its parent restaurant Cipriani in New York, the restaurant at the Beverly Hills hotel serves classic Italian dishes, including several crudo presentations. The yellowtail with lemon, oil and crushed pepper couldn’t be more pure.

    1224 Beverwil Dr.; 877-334-5623

  • Son of a Gun

    At least seven different crudo dishes fall under the raw section at Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo’s hot seafood spot, including things like Ora King salmon, lightly spiced with jerk seasonings and served with kiwi, palm sugar vinaigrette and a little habanero kick.

    8370 W. Third St.; 323-782-9033

  • Photo by: Acabar

    Acabar

    In chef Octavio Becerra’s tour of the Mediterranean and the Spice Trail at Acabar, you’ll find a lovely crudo plate with sweet plump scallops, kusshi oyster, spot prawn and uni.

    1510 N. Stanley Ave.; 323-876-1400

  • Photo by: Culina

    Culina

    Watch the chefs work their magic with raw fish at the crudo bar at the Four Seasons restaurant. Seasonal flourishes dot the dishes, like yellowtail with persimmon, diced pear, pink peppercorn and chive.

    300 S. Doheny Dr.; 310-860-4000

  • Photo by: Valentino

    Valentino

    The menu is ever-evolving at the Santa Monica stalwart, but just as he did 40 years ago, owner Piero Selvaggio still brings interesting ingredients from Italy to LA. The regular menu features crudo, which changes regularly based on what fish chef Nico Chessa sources daily, but it's seasoned with citrus and Colatura di Alici, a delicious anchovy oil.

    3115 Pico Blvd.; 310-829-4313

  • Fig & Olive

    With a focus on lighter Mediterranean fare, usually more than one kind of crudo figures on the menu. Good thing you can get a sampler with three, including the tuna with cucumber and lemon-sesame dressing, and the salmon with citrus, herbs and Chateau Leoube olive oil.

    8490 Melrose Pl.; 310-360-9100

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