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Dry-Aged Ribeye at The Arthur J
Dry-Aged Ribeye at The Arthur J
Crystal Coser

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LA's Best Meat Dishes of 2015

It's been a great year for carnivores.

Sure, vegetables had their moment back in 2014, but this year, it was all about hefty plates of delicious carnage. Here now, Eater LA editors and contributors share their favorites of the year.

Dry-Aged Ribeye at The Arthur J

[Photo: Crystal Coser]

Until recently, reputable steakhouses just didn't exist in the South Bay. Sure there were chains, but the Beach Cities were pretty much devoid of chef-driven concepts with exceptional dry-aged cuts. This changed with The Arthur J, David LeFevre and Chris and Mike Simms' debonair steakhouse, which sports some serious retro flair. Here the steaks stand up to the timeless design, with the perfectly executed dry-aged ribeye offering up all the deep meatiness that comes with an exceptional aged cut. —Crystal Coser

Charcuterie Board at Esters Wine Bar

Jeremy Fox isn't afraid to let things get meaty, should the occasion call for it. And it certainly does inside Kathryn Coker's Esters Wine Shop in Santa Monica, where big reds and bright rosés form the perfect sidecar to pates and cured meats from Fox and a handful of personally selected producers. —Farley Elliott

Meatballs at Jon & Vinny's

[Photo: Crystal Coser]

At Jon & Vinny's, the Animal guys are throwing the door to their Italian-American heritage wide open, letting anyone in for a plate of their decadent and rich meatballs, which includes perfectly piled ricotta and garlic bread as a sopping-up device. —Farley Elliott

Brisket at Maple Block Meat Co.

Now made famous by a barbecue man from Texas who offered his stamp of approval, Maple Block's brisket has routinely become the first thing to sell out in any given day at the Culver City restaurant. It's not hard to see why, as thick ribbons of the stuff are served as generously as ever, resulting in platefuls of impossibly tender, smoky beef with every meal. That is, until it runs out. —Farley Elliott

Clay Pot Chicken at Phorage

[Photo: Matthew Kang]

Phorage is consistently one of my favorite places for lunch in town, but this special addition, which chef Perry Cheung pulled from his Vietnamese playbook, is one of the best new dishes on the bill of fare at this casual Palms restaurant. With the right balance of salty, sweet, and savory, this hearty bowl is perfect over a heap of steamed rice. With a heavy dose of ginger and a covering of fresh cilantro, it's a comforting dish that's compelling to the last spoonful. —Matthew Kang

Chicken Milanesa at Trois Familia

[Photo: Matthew Kang]

The panko-fried chicken here is delicious enough for kids to crave, but interesting enough for everyone else to order every time they're at this casual Silver Lake brunch spot. Covered with maggi-imbued ranch sauce and laced with crisp cucumber curls and thinly sliced radishes, it's a fried chicken dish that won't weigh you down after you finish it off. —Matthew Kang

Chicharrones at Broken Spanish

The first time I tried the Chicharrones at Broken Spanish was with Eater LA Editor Matt Kang. Mike Lay was behind the bar and we were both stealing tastes from an L.A. area chef. Matt took a bite, then I took a bite, and we both looked at each other for a second and uttered a three-word chain inappropriate for print, but very appropriate when a cheeky chef decides to call a melting hunk of porchetta that's been cooked sous-vide and neatly balanced with translucent slivers of elephant garlic and lime mojo, "Chicharrones." —Euno Lee

Chicken Tsukune Skewers at Aburiya Raku

Las Vegas import Aburiya Raku has been touted as an ultra high-end izakaya, as no detail is spared in any of its dishes — including the humble chicken tsukune. Shaped into a single large lollipop and browned nicely on each side, the dish is surprisingly light, with a fine crumble that just disintegrates in your mouth. Kobe beef tendon and Iberico pork skewers might be richly marbled show stoppers, but it's the tsukune skewers you can put away all night long. —Euno Lee

Porchetta at Union

[Photo: Crystal Coser]

I initially scoured the city for good porchetta thinking to do a feature and found that chef Bruce Kalman's rendition, that of the herbaceous, fennel-flecked, traditional Italian persuasion ended up being one of the better meat dishes in the city this year, period. Getting your hands on one might be as hard as getting a table these days, but Union GM Francis Castagnetti says the elusive dish is "a labor of love" for Kalman and "once we're out, we're out." It's not an empty threat. Book early, because this particular river of love actually does go dry just about every night. —Euno Lee

Chicken at Barrel & Ashes

Barrel & Ashes sticks a serrated knife in just about every single one of their barbecue plates, presumably to help with portioning once the massive plates of ribs and brisket hit the table at Timothy Hollingsworth's unfussy barbecue joint in Studio City. One meat that definitely doesn't get a knife? The chicken. The skin is smoky, peppery, fatty chicken candy, and even the white meat is fork tender and blushes pale pink, signaling that the oak smoke has penetrated to the bone. Forget the knife — you won't even need a fork. —Euno Lee

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