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The "Luxurious BLT" at Sqirl
The "Luxurious BLT" at Sqirl

SPONSORED: This Heatmap Shows 6 Spots Where You Can Order Secret, Off-Menu Specials In L.A. Right Now

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The "Luxurious BLT" at Sqirl

The coolest regulars at the coolest restaurants know something other diners don’t: secret, off-menu dishes that the chef is happy to whip up, if you know to ask. We’ve partnered with American Express — who knows how to properly reward obsessive diners* — to uncover off-menu specials at these restaurants around town. Here they are.

Head this way to watch Redbird's Neal Fraser and Sqirl's Jessica Koslow create their off-menu delights.

Earn 2X points at US Restaurants with the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express. Terms and limitations apply. Americanexpress.com/exploregold

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Faith & Flower

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A wood-fire stove, lovely raw bar, and a California-rustic menu is what you'll find here with such offerings as tempura-fried green beans, calamari seared on la plancha, fresh burrata pizza, and warm new potato salad with trout caviar. But, for a limited time, a super special item is available for those who know about it. Pastry chef Josh Graves channeled his inner nerd to create the Star Wars-inspired mignardise board, which is a spin on their traditional version. Brace. It includes a caramel-filled dark chocolate Darth Vader, chocolate Millennium Falcon, a white chocolate Storm Trooper, a Lightsaber composed of hard absinthe candy and dipped in chocolate, a dark chocolate Death Star bon-bon dusted with gold powder, and Han Solo, frozen in a block of dark chocolate “carbonite.” Also rumored to be in development, a gummy Jabba the Hut.

Sqirl Kitchen

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On the edge of the trendy Silver Lake area, this crazy-popular breakfast and lunch spot is famous for its homemade jams and pastries, such as Malva Pudding Cake. In a small, bright room, hipsters and young celebs chow down on dishes like rice and egg bowls full of local, fresh vegetables, shishito hash, chocolate and nut butter toast and pan-roasted king salmon with roasted beets and charred fennel. Hipsters in the know will order the off-menu $20 BLT. The sandwich — which originated as a hearty mid-day snack for tired cooks — includes two pieces of thick-cut brioche slathered with house-made aioli and layered with strips of crispy house-made bacon, heirloom tomato slices, and shoe lettuce.

Redbird

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Beautifully designed in the rectory of a former downtown cathedral, beloved chef Neal Fraser’s spacious temple to local, seasonal New American cuisine has fast become an L.A. critics’ pick. Expect a vibrant menu that ranges widely from gnocchetti sardi and braised goat gemelli to Thai-style Dungeness crab soup and a raved-about smoked tofu with sweet corn and pea succotash. Even better: order the off-menu sautéed La Belle Farm foie gras. Redbird was one of the first restaurants to put the goose liver delicacy back on the menu, and now it’s available in his decadent off-menu creation, served with black rice and green curry.

Hamasaku

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Hamasaku means “one who creates food from the sea” in Japanese. In a beautifully minimalist space, the restaurant offers robata (per skewer) such as kurobuta sausage and japxican corn, small plates such as black cod and agedashi tofu, and nigiri and sashimi with innovative ingredients. For a solid taste of all the restaurant has to offer, the secret, off-menu bara chirashi — which includes shiso leaf, micro siso, sushi egg, Japanese cucumber, and haiga rice — will offer just that

Maple Block Meat Company

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Chef Adam Cole (The Bazaar) brings great barbecue (brisket, ribs, chicken, and pulled pork) to this spacious, light-filled Culver City spot. Sit at the counter, where you can watch a line of chefs do their chopping, slicing and saucing. For a salty, sour delicious dish, go off menu with the giant sandwich, which combines Maple Block's two signature meats — brisket and chopped pork — together in one perfect bite. The sandwich is also topped with cucumber pickles, slaw & fermented hot sauce.

Spago Beverly Hills

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Wolfgang Puck's Beverly Hills institution is still one of the city's best restaurants even after over 30 years of world-class service. An overhaul to the space and the menu in 2012 has the restaurant serving smaller, more refined plates, all with an eye to seasonality. One item that didn't survive the revamp: the tuna cone, which wraps tuna tartare in a sesame miso cone. This crowd favorite is still available if you know to order it.

Faith & Flower

A wood-fire stove, lovely raw bar, and a California-rustic menu is what you'll find here with such offerings as tempura-fried green beans, calamari seared on la plancha, fresh burrata pizza, and warm new potato salad with trout caviar. But, for a limited time, a super special item is available for those who know about it. Pastry chef Josh Graves channeled his inner nerd to create the Star Wars-inspired mignardise board, which is a spin on their traditional version. Brace. It includes a caramel-filled dark chocolate Darth Vader, chocolate Millennium Falcon, a white chocolate Storm Trooper, a Lightsaber composed of hard absinthe candy and dipped in chocolate, a dark chocolate Death Star bon-bon dusted with gold powder, and Han Solo, frozen in a block of dark chocolate “carbonite.” Also rumored to be in development, a gummy Jabba the Hut.

Sqirl Kitchen

On the edge of the trendy Silver Lake area, this crazy-popular breakfast and lunch spot is famous for its homemade jams and pastries, such as Malva Pudding Cake. In a small, bright room, hipsters and young celebs chow down on dishes like rice and egg bowls full of local, fresh vegetables, shishito hash, chocolate and nut butter toast and pan-roasted king salmon with roasted beets and charred fennel. Hipsters in the know will order the off-menu $20 BLT. The sandwich — which originated as a hearty mid-day snack for tired cooks — includes two pieces of thick-cut brioche slathered with house-made aioli and layered with strips of crispy house-made bacon, heirloom tomato slices, and shoe lettuce.

Redbird

Beautifully designed in the rectory of a former downtown cathedral, beloved chef Neal Fraser’s spacious temple to local, seasonal New American cuisine has fast become an L.A. critics’ pick. Expect a vibrant menu that ranges widely from gnocchetti sardi and braised goat gemelli to Thai-style Dungeness crab soup and a raved-about smoked tofu with sweet corn and pea succotash. Even better: order the off-menu sautéed La Belle Farm foie gras. Redbird was one of the first restaurants to put the goose liver delicacy back on the menu, and now it’s available in his decadent off-menu creation, served with black rice and green curry.

Hamasaku

Hamasaku means “one who creates food from the sea” in Japanese. In a beautifully minimalist space, the restaurant offers robata (per skewer) such as kurobuta sausage and japxican corn, small plates such as black cod and agedashi tofu, and nigiri and sashimi with innovative ingredients. For a solid taste of all the restaurant has to offer, the secret, off-menu bara chirashi — which includes shiso leaf, micro siso, sushi egg, Japanese cucumber, and haiga rice — will offer just that

Maple Block Meat Company

Chef Adam Cole (The Bazaar) brings great barbecue (brisket, ribs, chicken, and pulled pork) to this spacious, light-filled Culver City spot. Sit at the counter, where you can watch a line of chefs do their chopping, slicing and saucing. For a salty, sour delicious dish, go off menu with the giant sandwich, which combines Maple Block's two signature meats — brisket and chopped pork — together in one perfect bite. The sandwich is also topped with cucumber pickles, slaw & fermented hot sauce.

Spago Beverly Hills

Wolfgang Puck's Beverly Hills institution is still one of the city's best restaurants even after over 30 years of world-class service. An overhaul to the space and the menu in 2012 has the restaurant serving smaller, more refined plates, all with an eye to seasonality. One item that didn't survive the revamp: the tuna cone, which wraps tuna tartare in a sesame miso cone. This crowd favorite is still available if you know to order it.

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