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12 Spots to Chomp On Meat on a Stick in LA

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2008_10_hasmapsla.jpgThe notion of meat on a stick occupies a particular corner of the global food market. A great equalizer, these charcoal-fired skewers are enjoyed in various forms across the world, from Middle Eastern kebabs to Indonesian sate and Japanese yakitori. Even America has its own unique entrant, it comes in the form of processed beef dipped in batter and deep fried. Here then, in no particular order, are twelve of the best places to find meat on a stick. —Farley Elliott

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Picca Peruvian Cantina

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9575 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 277-0133
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True skewers of Peruvian beef heart may be hard to come by in many corners of Los Angeles, but chef Ricardo Zarate’s native dish makes an appearance on the menu at Picca. A far cry from the food stalls normally selling such a hearty delicacy, this version is no less smoky because of its surroundings.

2. Feng Mao

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414 S Western Ave, #E
Los Angeles, CA 90020

Long known for their funky mutton skewers, Koreatown legend Feng Mao also loves to fire up chicken hearts, pull penis and lots of liver. The namesake cumin lamb skewers, though, will always earn top billing.

3. Pondok Kaki Lima

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1200 Huntington Drive
Duarte, CA 91010

Malaysia and Indonesia’s regionally-specific skewers (that’s sate, not satay) are on full display at Pondok Kaki Lima, a weekend food bazaar in the parking lot of the Duarte Inn. Meaty skewers take are a big draw here, and are showcased alongside various rice dishes like lontong, and slightly spicy peanut sauce.

4. Kokekokko

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203 S Central Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 687-0690
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Forget kushiyaki, the more generalized Japanese term that can refer to all things skewered and grilled. A true yakitori spot like Kokekokko only works with chicken, though everything from gizzard to liver is fired up and eaten.

5. Nanbankan

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11330 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90189
(310) 478-1591
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A Little Osaka staple, Nanbankan is a bit more dressed up than what one might reasonably expect from a restaurant essentially selling street stall food. But legions of Japanese families come for a sit-down meal over fresh skewers of beef tongue, squid and chicken hearts.

6. Kushi Shabu

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123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St, #305
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 621-0210

The deeply scarred cousin of grilled kushiyaki skewers, kushiage presents various meats and veggies deep fried to hell and back. Since the demise of Torrance’s Horon, folks have been flocking to Kushi Shabu in Little Tokyo, a joint operation inside Weller Court that panko-fries beef, seafood and more.

7. Old Country Cafe

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2 E Valley Blvd, #1E
Alhambra, CA 91801
(626) 284-4610

For a more true nose-to-tail skewer experience, get to Old Country Cafe, a Taiwanese SGV spot known for their congealed pig’s blood cakes, served up on a stick.

8. Shamshiri Grill

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1712 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 474-1410
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For more than thirty years, Shamshiri has been crafting Persian kebab skewers in Westwood. Most folks tend towards the lamb koobideh, grilled quick on long metal sticks over mesquite charcoal.

9. Fritzi Dog

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6333 W. 3rd St. (at Fairfax)
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 936-9436
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One of America’s finest culinary bastardizations, the corndog is this nation’s entrant into the meat-on-a- stick world olympics. At Neal Fraser’s Fritzi Dog at the Fairfax Farmer’s Market, they’ll take any existing humanely-raised, nitrate-free dog on the menu, batter it up and fry it to perfection.

10. Gauchos Village

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411 N Brand Blvd
Glendale, CA 91203
(818) 550-1430
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Churrascaria’s are among the most recognizable forms of flamed meat on a stick. At Brazilian meat house Gaucho’s Village, everything from beef ribs to tri-tip to filet mignon to chorizo makes an appearance on the long swords that maneuver the room.

11. Dollar Hits

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2422 Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90057
Los Angeles, CA

A huge open-flame grill, right on the street. Aluminum tins of pre-skewered pork cuts, from pig ear to all manner of intestines, each one only a dollar. And long, long lines on weekends. But for Filipino BBQ skewers served like a true street stall back home, there’s not much better.

12. Shin-Sen-Gumi Yakitori

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18517 S Western Ave
Gardena, CA 90248
(310) 715-1588
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Shin Sen Gumi is a longtime meat skewer spot, with outlets in Gardena, Monterey Park, Torrance and beyond. Their long yakitori tradition includes plenty of seafood, including wide sticks of shrimp and squid.

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1. Picca Peruvian Cantina

9575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

True skewers of Peruvian beef heart may be hard to come by in many corners of Los Angeles, but chef Ricardo Zarate’s native dish makes an appearance on the menu at Picca. A far cry from the food stalls normally selling such a hearty delicacy, this version is no less smoky because of its surroundings.

9575 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035

2. Feng Mao

414 S Western Ave, #E, Los Angeles, CA 90020

Long known for their funky mutton skewers, Koreatown legend Feng Mao also loves to fire up chicken hearts, pull penis and lots of liver. The namesake cumin lamb skewers, though, will always earn top billing.

414 S Western Ave, #E
Los Angeles, CA 90020

3. Pondok Kaki Lima

1200 Huntington Drive, Duarte, CA 91010

Malaysia and Indonesia’s regionally-specific skewers (that’s sate, not satay) are on full display at Pondok Kaki Lima, a weekend food bazaar in the parking lot of the Duarte Inn. Meaty skewers take are a big draw here, and are showcased alongside various rice dishes like lontong, and slightly spicy peanut sauce.

1200 Huntington Drive
Duarte, CA 91010

4. Kokekokko

203 S Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Forget kushiyaki, the more generalized Japanese term that can refer to all things skewered and grilled. A true yakitori spot like Kokekokko only works with chicken, though everything from gizzard to liver is fired up and eaten.

203 S Central Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012

5. Nanbankan

11330 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90189

A Little Osaka staple, Nanbankan is a bit more dressed up than what one might reasonably expect from a restaurant essentially selling street stall food. But legions of Japanese families come for a sit-down meal over fresh skewers of beef tongue, squid and chicken hearts.

11330 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90189

6. Kushi Shabu

123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St, #305, Los Angeles, CA 90012

The deeply scarred cousin of grilled kushiyaki skewers, kushiage presents various meats and veggies deep fried to hell and back. Since the demise of Torrance’s Horon, folks have been flocking to Kushi Shabu in Little Tokyo, a joint operation inside Weller Court that panko-fries beef, seafood and more.

123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St, #305
Los Angeles, CA 90012

7. Old Country Cafe

2 E Valley Blvd, #1E, Alhambra, CA 91801

For a more true nose-to-tail skewer experience, get to Old Country Cafe, a Taiwanese SGV spot known for their congealed pig’s blood cakes, served up on a stick.

2 E Valley Blvd, #1E
Alhambra, CA 91801

8. Shamshiri Grill

1712 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

For more than thirty years, Shamshiri has been crafting Persian kebab skewers in Westwood. Most folks tend towards the lamb koobideh, grilled quick on long metal sticks over mesquite charcoal.

1712 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024

9. Fritzi Dog

6333 W. 3rd St. (at Fairfax), Los Angeles, CA 90036

One of America’s finest culinary bastardizations, the corndog is this nation’s entrant into the meat-on-a- stick world olympics. At Neal Fraser’s Fritzi Dog at the Fairfax Farmer’s Market, they’ll take any existing humanely-raised, nitrate-free dog on the menu, batter it up and fry it to perfection.

6333 W. 3rd St. (at Fairfax)
Los Angeles, CA 90036

10. Gauchos Village

411 N Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91203

Churrascaria’s are among the most recognizable forms of flamed meat on a stick. At Brazilian meat house Gaucho’s Village, everything from beef ribs to tri-tip to filet mignon to chorizo makes an appearance on the long swords that maneuver the room.

411 N Brand Blvd
Glendale, CA 91203

11. Dollar Hits

2422 Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90057, Los Angeles, CA

A huge open-flame grill, right on the street. Aluminum tins of pre-skewered pork cuts, from pig ear to all manner of intestines, each one only a dollar. And long, long lines on weekends. But for Filipino BBQ skewers served like a true street stall back home, there’s not much better.

2422 Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90057
Los Angeles, CA

12. Shin-Sen-Gumi Yakitori

18517 S Western Ave, Gardena, CA 90248

Shin Sen Gumi is a longtime meat skewer spot, with outlets in Gardena, Monterey Park, Torrance and beyond. Their long yakitori tradition includes plenty of seafood, including wide sticks of shrimp and squid.

18517 S Western Ave
Gardena, CA 90248

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