Meat on Ocean is the steakhouse LA has been waiting for, where new-age and old-school come together to showcase time-honored fine dining in a way that that long-time Angelinos and visitors alike can revel in. This is more than a restaurant, instilling in its guests not just a dining experience, but for many a timeless moment where the senses unite under completely new sights, sounds, aromas, and of course, tastes.
Part of the experience is their gargantuan dining room that essentially encompasses five restaurant atmospheres in one, ensuring that no two meals are the same. Each section of this massive open-air space caters to a different audience. Classic plush red booths under longhorn displays line one wall, paying homage to the classic steakhouse. Further down that same wall is more modern décor, for those seeking something newer with the same intimacy. Large group tables line the restaurant’s center, adjacent to a long bar that pays homage to a spot where you’d order a dirty martini, yet churns out cocktails that compete with any modern mixology program. Meat on Ocean then seamlessly transitions to a hybrid of indoor and outdoor seating, where tables closest to Ocean Ave. enjoy a windowless escape with a full roof over their head, as well as gorgeous ocean views with the Santa Monica Pier in the backdrop.
Patrons are not just diners at Mean on Ocean, but also audience members, many with a full view of the market-style display of wines stacked in wooden boxes, as well as the butcher’s area, where the day’s cuts are prepared. Even the smell is reminiscent of a rural European marketplace, where fresh meats, cheeses and wines are exchanged with love and care.
Then you find the aging room, custom-engineered with the sole goal of developing the perfect dry-aged steak. Kept to 35 degrees and 85 percent humidity, this fortress is sealed with steel doors and lined with fans that circulate Himalayan salt-infused air to accentuate flavor over time. Staff members put on special clothing before entering, so as to not contaminate the meat with foreign smells by simply walking past them. Steaks age in here for up to 75 days. Good luck finding another room like this in any restaurant, let alone one that could otherwise rest its laurels on simply being close to the beach.
The aging room is just the beginning, however. Meat on Ocean has developed a mind-blowing seven-stage cooking process to ensure that every bit of refined flavor reaches its full potential on your plate. A team of chefs guide each steak through a journey across ovens you won’t find in most restaurants, ranging from several hundred to more than 2000 degrees, to make sure color, temperature and consistency are nothing short of perfect, regardless of how you like your steak cooked.
By now it should be no surprise that Meat on Ocean serves one of the greatest steaks you’re going to get in Los Angeles, and short of a trip to Japan’s Kobe region, likely one of the greatest steaks you’re going to get…period. Biting into a Meat on Ocean steak is other-worldly, whereby literally months of preparation and countless levels of detail hit you all at once. Many fine steakhouses will have a crust, a finishing ingredient or a single cooking technique that defines their signature flavor, but at Meat on Ocean, it’s a full process, a lifespan, so to speak, that raises the bar to a level simply unattainable for most.
A robust menu doesn’t keep itself to steak, however. As if its meat preparation process wasn’t enough, Meat on Ocean is under the King’s Seafood umbrella—the same owner of the illustrious Water Grill right down the street. That means fresh, sustainable seafood achieving another almost unfair level of quality, prepared with an equal level of culinary mastery. One bite of their Chilean Seabass, or their sensational octopus, and you’ll easily understand.
The intrigue doesn’t stop there. Meat on Ocean takes advantage of every part of the meat it sources, reduces excess fat from their beef into a tallow, and incorporates that tallow into many other aspects of the menu. This means beef tallow fries, exceptionally buttery meatballs and so much more.
And yes, of course Meat on Ocean makes nearly every dessert in-house, including a decadent bread pudding and a rotating ice cream menu. And that cocktail program? No syrups involved, just pure muddling and mixing of fresh berries and other ingredients.
Filling a restaurant the size of Meat on Ocean, in one of the most expensive areas on the planet, would be a daunting task for virtually anyone in the business. But now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of the way this place runs its show, there should be no doubt as to why Meat on Ocean is packed every day of the week. Just make sure to book in advance, and specify which part of the restaurant you’d like to make yours for the evening.
Meat on Ocean is located at 1501 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401. Open 11:30a – 11p Sun – Thu, 11:30a – midnight Fri – Sat. Avg. out-the-door price for appetizer, entrée, side, split dessert and 1 – 2 drinks is ~$145/person. For reservations and more information call (310) 773-3366 or visit MeatOnOcean.com.
The Planned Parenthood LA Food Fare brings together an unprecedented 150 of Southern California’s best restaurants, caterers, wineries, breweries, distilleries and more food & drink purveyors under one roof. This year’s PPLA Food Festival is on Thursday, March 19, with an afternoon session from 11am – 2pm and an evening session from 6:30 – 9:30pm.
Participating restaurants include Rao's, Viviane, The Butcher's Daughter, Pink's Hot Dogs, Clementine, Pinche's Tacos and Salt's Cure among many others. Beverage providers include Angel City Brewery, Navarro Vineyards and Ventura Spirits among others.
Taking place in Santa Monica’s famed Barkar Hangar, this legendary festival delivers an ambiance also attracts a crowd of some of LA’s best and brightest, providing attendees the opportunity to partake in dozens of raffles and auctions including the popular silent wine and spirits auction featuring, collectible vintages, unique vertical collections and large format bottles. Prizes will include exclusive and unique entertainment and culinary experiences such dream vacations and private dinner parties at renowned Los Angeles restaurants.
As its name states, the PPLA Food raises funds to provide affordable, non-judgmental, and confidential reproductive health care services to communities throughout Los Angeles County. And if 2020’s event is like that of past years, expect it to bring in more than $1.3 Million.
For tickets and additional information, visit PPLAFoodFare.com. Sponsorship packages also available.
Nestled on the corner of 12th and Grand, just a stone’s throw from the Staple’s Center, sits barcito. Make no mistake about this Argentinian-focused, haute spot: while Latin flavors run through barcito’s veins, the menu holds elements of classic American comfort to make just about any patron feel right at home. In similar fashion, a novel drink menu sports a broad selection of specialty cocktails, including beer and wine cocktails, that pack a hell of a punch.
Oh yeah, the vibe here is ‘very LA,’ with groups sporting everything from chic formal wear all the way down to well-worn hoodies. The place perfectly caters to all crowds, agendas, and lifestyles that intertwine amidst the hustle and bustle of DTLA. The long bar is perfect for groups and party-goers, while pockets of candlelit tables catering to date nights and intimate groups.
barcito’s food menu is just large enough to provide strong variety, but small enough for each dish to have been perfected over time. The attention to detail shows in a starter as pure and simple as bread & butter, where barcito’s grandma’s bread holds simply the perfect hearty texture made all the more beautiful with a cultured butter topped with sea salt. Throw in some ultra-premium serrano ham and fresh burrata and you could almost call it a night. But of course, barcito goes much further than that.
Empanadas are undoubtedly a staple here. Whether shredded pork, ground beef, or artichoke heart, each comes with its own distinct presentation, but all go perfectly with a bright & creamy chimichurri. Bridging the elements of Argentine and American cuisines are items like the Breakfast Salad, where chorizo, avocado, and perfectly fried egg come together atop fresh greens for a dish suitable for any health-crazed millennial who also has a refined palate. Going even further into Americanized, yet globalized fare is the hot chicken sandwich, where an ever-so-light breading locks in an ever-so-juicy piece of chicken, accompanied by a colorful carrot and purple cabbage slaw and a creamy, spicy honey-infused sauce. And if you come at the right time, the animal-style fries are an upscale take on their namesake, with tender shortrib and chimichurri putting an intriguing spin on things.
barcito backs up its name with a strong drink lineup. Each cocktail incorporates elements of timeless classics with a touch (or sometimes a heavy dose) of something new. Take the flower street, where vodka, lavender-vanilla, lemon and egg white come together to create a slightly sweet taste and bold character. Their house-made shandy, with citrus-blonde ale and ginger lemonade go down smooth, as does a beautifully mixed spritzer with Aperol, lemon and sparkling wine. Other cocktails feature ingredients such as pez powder, maple and tajin, with new concoctions arriving on a regular basis.
Whether you’re at barcito for food, drink, or both, the dulce de leche churros will undoubtedly make your night. An airy batter with deep pockets houses more cinnamon sugar than thought possible, and – as if that wasn’t sweet enough – an addictive dulce de leche sauce turns a good dessert into a knock-out dish.
barcito is located at 403 W 12th St, Los Angeles, CA 90015. Open 11a – 11p Sun/Mon, 11a – midnight Tue – Sat. Avg. out-the-door cost for small plate, entrée, split dessert and 1 – 2 drinks is ~$60/person. For more info call (213) 415-1821 or visit barcitoLA.com.
Benjamin Brown is a seasoned restaurant writer and hospitality consultant, serving up SoCal's hottest food news and reviews.