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LA

Review

Jakob Layman

Chi Spacca

$$$$
Written by
Jakob Layman

If you’re anything like us, you award yourself with an imaginary “good job” sticker every time you throw a plastic cup in the recycling bin. When you meal prep for the week, equally distributing quinoa into Tupperware, you become the embodiment of health and happiness. And when it’s late at night and one of those mind-boggling tiny house shows comes on, you convince yourself that you, too, could squeeze your entire existence into a 60-square-foot house, eliminating your carbon footprint once and for all.

Being a healthy and reasonable human feels good - but only if you balance it out with a night of complete excess every now and then. When you’re due for your throw-down meal of the highest “f*ck it” variety, go to Chi Spacca, a meat-centric restaurant where excess isn’t just encouraged, it’s mandatory. And damn does it feel good.

Chi Spacca is one of the three restaurants inside the Mozza complex at Melrose and Highland. But unlike the universally-loved Osteria and Pizzeria Mozza next door, Chi Spacca feels like the mysterious younger brother in the family. If you want a sprawling Sunset Strip steakhouse with neon water walls and people you recognize from an old season of The Real World, Chi Spacca is not your spot. The easily missable entrance is hidden inside of the Mozza 2 Go pick-up area and the small red dining room has only 10 or so tables total. A meal here feels like an exclusive dinner party inside a famous novelist’s wine cellar. It’s an upscale experience, but one where two bottles of wine leads to four bottles of wine and suddenly you’re staring at five plates of red meat and the impending realization that you aren’t actually Ernest Hemingway.

Jakob Layman

If you’re thinking about going to Chi Spacca with a tight budget or diet plan, go somewhere else. Chi Spacca’s food is salty, buttery, and so over-the-top that by the time the beef pie with a giant bone sticking out of it arrives, it doesn’t even seem out of the ordinary. There’s no room for sensibility or restraint at a place where a $90 tomahawk isn’t the biggest piece of meat on the menu. You’ll eat charcuterie, pate, the aforementioned tomahawk chop, and focaccia that’s so good, it’ll make you angry.

In a time when every restaurant in the city recommends 3-4 small plates per person, eating at a place that drops gigantic trays of red meat on your table like it’s tap water feels revelatory. Most people in Los Angeles don’t want to eat like this most nights - but Chi Spacca doesn’t care about your Tupperwares full of quinoa. And when you’re eating here, neither will you.

Food Rundown

Jakob Layman
Focaccia di Recco

This isn’t just one of Chi Spacca’s signature dishes, it’s one of LA’s. Arriving to the table looking like a crispy bread pizza, the focaccia is salty, cheesy, and the kind of thing you take one bite of and involuntarily scream “Is this f*cking real??”

Jakob Layman
Affettati Misti

If you’re with a group and looking to get some charcuterie, this is the best bang for your buck. For $35, you get a sampling of six different meats, including the butcher’s pate which will disappear within seconds.

Jakob Layman
Grilled Octopus

When you’re eating at a place with as much red meat on the menu as Chi Spacca, seafood because the equivalent to vegetables. And these are really good vegetables.

Jakob Layman
Beef & Bone Marrow Pie

Looking like something from a Sweeney Todd prop table, this giant meat pie is a must-order. If you’re able to finish this by yourself, we’d be impressed, but also a bit worried. Enlist the help of some friends.

Jakob Layman
Tomahawk Pork Chop

There’s no doubt this dish tastes great, but the texture of the actual pork chop is a bit inconsistent from piece to piece. We’d go for another meat instead.

Jakob Layman
Butterscotch Budino

Yes, you can also get this dessert at Pizzeria Mozza, but who cares? This salty pudding-like dish is a top five dessert in the city and we’d buy the rosemary cookies served on the side in bulk.

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