Chi Spacca (pronounded “key-SPA-kah”) means one who cleaves, or butcher in Italian. But as Nancy Silverton admits, her restaurant may be inspired by the way she imagines an Italian butcher would cook, but it’s very much a Los Angeles restaurant, inspired by the city’s diversity as well as its access to good food.
You’ll find a robust and very Italian bistecca Fiorentina here and a lush and spicy n’duja, but California’s influence is just as clear in a salad of castelfranco radicchio with persimmons, candied pecans, and fruit-and-nut toasts. There’s a British-by-way-of-Australia note in the famous beef cheek and bone marrow pie, and wide swaths of the Middle East in roasted lamb rack with dried Persian lime tahini and grilled broccolini and scallions. And that Meyer Lemon kumquat tart with rye-cream cheese crust? It shouts, Los Angeles!
Chi Spacca’s recipes are detailed and exacting, often comprised of multiple components, as close as possible to the the way the restaurant itself prepares things, making this a better choice for culinary professionals and those who are interested in weekend project cooking. But oh, the promise of satisfactions herein.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.