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Raw-raw spirit

October 26, 2006|Leslee Komaiko

New York chef Mario Batali more or less invented the Italian-style sashimi called crudo. But in Italian, "crudo" simply means raw, and in Italy the term is used to refer to cured or uncooked meat dishes.

Il Grano

Every day, chef Sal Marino, L.A.'s unofficial crudo king, offers a fantasia di crudo consisting of half a dozen or so pieces of shellfish and fish: maybe a scallop accented with candied lemon peel, fluke rolled with pickled vegetables and finished with a basil-infused olive oil, and fresh sea urchin from Oxnard.

* Fantasia di crudo, $18. 11359 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A., (310) 477-7886.

Bridge

Rob Lucas, head sushi chef at Koi, Bridge's ever-trendy sister restaurant across the street, helped develop the crudo offerings on the new lounge menu. Thin slices of salmon are served with ponzu, a dab of basil pesto and parmesan shavings. Yellowtail gets a hit of soy-yuzu dressing along with diced chile and sun-dried tomato.

* Salmon or yellowtail, $18. 755 N. La Cienega Blvd., L.A., (310) 659-3535.

West

Among the items on chef Josh Moulton's crudo menu, at this 6-month-old modern Italian with killer views atop Hotel Angeleno, is Japanese fluke. Moulton fans five swatches of the firm, white fish on a plate, adds a touch of fruity Umbrian olive oil and Meyer lemon juice and the barest hint of sea salt along with finely chopped red Fresno chile peppers.

* Fluke, $14. 170 N. Church Lane, West L.A., (310) 476-6411.

La Terza

Unlike American steak tartare, the carne cruda chef Gino Angelini prepares at this buzzing bi-level spot isn't made with egg: just shallots, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. The finely chopped beef, a traditional dish from Piedmont, is piled on grilled ciabatta toasts rubbed with garlic and painted with hollandaise made with bacon fat.

* Carne cruda, $16. 8384 W. 3rd St., L.A., (323) 782-8384.

Drago

Celestino Drago just unveiled the annual, seasonal truffle menu at his dining room. One dish stars quarter-size slices of raw scallop alternating with soft, creamy potato slices. This is finished with a little truffle oil, micro greens and, if you choose to live big, a heap of shaved, fragrant Alba truffles.

* Scallops and potatoes, $14 (with truffles $45). 2628 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 828-1585.

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