A new occasional series that explores all things meaty and fatty.
Meat-centric Chi Spacca, or "The Cleaver," opened this month at Mozza's Scuola di Pizza, where chef Chad Colby has developed L.A.'s first certified dry-cure program -- which means a lot of salumi. But if you want a spectacular hunk of meat, Colby is grilling a 42-ounce bistecca alla fiorentina, the famed Florentine steak, and its lesser-known sibling, the costata alla fiorentina.
The cut: Colby said he buys the short loin from Harvey Gussman of Harvey's Guss, who "puts three weeks of dry age on the beef," which is Nebraska corn-fed. From the short loin Colby cuts four bistecca and two costata. The bistecca is Florence's most renowned steak, comparable to a porterhouse. But, Colby said, "at a classic butcher shop in Tuscany, the costata is just as prized if not more so. ... As the filet side tapers off, you have more inner muscular marbling." Both steaks are cut at 42 ounces, which can easily feed as many as six. Originally, Colby had set out to serve 80-ounce steaks, but no table in the dining room at Chi Spacca seats more than six people, so it was too big a steak for the space. A 42-ounce steak is "more than a healthy amount of meat," he said.