Ball So Hard: 5 Must-Eat Meatballs From Around the City

L.A.’s <i>polpette</i> diversity is at an all-time high

The Italian-American staple no longer limited to comically big spheres of dried-out beef sitting on an equally comically big mound of under-sauced spaghetti. Chefs are starting to pay attention to their polpette in a new way—braising, charring, grilling, experimenting with different meats—and meatball diversity is at an all-time high across L.A. Below are five of our favorite examples.

Gusto
Vic Casanova’s meatballs hardly require chewing. Pork as tender as the lightest matzoh ball you’ve ever had sits on a schmear of silky ricotta and gets a finishing touch of sweet tomato sauce and salty pecorino.
gusto-la.com

Sotto
Ground pork is ramped up with a whole pantry’s worth of herbs and spices then grilled to a pink-in-the center medium and served atop simply dressed greens with sieved hard-boiled egg. These aren’t your nonna’s meatballs in Sunday gravy.
sottorestaurant.com

Gjelina
After being braised in red-wine and tomato sauce, then tossed into the same wood-burning oven that churns out Gjelina’s signature pizzas, each pork meatball is stamped with a small bit of char before it hits your table.
gjelina.com

Rao’s
After 120 years in the meatball biz Rao’s lives by a simple truth: Three meats are better than one. The softball-sized masses of ground pork, veal, and beef are pan-fried then gently simmered in marinara sauce.
raosrestaurants.com

Sorrento Italian Market
They may not be perfectly seasoned, and they may not be high gastronomy, but you can get a sandwich stuffed crust-to-crust with Sorrento’s all-beef meatballs for $3.95. That may be the highest ball-to-dollar in the city.
sorrentoitalianmarket.com

 

 

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