There are two main reasons why a restaurant keeps a dish a secret: the clandestine item is a pain to make, or it’s just too good. We suspect the latter is why Brandon Boudet has stayed mum about the SOS Sandwich at Tom Bergin’s. Scarfing down one of these supersize creations will have you crying for another. Wolfgang Puck changed much of his Beverly Hills institution, Spago, this year, but no amount of redecorating could silence the clamor for his signature smoked salmon pizza, spicy tuna cones, and wienerschnitzel—the kitchen will still make ’em if you ask. Josef Centeno moved on from the Lazy Ox Canteen long ago, but his pig’s ear chicharrones still wind up on the tables of folks in the know. Some say the Big Makosher burger at Mexikosher outshines any of the restaurant’s rabbi-approved south-of-the-border staples. And should you happen to shout “no dough” at Michael Voltaggio’s ink. sack, don’t worry: They won’t think you’re broke; they’ll let you go carb free.
Inspired by a po’boy, the monstrosity tops a seared rib eye with fried oysters and creamy béarnaise and is stuffed into a buttered roll.
SMOKED SALMON PIZZA
The Spago original: a wood-fired pie layered with slices of smoked salmon and dollops of caviar.
Puck channels his childhood with the Austrian classic: breaded veal scallopini, usually served with a warm fingerling salad.
SPICY TUNA CONES
Sushi-grade tuna tartare dressed in ac sicy chili mayo arrives in a crisp miso-sesame cone.
The kosher version of a Big Mac includes two five-ounce beef patties, vegan cheese, “secret” sauce, and a sesame bun.
PIG’S EAR CHICHARRONES
Thin, crunchy strips of pig’s ear that have been braised, then fried, put french fries to shame.
With these two magic words, any number of sandwiches will be wrapped in lettuce instead of bread.