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3 top LA chefs help you get creative for your Labor Day BBQ

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Three top L.A.-area chefs offer suggestions for dishes that will wow your friends this Labor Day weekend.

Plenty of Angelenos will be hovering over the grill on Monday, even with these ridiculous temperatures.

We thought it would be fun to talk with some L.A.-area chefs about what they like to make on a holiday Monday like this. Perhaps something other than the usual burgers and dogs.

Our first stop was Industriel at 6th and Grand in downtown L.A. Chef Antonio David Luna took us back-of-house to the kitchen for a grilled peach salad with parmesan cheese, arugula and an apple cider vinaigrette, and grilled hangar steak:

Grilled Peach Salad

2 peaches, halved
2 cups Arugula
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinaigrette 
1 tablespoon olive oil
Balsamic reduction 

  • Brush peach halves with oil and place on grill until just seared, about 1 1/2 minutes per side.
  • Remove from heat, let cool for several minutes, and slice.
  • In a salad bowl, toss arugula with parmesan and apple cider vinaigrette.
  • Place on plate and top with peach slices. Drizzle with balsamic reduction.

Grilled Hangar Steak

8 ounces hangar steak
4 roma tomatoes
3 sprigs fresh Thyme
2 cups Pea tendrils 

  • Roast tomatoes and thyme in foil in 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, set aside.
  • Season steak with salt and pepper, place on hot grill, let cook on each side about 8 minutes.
  • Let steak sit on place for several minutes after that. Carve into slices.
  • Place tomatoes on top of steak.
  • Place pea tendrils on hot grill for about 5-15 seconds, remove immediately and place on top of tomatoes and steak.

Next we headed to Chichen Itza restaurant in the Mercado La Paloma just south of downtown L.A. Chef-owner Gilberto Cetina taught us how to make a dish to help us cool down.

Gilberto Cetina's Yucatán Ceviche

2 pounds sole or red snapper (or other film, mild white fish, such as a grouper or halibut) cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/3 cup lime juice (about 4-6 limes)
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 plum tomatoes, seeds and pulp removed, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped (without stems)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 chile habanero, sliced (optional)
Lime wedges

  • Marinate the fish in a nonreactive bowl on the lime juice , salt and pepper. 
  • Add tomatoes, onion, cilantro and olive oil. Toss.
  • Add chile habanero, if desired.
  • Serve with lime wedges and tortilla chips or saltine crackers. The ceviche also makes a good tostada.
  • Tip: use a spoon to scrape the inside of the tomatoes to remove the seeds and pulp.

Our last stop was Bestia, in the arts district of downtown L.A. After sampling some house-made charcuterie, we sat down with chef-owner Ori Menashe to talk about his pick for barbecued ribs. 

Ori Menashe's BBQ ribs

BBQ sauce:
4 cups Balsamic vinegar
1 cup Ketchup
3 tablespoons Tabasco
5 garlic cloves, crushed
2 shallots, chopped
1 cup whiskey or rum
1 cup veal or chicken stock (optional)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon chili flakes

Reduce on medium heat until syrupy.

For the ribs:

  • Salt and pepper 2-3 slabs of pork or beef ribs
  • Place them on a roasting rack covered in aluminum foil at 325-350 degrees F, 2-3 hours for pork ribs/ 4-5 hours for beef ribs
  • Remove from oven, cover in sauce and place on grill for 30 minutes
  • Finish with a squeeze of lemon
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