Food & Drink

A Look Inside the Most Secret Restaurant in LA

Published On 03/10/2015 Published On 03/10/2015
Jeff Miller/Thrillist

Deep on Pico, in the area of West LA right by the Westside Pavillion mall, hidden behind a nondescript Teriyaki facade, lies LA's most secret restaurant, Totoraku -- aka Secret Beef. There're no reservations -- someone who's eaten there before has to invite you, with the chef's permission -- and, at $260 per person, it ain't cheap. And it's always been somewhat of a mystery as to what dinner entails... until... now.

Jeff Miller/Thrillist

It's totally BYOB, and everyone tries to one-up each other

I was there with a dude who raided a wine cellar from a high-profile, now-closed restaurant and another guy who actually knew what he was talking about when he brought up varietals and years. The two bottles I brought -- one bought on an actual vineyard in Italy, another a gift from a wine expert -- both went unopened. So yeah. Stakes are high.

Jeff Miller/Thrillist

It's not allllll beef

This starter platter had everything from bites of foie gras, to sashimi, to, uh, vegetable jello. Yep. That stuff was super weird.

Jeff Miller/Thrillist

You're gonna eat a ton of raw beef

Like this beef carpaccio...

Jeff Miller/Thrillist

... this beef tartare...

Jeff Miller/Thrillist

... and this beef neck.

Yes, raw beef neck. Shockingly, amazing.

Jeff Miller/Thrillist

They're going to deliver you a very, very used grill

Seriously, it's amazing that the fire department hasn't banned these things.

Jeff Miller/Thrillist

You're going to grill your own meat

Wait, you're paying hundreds of dollars to cook your own food?? Yep.

Jeff Miller/Thrillist

And it's gonna keep coming...

Jeff Miller/Thrillist

... and coming...

Jeff Miller/Thrillist

... and coming...

Jeff Miller/Thrillist

Uh, wine break.

Jeff Miller/Thrillist

... and coming...

Jeff Miller/Thrillist

*breath*... and coming...

Jeff Miller/Thrillist

... and coming. For as long as you'd like.

This is the lamb, which is the final course -- after steak (ribeye!), steak (New York!), and steak (filet!). And when you're done with the lamb... you can request more lamb. Included. Yes.

Jeff Miller/Thrillist

Eventually, you will get dessert

Thankfully, this ice cream was not beef flavored.

Jeff Miller/Thrillist

The chef will come out... and get wild

You, though? You probably won't move because, dude, that was a lot of beef.

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Jeff Miller totally hopes that this article doesn't get him or the guy who invited him banned. Find out on Twitter at @ThrillistLA or on Instagram at @jeffmillerla.

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1. Totoraku 10610 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064 (Century City)

Deep on Pico, in the area of West LA right by the Westfield mall, hidden behind a nondescript Teriyaki facade, lies LA's most secret restaurant, Totoraku -- aka Secret Beef. There're no reservations -- someone who's eaten there before has to invite you, with the chef's permission -- and it ain't cheap. If you can get a seat, expect a competetive BYOB situation and round after round (after round) of delicious red meat.

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