Over an open fire, LA's new steakhouse cooks dry-aged steaks

Over an open fire, LA's new steakhouse cooks dry-aged steaks
Courtesy of Fia Steak‍

It's Fia Steak's goal to make your night out a big one.

Restaurants that have an amazing patio are a godsend in the pandemic era. In Santa Monica, Calif., Fia, a new restaurant launched in 2019, has an uncommon problem: Even before Covid-19 hit, its patio was a bit too inviting.

Despite the fact that indoor dining had fully been reopened in California, the same problem remained—everyone wanted to dine on the picturesque patio—so the duo decided to go in a different direction. Collins and Greco will transform one restaurant into two distinct places. A combination of coastal Italian and California cuisine is offered at Fia, which will remain an outdoor restaurant throughout the summer. In addition, Fia Steak, an Italian-inspired steakhouse that opens tonight, will occupy 48 seats in the dining room.

There are a number of steaks on the menu that Collins is aging on-site, such as the Costata di Manzo, a 60-day-aged prime boneless ribeye, and the Bistecca di Controfiletto, a 16-oz. New York strip steaks, 45-day aged, and big boy porterhouses, 50-oz. There is a 45-day-aged Bistecca alla Fiorentina on the menu, but those who know about it can order it for $350. Collins has decided to cook all of them over an open flame regardless of which cut you choose.

Courtesy of Fia Steak

For them to cook over fire, they had to first make a grill. Collins and Greco, together with Adam Picker from Morpheus Design, created a kitchen space that had previously been lacking. They blocked off a pair of French doors and put dry-aging fridges in their place. In addition to removing the existing fireplace, they also installed Santa Maria grills in place of the old fireplace and also a large antique butcher block which served as the island between the dining room and the new kitchen.

It's not just about steak that Collins will be cooking on those big grills and in the dry-agers. He is going to experiment with aging lamb as well as fish, too. Furthermore, the English chef with French culinary training is dry-aging pork shoulder and serving it with apple and fennel pollen, and grilling Maine lobster and he knew from the beginning that he would want Dover sole on the menu.

Courtesy of Fia Steak

In addition to the seafood platters and caviar bumps that Collins will have on display, he will also feature meat grinders where Collins' team can prepare steak tartare right in front of diners as they watch. 

It was Collins’ experience that involving diners in the meal-like how you can go up to the dry aging and choose your cut with the chefs-got people moving around and created energy in the restaurant during test runs prior to opening. He thought that it reminded him more of hosting a party than running a restaurant, and that’s exactly what Collins and Greco intend for their new restaurant. Having Fia Steak be a boisterous night out is what Collins and Greco intend to do, so they’re providing food in a way that fosters that atmosphere. There isn't any contemplative Nordic dining experience that they have created in this restaurant.

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