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Sweetbreads! I need sweetbreads!

I was just up in San Louis Obispo for the Vintner's festival and attended an open house at Saucelito Canyon Winery where a company that makes sausages (Ray's Own Brand) was not only grilling up their different varieties of sausages but was also grilling up sweetbreads. Where in Los Angeles can we find sweetbreads?

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  1. Last time I was there, they had a fabulous sweetbread appetizer on the menu at Spago. Not sure if it was a regular menu item or a special, however.

    1. Bistro K, Pasadena
      The Dining Room at Pasadena Ritz Carleton
      Spago, B.H.
      Cut, B.H
      Pacific Dining Car (awhile back)
      Mimosa (awhile back)
      as you can tell, I love the stuff!
      I would inquire when making reservations, since it may not be a regular item.

      1. Are these breads bakes on sight or are they purchased from somewhere?

        Edit: Just did a wikipedia search... I didn't know that they aren't breads! sorry for the stupid question... got a lot more to learn.

        2 Replies
        1. re: young_chower

          yeah, they're not breads, and not even sweet, so I don't know how they came up with that name for animal guts.

          1. re: kingkong5

            The word "sweetbread" is first attested in the 16th century, but the etymology of the name is unclear.[4] "Sweet" is perhaps used since the thymus is sweet and rich-tasting, as opposed to savory-tasting muscle flesh.[5] "Bread" may come from brede, "roasted meat"[6] or from the Old English brǣd ("flesh" or "meat").

        2. Sona had sweetbreads as an appetizer a while back and they were excellent. First time I tried them though, so I don't have any standard for comparison.

          1. Being a major sweetbread fan myself, I've found very good dishes at:

            Cafe' Pierre - Manhattan Beach - one of their specialities
            Le Petit Chateau - North Hollywood - one of their specialities
            La Parisienne - Monrovia - one of their specialities
            Le Petit Bistro - West Hollywood (often but not always)
            Le Petit Cafe' - Santa Monica (often but not always)
            Sona - West Hollywood - appetizer

            1 Reply
            1. re: Cheesepuffs2006

              Just had'em at La Parisienne. They were okay, though hardly worth putting up with the combination of pretentiousness, inattentive service, and underachievement in the cooking department. Oh, and not cheap, either.

              Though I have not tried the ones at La Vie in Rosemead, my French maman-in-law gets them just about every time we all go there, which oughta tell us something. That place is also almost totally devoid of stuffiness, though it is formal in a friendly sort of way, and the prices are friendly as well. French food by a classically trained Vietnamese chef.

              As for Le Petit Café, I'd love to try the sweetbreads there, just to have an excuse to go back!

            2. Best sweetbreads I EVER tasted was back in the old times when MC was chef at Water Grill. Now gone from WG's menu, and I don't think they resurfaced at Providence's.

              1. I've had good sweetbreads at Orris and 2117, if you want to try an Asian version. I really enjoyed them, but I am by no means a sweetbread expert.

                1. Chez Melange in Redondo Beach has been having them on and off for the last several months. They do a great job. I highly reccomend them. Chef Robert Bell is a culinary genius. Call in advance as the menu does change daily.

                  1. Sadly, I had the best sweetbreads at Table 8, which has since closed to reopen in Florida, but I hear it is set to open in LA in December, though who knows if it will prepare the same foods!

                    1. Carlito's Gardel on Melrose has sweetbreads, all grilled and kinda charred...

                      1. also sadly had some great sweetbreads at the old cafe blanc space.

                        1. I've had some good sweetbreads at an Argentine place up in the SF Valley area. Jonathan Gold profiled the place last week on "Good Food" on KCRW. So if you're willing to go to their website and find that broadcast, you will find sweetbreads.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: french roast

                            Probably Mercado Buenos Aires on Sepulveda, but if it wasn't Mercado BA has wonderful sweetbreads in their parrillada.Most likely they can be ordered separately.

                          2. cafe bizou has them at dinner. pasadena and sherman oaks.

                            1. Brandywine has divine sweetbreads.

                              1. Had a fabulous veal sweetbreads appetizer at Sona last night. I highly recommend it. It was the best part of the meal.

                                1. Opus has them regularly. I believe I've probably had them nearly every time I've eaten there. Chef Josef does a great job of varied preparations. When you make a reservation and ask for them, I'd be very surprised if they couldn't accomodate you.

                                  1. I had some great grilled sweetbreads last night at El Morfi Grill up in Glendale on Brand. They were nice and crispy, just how I like them.


                                    1. I very much enjoyed the sweet breads at Camillo's in Eagle Rock last time I ate there - though that was a couple of years ago.

                                      1. I wanted to resurrect this thread to see if anyone has current recs for excellent sweetbreads. I think the best I've ever had were at Opus back in the day. RIP.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: mollyomormon

                                          I'd like to find a place where I can buy them to cook them myself! (I'm in OC)

                                          1. re: OCEllen

                                            I would check any of the Mexican meat markets. We used to buy all of our meat in Santa Ana on First St. I was married to an Argentinean and we loved to grill sweetbreads, intestines, chicken, Italian sausage, beef, beef, and more beef.

                                          2. re: mollyomormon

                                            Every year when we're in Palm Springs, I get the sweetbreads at Le Vallauris in downtown PS. Great romantic place with good food.

                                            1. re: 50sGuy

                                              If you're in PalmSprings, Zin Bistro has fantastic sweetbreads with braised veal cheeks.

                                            2. re: mollyomormon

                                              Sweetbreads w/cumquats. Best SB ever. Better than WG's.
                                              Not currently in the menu, but you can call in advance and have Matthew reinstate it for you.

                                            3. The original poster talked about grilled sweetbreads. I know they do this at Carlito's Gardel on Melrose. I thought they were decent but nothing to write home about.

                                              1. grilled sweetbreads can be found at any of the Gaucho Grille restaurants. That's the way they do them in SLO.

                                                1. Does anyone know of a butcher/grocery in the Pasadena or LA area where I can purchase veal sweetbreads? They serve terrific ones at Malbec restaurant, but I'd like to buy my own to prepare. Thanks everyone.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: abbyjj

                                                    Ah, well I'm in the OC and have rec's for that area (El Gaucho Meat Market #2 in Anaheim) but any good South American meat market in your area should have great quality fresh sweetbreads, because the Argentinians love them.

                                                    For a wonderfully simple and delicious recipe for them, check out the book Seven Fires, by Francis Mallman.

                                                    For prepared crispy sweetbreads in OC, it's been a while but Marche Moderne in Costa Mesa's were fantastic.

                                                    1. re: abbyjj

                                                      call carniceria argentina on victory blvd. they sell sweetbreads, i believe.
                                                      (818) 762- 9977.

                                                    2. Not sure if you want to buy them and cook 'em yourself. Or order them up.

                                                      My fav in L.A. is Osteria Mozza. Getting hungry for them just writing this.

                                                      They used to have some great ones at Animal, but not the last few times I've been there.

                                                      In New York - head to Prune.

                                                      1. As pictured here, the sweetbreads at Musso & Frank Grill in Hollywood are wonderful! Not little tiny overcooked bits like you find as appetizers in trendy places, but a plate full of big honkin' lobes as an entrée. They offered two different preparations, the traditional sautéed with capers (my fave) or one featuring tomatos. I love sweetbreads and these were sheer heaven! And they're always on the menu. www.mussoandfrank.com

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: nsxtasy

                                                          so good ... usually get those as an app to share.

                                                          sorty of a funky old dish but I like the lobster thermador there also!

                                                          1. re: nsxtasy

                                                            Nice !

                                                            Thanks for sharing the photo, they certainly don't skimp on these babies, do they?