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Flame-loving chefs are taking a grill-centric approach to cooking, elevating humankind's oldest and simplest culinary technique into its tastiest. Here are 8 excellent new places around the country.
Chef Eli Kulp grills over Japanese-inspired hardwood charcoal. akitchenandbar.com.
ARC, COSTA MESA, CA
The giant stack of firewood in the dining room is the only fuel at this neo-primitive spot. arcrestaurant.com.
LA BRASA, SOMERVILLE, MA
Raised in Hermosillo—Mexico's unofficial carne asada capital—Daniel Bojorquez is a grill virtuoso. labrasasomerville.com.
OX, PORTLAND, OR
At this tiny Argentinean-style restaurant, grilled-meat juices become an umami-rich basting oil. oxpdx.com.
PENROSE, OAKLAND, CA
Charlie Hallowell turns out both perfectly cooked chops and impeccably charred flatbreads. penroseoakland.com.
TBD, SAN FRANCISCO
The open kitchen has four fire-focused sections: a mesh grill for tiny items like fava beans, a cast-iron plancha for breads, a grill grate for meat and a hearth for ember roasting. tbdrestaurant.com.
DEATH & TAXES, RALEIGH, NC
Ashley Christensen will use fire to coax deep flavors from vegetables at her next restaurant, opening this fall. ac-restaurants.com.
OVENBIRD, BIRMINGHAM, AL
The flame-driven cuisines of Europe and South America inspire Chris Hastings's new project, slated to open this summer. Coming soon.