The Hollywood Reporter's 20 Most Influential Chefs in Hollywood
"When I opened Campanile in 1989, the L.A. restaurant scene was grim," says Silverton. "A food desert."But the desert bloomed, partly thanks to her.
Silverton has gone through distinct phases: Campanile's Thursday sandwich night with now-ex-husband chef Mark Peel was a smash, and her La Brea Bakery fed a town starved for good bread (the business sold for $6 million in 2001). The to-die-for dough at Pizzeria Mozza (641 N. Highland Ave.) and fancier Osteria Mozza (6602 Melrose Ave.) with partner Mario Batali put Hancock Park on the culinary map, and her new Chi Spacca (6610 Melrose Ave.) has become the town's alpha grill, with salumi made on-site.
"Chi Spacca is meat-centric," she says, "and showcases our philosophy in all our restaurants." The emphasis is on great ingredients, unadorned except for a sprinkling of herbs and a squeeze of lemon. For sheer drama, it's hard to top the 42-ounce Tomahawk pork chop ($72) -- heritage pork raised in a non-factory-farm environment so healthy, even a Portlandia character would approve.
Asked what void she detects in L.A.'s food scene, she replies: "Fine dining. Few people in Hollywood want to put on a coat and tie and be subjected to a three-hour meal. Often they're there for business. A business meal is not a fine dining meal."
Favorite dish of regular Kathy Griffin: Mozza's burrata pizza with brussels sprouts.
Where else Silverton eats: El Taurino, for tacos.