Anatomical Eating

Go literal on Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day: the one day every year when the dining world lurches toward cliché.

If your politics keep you from getting down with his-and-hers menus or if you simply can't snag a reservation, check out these tangentially love-related dining options tied together by the common thread of grilled heart:

Conveniently ArcLight-adjacent, Los Balcones del Peru is also one of L.A.'s longstanding Peruvian institutions. You can dine on ceviche or lomo saltado in the recently renovated dining room, but the skewers of beef heart, anitchucos ($6), are a Peruvian classic not to be overlooked.

A slice of Yokohama in Torrance, Torihei is the stateside extension of a Japanese restaurant group that specializes in yakitori and oden. Grilled heart is the only chicken skewer labeled as "special," its elevated status courtesy of the occasional whole garlic clove threaded between the snappy pieces of Jidori meat.

Feng Mao 2 is the less divey sister of Feng Mao Mutton Kabob, both of which specialize in a sort of Korean-Chinese grilled-meat mash-up. You can cook the heart of many a beast over the tabletop charcoal grills, but we found the lamb's heart ($2 a skewer) to be the best option to go with skewers of cumin-spiced mutton.