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#19 Pacific Dining Car - Downtown

Rating: 3.5 cows


Buried in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles is one of the older steakhouses around: Pacific Dining Car, since 1921.  The exterior doesn't look like much but the inside is furnished and decorated with the finer touches of an old train, complete with luggage.  The ambiance is rather nice and comfortable with warm hues, roomy booths, and plenty of tables.  For a restaurant that is open 24 hours a day, it has certainly aged well (though many rooms may be recent extensions).  There is a small bar tucked all the way in the back with a decent variety of spirits and there are plenty more private areas for parties or filming as well.  There's even a room that Johnny Depp dines in when he frequents this location, so they say.  

For a large party of eleven on a Monday night, we pretty much had an entire room to ourselves and service was pleasant and attentive enough but leaning on the slower side.  The wait staffare dressed in tuxedos, which essentially translates into higher prices.  You wouldn't want the typical Denny's patrons here so classing up the joint is almost a necessity. We sat down in what were without question the most comfortable chairs of any steakhouse we've dined at so far. Seriously, these chairs are amazing—comfy, with ample padding and sized just right. It was an auspicious beginning for sure, but we're not here to critique the furniture, now are we?

Overall, the steaks (including their specialty Cowboy Steak) were cooked properly and tasted good.  But these weren't the largest steaks you'd expect to get for the price you pay.  There is also a selection of sauces available but most steaks were better without them. The biggest disappointment in the meal, however, were the sides and the desserts.  Again, bringing up the value, the sides just didn't taste like anything special and the portions were extremely small.  This was the first time we had to order additional side dishes for the table.  The desserts were actually an even bigger disappointment than the sides.  I didn't think it was possible to ruin a sundae but they managed to do just that.

It's a shame about the sides and desserts because everyone wanted to really love Pacific Dining Car.  The quality of the steak here was more than acceptable, but not exceptional and not quite what we all expected for the price paid. We would gladly return here if we needed a steak at 3am, but a meal is more than just steak, and the quality of the sides and desserts leaves too much to be desired. Then again, maybe that's what you should expect if dining at 3am?

Pacific Dining Car Photos

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