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#21 Sizzler - Atwater Village

Rating: 1.75 cows


We had to. It was sitting there on our list, staring us down like a boxer at the weigh-in. Laughing as we tried the mid-range and high-end steakhouses, it sat and waited, knowing its day would finally come. We tried every excuse we could think of: "They don't have table service!" "They don't have a filet!" "They're not a real steakhouse!!" But we soon realized there was no avoiding the one thing we had dreaded perhaps more than any other: The Sizzler.

Known for its all-you-can-eat shrimp and salad bar, Sizzler is certainly not the paragon of steakhouses. But importantly for us, it proffers the irresistible lure of steak with a low price and convenient location that appeals to many steak lovers who are too far from or can't afford the more serious players. And so whether or not it falls into the category of a "steakhouse" rather than just a restaurant that has steak on the menu, it's on our list because of those reasons, and because while their options may not be diverse, they market steak as their primary entree. The salad is there to maintain a veneer of healthiness and to pacify those vegetarians.

Passing by the iconic Tam O'Shanter in Atwater Village, we arrived at the Sizzler on a bustling Friday night. The modest parking lot was nearly full as we made our way inside. Normally we like to grab a drink at the bar before digging in to our slab of meat, but tonight things would be a little different. Queueing up along the left wall we eyed the colorful menu. We put aside the obvious comparisons to dining at Wahoo's and got to work on our orders. There are two types of steaks: the top sirloin, and for an extra $10 you can have the Rib Eye. The salad bar was certainly ample but also decidedly mediocre in quality. The food looked fresh and healthy while also being somewhat banal, but since we didn't come for the salad it wasn't a problem.

The steaks arrived shortly thereafter (except for Brent's, which arrived much later) and surprise of all surprises, they actually tasted alright! It's true that our expectations were low, and we wondered more than once whether this would lower the floor which has so far been Black Angus'. But for the most part the rib eye steaks, while thinner and fattier than we would like, and certainly not aged or the most prime cuts, were modestly enjoyable. Flavor was adequate, and the steaks were cooked reasonably well; certainly better than we had hoped. So while not as much of a surprise as Outback, we laud Sizzler for delivering a basic low-end steak. In the grand scheme of things, we feel that spending a bit more on your steak can get you a substantially better meal, but this was not the experience we feared.

Sizzler Photos

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