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#16 Nick & Stef's - Downtown

Rating: 4 cows


Located in the heart of downtown L.A., hidden off a patio amidst a sea of tall buildings, you may have passed by Nick & Stef's steakhouse without even knowing it's there. Indeed the location is somewhat unbecoming of an upscale steakhouse, but don't let that fool you into thinking that this place doesn't take its steak seriously.

The bar area is smallish and awkwardly shaped, stuck in a large corner by the entryway. The bartenders are capable and you even get a view of a stone patio where you can watch the workday crowd slowly trickle out.

The dining area is starkly decorated, with muted colors so as to not distract you from the reason you're here. Adjoining to the kitchen is Nick & Stef's signature aging room. Here you'll see racks and racks of beef quietly waiting to be cooked up when the time is right. If you don't see it on your way to your table, your server will be more than glad to point it out to you for an up-close inspection. And no, you cannot choose your own steak.

The menu at Nick and Stef's gets right down to business. There's the steak, the premium dry-aged steak, a few non-steak options, and the salads and sides. If you're the kind of person who likes a glass of wine or two with your steak, you'll be happy to know that they have a good selection of wines from around the world perfect for any price range. You'll be even happier to know that they don't have a corkage fee, so that Château Pétrus Bordeaux you've been waiting to open won't set you back any more than it already has.

The steaks here were very good. We felt that the price to value here was just about perfect: the prices are not cheap, but they certainly don't occupy the highest end of the steakhouse spectrum. And the steak is commensurate with that; a very good cut and finely aged piece of meat, cooked well to your liking and served at the just the right temperature. This may not be the best steak you ever eat, but it's excellent and well above average. All our steaks were cooked just right, and there was not a bottle of steak sauce in sight. The steaks were well-sized and nicely blackened, which made for a delicious and enjoyable meal.

Not to be outdone, the side dishes were surprisingly good as well. The popular made-at-your-table caesar salad was very good and ample in size, while the classic wedge was good, but not outstanding. The mushrooms and mac and cheese were also excellent, as were the au gratin potatoes.

The servers were friendly and attentive and did a fantastic job accomodating our somewhat large party of 6. When we finished our meal, we were even treated with some homemade peanut brittle, nicely wrapped for us to take home and snack on. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable meal and we wouldn't hesitate to come back and eat here again.

Nick & Stef's Photos

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