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#18 Arroyo Chop House - Pasadena

Rating: 4 cows


Although the Arroyo Chop House is a relatively new addition to the Los Angeles steakhouse scene, having opened just 14 years ago, the ambiance evokes that of an establishment which has been thriving for at least twice that long. With the traditional dark woods and accents, walking inside not only smells like steak, it looks like it too.

The Chop House sports a small bar area which is divided from the kitchen by a row of tables. They have full bar service with a good selection of liquors. There are some smaller dining rooms and a patio area as well which can be closed in when the weather isn't agreeable. We were seated in one of these rooms, and the service started off well, with bread and drink orders. The menu at Arroyo doesn't mince words. Vegetarians need not apply; this is a place where animals go to die, and for that we should all give thanks. There are ten different cuts of steak to be had here, and the prices are moderately high but certainly not unreasonable.

Overall we were impressed with the quality of steaks. This was not the first time that many of us had been here, though it was the first time we had gone together as a group. The size and cut of the steaks was excellent, and though they offer a selection of sauces, chances are your steak will taste better without them. Together we had the NY Strip, Filet, Ribeye and Porterhouse. All were impressively cooked and very flavorful. The side dishes were adequate, but certainly nothing exceptional. Not that we went there for the sides, but it's still an important part of the overall experience.

Now that we've been to a number of steakhouses around this mid-upper price range, it's becoming clear that the major differentiator is the quality and aging of the steaks rather than the cuts, cooking, or seasoning. Those latter elements are crucially important to a great steak experience, but most places seem to get them just about right. However Arroyo does well with steak cuts that seem just a bit higher grade than their prices suggest. The steaks were excellent, though they lacked the exquisite taste and delicacy of places like Mastro's and Cut.

Finally, though we usually get at least one dessert to share, sometimes we need to go a little further. This was one of those times, as Arroyo is renowned for their soufflés, especially the chocolate. We ordered 3 in total—two chocolate and one creme brûlée. All were delicious but the chocolate is the clear winner here. Easily the best dessert of any of the place we've been to, this one is not to be missed if you have room after your juicy steak.

Arroyo Chop House Photos

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