Next Steakout

5 Sept 2017

La Boucherie on 71

Tuesday
Mar302010

#9 Jar - Mid-City West

Rating: 4 cows

 

Jar bills itself as a modern chophouse with cozy feel of a neighborhood supper club.  The description fits.  

As you walk into Jar, you're struck with a certain warmth.  The wood walls, low lights, and throwback decor are inviting and lack even a hint of pretense.  We assembled the Steak Club on a Tuesday night and the restaurant was full; that's usually a good sign. We started with drinks at the bar as the party trickled in. One commenter slurred that the whiskey selection was decent. That's high praise from a man drinking from a brown paper bag.

The steaks at Jar received generally high marks. We ordered the 10 oz. filet of beef, 14 oz. prime rib-eye, and 16 oz. dry-aged prime Kansas City steak. The steaks were generally ordered medium-rare and came both cooked to order and served at temperature. Many steakhouses can't get this right, so we were happy off the bat.  

The filet was excellent and well seasoned. The rib-eye had a good amount of marbelization, but was a bit fatty along the edges. The center had a some choice meat but the amount of fat caused one reviewer to wonder if he ordered lard. Finally, the Kansas City steak was a good piece of meat, but the reviewer would have preferred more seasoning.  

As with other steak houses we've visited, Jar offers a number of premium steak sauces to pair with the meat.  They range from the usual (green peppercorn, Bearnaise, lobster Bearnaise, and horseradish) to the unexpected (spicy mustard, tamarind, and lemon caperberry relish). The lobster Bearnaise sauce was subtle and tasty, while green peppercorn sauce was overpowering and too much. At least one diner commented that the steak's seasoning should have been altered to accommodate a side sauce.

Like the sauces, the side dishes were a mix of classic and different. The mashed potatoes and french fries were good, if a bit pedestrian. The purple yams and beet greens received rave reviews.

Our experience at Jar was a pleasant one and many of us would return for another visit. The service was generally very good, especially for a party of ten. 

Jar Photos

Thursday
Jan212010

#8 Damon's - Glendale

Rating: 3.25 cows

 

If you love both steak and chi-chis, you might want to check out Damon's in Glendale. Here you will find the unusual combination of a tiki theme and a steak restaurant. Your steaks and umbrella drinks will be served in a dining room decorated with bamboo, faux huts with thatched roofs, and polynesian trinkets. The result? in a word, "fun."

At the bar, we sampled the featured drinks - the mai-tai and the chi-chi. Both were average, fruity tropical drinks that didn't knock our socks off. We also ordered some tasty coconut shrimp as we waited for the entire group to arrive. As we sipped our drinks and observed the clientele, we noticed a definite trend toward older patrons. This was certainly not a trendy restaurant, but it appeared to be popular enough with the 40+ customers who have likely been dining there for years.

The dinner menu had a selection of 5 basic cuts, all between $20 and $25. Our group sampled the new york steak, the ribeye, the filet, and the "thick juicy tenderloin"; the untested cut was the top sirloin. In addition, some of the filet eaters ordered specials that included either scallops or coconut shrimp. All of the steaks were cooked properly, but weren't among the most flavorful steaks that we've tried. This was probably due to a combination of average meat quality and too-little seasoning. Everyone enjoyed their steak, but nobody was overly impressed. We also had some mixups with the salads, which could perhaps be forgiven considering that we were a party of 11.

Overall, our impression was that Damon's is a fun, kitschy, and reasonably-priced place to eat. It hasn't dislodged Outback as our value steakhouse of choice, but if you're in the mood for a tropical theme or just don't relish dining at a national chain, Damon's is a place you might enjoy.

Damon's Photos

Tuesday
Dec082009

#7 STK - West Hollywood

Rating: 2.75 cows

 

STK takes a different approach to a steakhouse in that the focus here is all about the sauces that go with your steak, rather then the steak itself. With each steak you order there you can pick one of their 8 sauces for your steak and also purchase an additional sauce for $2. Each of these sauces comes in a little saucer instead of actually being prepared with or for your steak. Everyone in our party had their steaks cooked perfectly to order. However, as the focus is on the sauce, the steaks are not prepared or seasoned in any way. Because of this, the steaks had very little flavor themselves. On top of that the sauces were not that impressive and most of the party ended up eating their steaks without using the sauces that came along with them. It felt that there was an opportunity missed for the steak to be seasoned to reflect the sauce the customer chose for the steak instead of no seasoning what-so-ever.

Of further importance, the steaks are also quite pricey, as this experience is definitely up there in the top 3 most expensive steakhouses that we have reviewed. On the plus side, the entire STK restaurant was packed, so reservations are definitely required. This may be partially due to that STK also has its own nightclub on the premises, which got more crowded as people continued to file in as we dined into the evening. On the negative side, our service continued to get worse as we continued to dine, topped off at the end by the waiter incorrectly charging one of the credit cards in our party by $100. When this was brought up to the waiter, he seemed to be offended when we pointed out his mistake. 

To conclude, STK is great for those that like sauces with their steaks. Most of the restaurant is set up for large party dining (5-10 people), which is great if you want to share sauces with the rest of the members of your party as we did. However, for about $10-20 more we could have dined at Morton's (our top reviewed steakhouse) in which we would've had a better seasoned steak along with much better service.

STK Photos

Sunday
Nov152009

#6 Tony's - West Hollywood (closed)

Rating: 3.75 cows

 

Tony's was our first foray into the steak-rich area of Los Angeles knowns as West Hollywood. And no, that's not a clever euphemism to the other thing that West Hollywood is known for.

We arrived on a Sunday evening and told the waiter we were waiting for a few others in our party so we'd just order drinks at the table to start. This wasn't a problem since we were the only ones in the restaurant. The ambiance is quite nice. It's classy without being stuffy or formal. The dining room is dark woods, lit by a combination of candles and some interesting old-timey lights with big filaments suspended from the ceiling; very reminiscent of The Edison in Little Tokyo. Music was provided by a DJ, and the volume was appropriate that we could hear each other talk. We were seated in a large, round, comfy booth in the corner where we could take in the whole restaurant.

The steaks themselves were good, but not great. The waiter seemed to have a difficult time getting the orders exactly right, which is somewhat understandable when you have 7 people at a table, but then not so much when you consider it's the only table you're serving all night.The cuts were very good, and the steaks were cooked well, though not quite to perfection. Two steaks arrived cold, and the mashed potatoes had to be sent back to be warmed up. Again, with 7 steaks it's difficult to heat them all perfectly, but again there were no other steaks to cook in the restaurant.

Overall the place seems to be struggling, but their steaks are good and their prices reasonable. It would be interesting to go back at a time when the place had more people to see how the experience might change, but if this economy and the number of patrons on a Sunday night is any indication, making that trip in the very near future could be your only chance.

Note:
We regret to mention, though we can't say we're too surprised that since our meal at Tony's, the restaurant has since closed its doors.

 Tonys Photos

Wednesday
Oct142009

#5 Black Angus - Burbank

Rating: 1 cow

 

Black Angus is not known as a truly great steakhouse, and we all found out exactly why. Well, to be honest we knew this going in, but we were hoping to be as surprised by this budget restaurant as we were by Outback. Unfortunately for us, our mediocre expectations went hopelessly unfulfilled.

The evening began innocently enough with a few drinks at the bar, while the local sports teams battled it out and we sipped our Happy Hour-priced libations. The restaurant was particularly quiet on this Wednesday evening; our hostess snaked around the high-backed booths and settled on one large enough to accommodate all 6 of us comfortably.

We sat there for about 15 minutes with no waitress, no water, and without the bread she promised would "be right out". It's not as if the place was busy, in fact we couldn't see any other patrons from our booth. We ordered and when the steaks arrived we were disappointed yet again. All of our steaks were overcooked and tough. The cuts were thin and just did not look fresh, nor did they taste fresh. Lucky for us the waitress came back a few minutes later and offered us steak sauce, which we eagerly accepted, thus cementing the steaks at Black Angus at the very bottom of the experience (thus far).

The value is questionable because although the prices are low and the side dishes are included with your steak, the steaks are just not good and the sides are mediocre at best. Given the rather uninspired atmosphere and slow service, it's hard to find anything redeeming about this restaurant.

After our meal we mentioned to one of the employees about our endeavor and she asked us how it ranked among the other steakhouses. "Top 5!" we replied. We just neglected to tell her it was only the 5th place we'd been to at the time. Here's to hoping that our experiences only go up from here.

Black Angus Photos