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Jun 25, 2006 03:50 AM

Elephant Bar [Post moved from L.A.]

We like The Elephant Bar. More of a restaruant than a bar. A good assortment of good food. Younger hounds love this place too.

My GF gets the ribs. She says the best she has had. They are not hard over BBQ but tasty. The hamburger is good. I like the asian style short ribs.

Even picky eaters will find something they will like.

In Valency in the big mall off to Magic Mountain Parkway. Town Center Drive I think.

Very reasonable prices and comfortable seating.

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  1. It's OK. It's horribly overpriced, though. There's one in Burbank and one in Torrance. I wouldn't recommend it, nor would I avoid it, but it falls into the same category as "Welcome to T.G.I. Chili Chang's Elephant Garden Factory, home of the two-hour wait, may I help you?"

    1. I've been once...big menu...kinda generic tasting food...but its a chain. Its a fun place though...just casual....

      1. I tried it once here in Phoenix and was utterly disappointed. The overly busy decor gave me an optical headache (and this comes from someone who used to work at a TGI Friday's!), and the food seemed to land in two categories: Inspired and traditional. The inspired food was poorly thought out and just tasted awful, the traditional fare made my taste buds fall asleep.

        1. On an impromptu business trip, I ate at the Elephant Bar in La Mirada, CA.

          I had the lamb shanks. The portion was large, but, the lamb was a little tough, and seemed like it had been reheated.

          I eat at chains when I am in a foreign land with no time to research my options. I guess I figure they're safe. In retrospect, the lamb shanks were probably a poor choice. I'm sure some items are prepared fresh.

          1 Reply
          1. re: johnseberg

            Aw, now, you have chowhound to help with the research. That being said- my fav meal at the elephant bar included a grand martini and calamari. The cost is a bit over the top otherwise and never order the creme brulee( had it three different times every one was tough and salty- maybe it is just the St Louis one but not worth trying.) Stick to the bar- no waiting usally.

          2. Here is an extract from a posting I made a few years ago disucssing the Elephant Bar among others, it sounds like it has not changed:

            Instead, where the Peppermill once stood there arose an Elephant Bar. So Hungry, and really needing a pit stop, the Chino Wayne’s pulled in to the apparently recently opened in Sacramento Elephant bar. As in the one and only previous experience at an Elephant Bar, it was decorated nicely and expensively, and there were young men and young women staff running hither and yon. Ultimately it seemed that is what the staff are best at in this establishment, running hither and yon, but never with enough time to refill a glass.

            Mrs. Chino Wayne ordered the “Safari Sampler” and Chino Wayne ordered the sliced tri-tip. Mr. and Mrs. Chino Wayne knew fully well that, despite the large, open kitchen, this joint exists to sell drinks. Chino Wayne has also deduced that in order to pay for all of the expensive atmospheric décor, besides selling drinks, they must also have cut a deal with the glue factory in order to score cheap provisions. The Safari Sampler consisted of some ersatz barbecued baby back ribs, some Buffalo wings, and some strips of beef for fajitas. It came with fries and baked beans and coleslaw. The Mrs. ate all of her ribs, because she was hungry, and is a rib-a-holic, she tasted one wing and passed the rest to Chino Wayne, and tried to unravel one of the two flour tortillas that were apparently rolled up together, then steamed (or micro-waved) and then put on the plate. The tortillas, in their rolled, intimate and warm state, came apart as the Mrs. tried to unroll them. The Mrs. tasted gristle when she was finally able to construct a fajita. So Chino Wayne scored the remaining wings, which were meaty, and mild as they were apparently only covered in Tabasco and nothing more potent. Chino Wayne also took care of the remaining meat, which was not gristly, together with the accompanying fried peppers and onions. Mrs. Chino Wayne would not touch the beans, ever considerate of her fellow traveler, but Chino Wayne took a taste, they were probably the best item on the plate. The Mrs. reported that the coleslaw was sadly lacking in dressing.

            Chino Wayne’s medium-rare tri-tip came medium. Chino Wayne had expected that he might have tasted some additional flavor elements that might have come from a marinade or a rub, but instead he just tasted ordinary, tough, meat. Chino Wayne surmised that the lack of flavorings was another way of paying for the décor. There were some nice vegetables on Chino Wayne’s plate, some sliced carrots, zucchini and celery. All were cooked al dente and still had some bite to them, and the celery, while not usually encountered in this permutation, was very nice and crunchy and complimented the other two vegetables. There was also a clod of garlic mashed potatoes, that did not taste of garlic at all. This was one of the strangest permutations of mashed potatoes that Chino Wayne has ever encountered, as they had the consistency of flannel, and held their shape, similar to the way sand holds it shape when wet sculpted and then dried. They must have been prepared hours earlier, and then held in a warming oven. The unremarkable tri-tip, then redeemed itself, at least slightly, as Chino Wayne was able to hack off hunks of potato “aggregate” and soak them in the meat juices and make them a bit more palatable. Chino Wayne had also started with a Caesar salad, which like the coleslaw, was suspiciously devoid of more than a teaspoon of dressing. Thus Chino Wayne registered further credence to his theory that the décor was financed, at least in part, by a lack of condiments. The Chino Wayne’s passed on dessert, and obligingly turned the table over to management, as by this time the Elephant Bar was packed, with, apparently, the non ‘houndly masses. The entrees at Elephant Bar ran about $13.00, some of the theme concoctions in the bar also approach that price point.