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Where are the great steakhouses in LA?

Hi everyone! I'm in the middle of organizing dinner outings to 5 different steakhouses over the course of 5 months for my dining group. It's like a prolonged "tasting" to experience some of the best steakhouses of LA. Since I don't tend to go to a lot of steakhouses, I'm struggling with deciding which ones to choose. So far, the only one I've decided upon for sure is Taylor's Steakhouse and that's where we're going in August, but I need to pick four more. Some of the suggestions I got from my members include:

Jar
Cut
Ruth Chris
Dan Tana
Boa Steakhouse
Nick and Stef's
Maestro
Arnie Morton's

Does any of the ones listed stand out for any of you or perhaps, you have other suggestions? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much,
Abby

www.pleasurepalate.com

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  1. Jar and Cut should be included as great but non-traditional steak houses. From this list, for the other two I would choose Ruth's Chris and Mastro--both part of chains. Boa has great locations but the steaks are not as memorable. Dan Tana is more about the atmosphere/history than the food. Nick & Stef's used to be very good but seems to have lost a bit of focus of late. Arnie Morton's is good but not quite as good as Ruth's Chris. Other options you might want to consider, though, include the new Italian steak place, West in the Hotel Angeleno (off the 405 at Sunset), Fleming's (a spin off of Ruth's Chris, which I like better) and Beverly Hill's Grill on the Alley.

    11 Replies
    1. re: New Trial

      There is an Italian steak place in Eagle Rock, Colombos or something like that. How is that?

      1. re: reality check

        Colombos is a place I really like, but not for the steak. Average at best. The cocktails though, wow.

      2. re: New Trial

        Flemming's is owned by Ruth Chris? Hot damn. I like the steaks at Ruth Chris, but I just can't stand Flemming's! Who knew..

        1. re: mstinawu

          Actually, I had heard that Flemmings is related to PF Chang. Apparently the "F" in "PF" is Flemming.

          1. re: Marvin

            You are correct that the guy who came up with the PF Chang's concept was Paul Flemming in 1993 in Scotsdale. Stating the obvious, the "PF" in PF Chang's is for Paul Fleming.

          2. re: mstinawu

            Unlikely. Ruth Chris lists Flemings as a competitor in its annual report. And PF Changs does not list it as one of its owned companies, though it does own Pei Wei.

            Flemings is actually a partnership with the owners of Outback (OSI Restaurant Partners), and 90% of Flemings is owened by OSI. The same company also partners with Roy's. Neither is connected to PF Changs or Ruth Chris.

            1. re: MEalcentric

              Thank god. Now I can confidently say, "No wonder they both suck." =) Outback has gone downhill since the first time I've eaten there. =P

              1. re: MEalcentric

                PF Changs is now a publicly trading company but PF Changs was co-founded in 1993 by Paul Fleming and Philip Chang in Scotsdale. Paul Fleming also started Flemings Steakhouse as well as several other restaurant chains.

                Check out the fourth paragraph at the following link:
                http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/...

                1. re: Norm Man

                  Huh...whadda know. Still dont understand how they are involved with Outback then, maybe Paul sold out? This may get booted but take a look at this

                  http://www.osirestaurantpartnersinc.com/

                  Edit: It appears Paul no longer has a reportable interest in Flemings.

                2. re: MEalcentric

                  To clarify the connection with Ruth's Chris, Paul Fleming used to be the franchisee who owned and operated their restaurants here in So. California and in the Phoenix area for many years, and then sold them back to the parent company.
                  Thereafter, he started the PF Chang gig with Paul Chang, then sent it public, and then started up the Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar with Outback funding 5 years after he left Ruth's Chris, per his non-compete agreement with RC, which is a common occurrence in buyout agreements.

                3. re: mstinawu

                  Not owned by Ruth's Chris but rather by the guy who used to own/run the B.H. location, Paul Flemming (and, yes, he was the "F" in PF Chang when that chain started).

              2. wow great to see all this condensed in one thread, by hounds who know their steak! is musso & frank's worthy of consideration as well?

                1 Reply
                1. re: rameniac

                  The steak at Musso & Frank is not a "great" steak by any stretch of the imagination. It's good enough, though, as long as you're there more for being at M&F than for having a steak. In other words, there are lots of places that I'd probably consider ahead of M&F if my focus is on a great steak, rather than a great experience.

                2. Hi Abby,

                  TAYLOR'S is a great pick for your first.

                  May I suggest,

                  PACIFIC DINING CAR - Downtown
                  IMHO, the best steaks in the city.

                  CARLITOS GARDEL - Melrose, just West of Fairfax
                  The Argentinians' appetite for, if not, knowledge of beef rivals our own. This is where Argentine expats go to get their fix.

                  CLEARMAN'S STEAK 'n STEIN - PICO RIVERA
                  Somewhat off the beaten path? Yes. Best steaks in the city? No.
                  Nevertheless, the steak is very good here and in terms of fun group activity, it's worth the field trip moreso than any of the others listed.

                  If it were my group, my eliminations would begin with the chains (RUTH'S CHRIS, MASTRO'S and ARNIE MORTON'S.) That said, PALM is a good standby and, I think, the best of the chain lot.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Kris P Pata

                    CLEARMAN'S STEAK 'n STEIN - PICO RIVERA

                    Is the Clearman's in San Gabriel still there?

                    1. re: reality check

                      None in San Gabriel, but there are Clearman's North Woods Inns in Rosemead and Covina

                      From the list above I would favor

                      Boa(especially the New York Kobe steak)
                      Ruth's Chris
                      Nick & Stef's

                      1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                        Not in Rosemead, but ON Rosemead (and a lot closer to San Gabriel). So, YES, Clearman's North Woods Inn is still located at the corner of Rosemead Blvd. and Huntington Drive, in unincorporated Los Angeles County, but with a SAN GABRIEL zip code.

                        1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                          There is a difference between Steak and Stein and Northwoods Inn. Not much of a difference but they are two seperate restaurants, both of which, are owned by Clearman's.

                          I remember a Steak and Stein in San Gabriel and a phone call to this corporate office confirms that there used to be a Steak and Stein in San Gabriel, which has now closed.

                          http://www.clearmansrestaurants.com/c...

                    2. Don't forget Dal Rae in Pico Rivera

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: teaeye

                        i second this rec! best steaks in all of southern california...and ive tried a lot of steaks.

                        1. re: love2eat

                          Tell me more about Dal Rae? What cuts of steak do you order? Why is Dal Rae so good?

                          1. re: reality check

                            I wanna know too!

                            1. re: reality check

                              Throwback to the 60's - red naughahyde booths, low lighting, serious drinkers at the bar, waitresses and patrons who have been there forever. I get the filet. Classic tableside Ceasar salad preparation - the night I was there it was performed by the founder's grandson (one of 2 brothers who are the current owners)

                              1. re: reality check

                                i love it because its a no-nonsense, non-trendy, stiff drink steakhouse. you can say this about taylor's but dal rae is a cut above taylors in terms of the quality and and size of the steak. it is true that the two owners (kevin and loren) prepare certain dishes tableside...when i was little they used to prepare a fettucine alfredo tableside for me...frying pan, butter, cream...made the sauce right there in front of me. now they usually will just prepare salads or deserts tableside including the grand marnier supreme which is an incredible blend of chocolate ice cream, rasberry ice cream and grand marnier. they mix it all up there before your eyes.

                                the cuts of meat are beautiful and huge. i usually order either the filet mignon pepper steak or the new york pepper steak depending on my mood. its basically the cut of meat with a delicious topping of green onion, bacon bits, peppercorns, and butter. the combination is truly divine!

                                the service can't be beat either. a lot of the eighty-year old waitresses have since left but there are a couple still around...ask for kitty!

                                1. re: reality check

                                  Dal Rae is a lot of fun. One of the few places where I enjoy filets, as it is usually a flavorless cut, but Dal Rae's classic toppings go perfectly. For a fun retro dessert, try the Cherries Jubilee which is prepared tableside, of course :)

                            2. Although its a chain I'm a big fan of Maestros. Another place you may want to try is the Arroyo Chop House in Pasadena.

                              1. I would add DAKOTA and SHULA 347 to your list.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  I've never heard of Dakota or Shula 347. I'm just curious as to what draws you to them.

                                  1. re: pleasurepalate

                                    This review from Poet Kitty will at least get you started on the subject of Dakota in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
                                    Shula is on Century Blvd. near LAX. Do a search on here for a corresponding review of it - they exist.
                                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                                2. Mastro's is the end all be all in Los Angeles in my opinion, preferably the Beverly Hills location. It should definitely be included in your comparison, as it gets high ratings by majority of people on this board. I recommend the bone-in rib eye, and I would check blood pressure levels afterwards....

                                  1. Best steaks I've had in town are:

                                    BOA [on Sunset]
                                    Nick & Stef's [downtown]
                                    Lincoln [Santa Monica but they're closed now for renovations?]
                                    Dal Rae [Pico Rivera]
                                    Mastro's [BH]

                                    1. A tasty good Steak House...we recommend "Damon's Steak House"
                                      317 N Brand, Glendale....i.e., A healthy tossed salad, a generous stuff baked potato, a good quality petit(good portioned) Filet, $17.95....also serve Top Sirloin, Blackened
                                      Rib Eye, Halibut, Chicken, Fried Shrimp, Prime Rib, and others,
                                      on a combo dinner, without the "ala carte sides" hi jacking
                                      that other Steak Houses commit.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: 4ahns

                                        Heh, I just ate there on Saturday. I had the NY steak, which is decent. Not one to write home about, but it's definitely a good value and when you factor in the Mai Tais and the whole tikiness of the place, it gets substantially better.

                                        1. re: 4ahns

                                          Try the Tenderloin. We like it butterflied.

                                          WOO HOO!

                                        2. Mastro's is probably the best there is in LA today. I would definitely include Nick and Stef's as well. Arnie Morton's and Ruth's Chris are fine, but you can get these in any city in the USA, there is nothing uniquely LA about them.

                                          Taylor's can be good or not. Avoid the Culotte steak. It is frequently tough and not all that tasty IMO.

                                          The best steak I ever ate in an LA restaurant was at Dan Tana's but that was 10 years ago, so I can't give firm rec on that. But for atmosphere and history, it's a worthwhile stop, as is Taylor's.

                                          The only one on the list I'd AVOID is Boa. The service is awful, the steaks aren't very good. It's all about show and glitz and attitude. If you're into that, fine, but there are far better places for food, if that's your primary interest.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: Iceman

                                            Which Boa did you go to? I've been to the Santa Monica location twice, and it was fantastic both times. The service was great, and the steak was one of the best I've ever had.

                                            BTW, anybody know these two old-timers in Pasadena:

                                            Monty's
                                            JJ's

                                            I've been curious for years...

                                            1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                                              anybody else like the Brass Cap new york steak? i thought it worth a repeat

                                              1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                                                Monty's - old style black leather booths, straightforward menu and no nonsense service with mostly steaks; nothing special, though, and not overly cheap for such a low key place.
                                                JJs - nicer atmosphere - dark and quiet; good steaks at high prices and grossly overpriced wines.
                                                Arroyo Chop House is a better deal (even more expensive, but at least it's worth it) if you're in the area and cruising for a steak.

                                                1. re: Griller141

                                                  If Arroyo is anything like their sister the Parkway Grill, I'll pass.

                                            2. The Grubman – 2d overall to a ravenous Ukranian in last years’s Extreme Carnivore Games – suggests, in this order, to follow your excellently chosen Taylor’s:
                                              Mastro’s (BH)
                                              Jar
                                              Morton’s (BH)
                                              The Galley

                                              Mastro’s is the cream of the traditional steak houses offering a bone-in rib steak to (pardon the expression) die for. Morton’s is not far behind, although their “Here’s the varmint you’ll be eating later” schtick is significantly off-putting. Jar, tho not a steak house, treats red meat like it matters. The Galley, like Taylor’s, is a rockin’ combo of big meat & atmosphere. Also, they’ll pan-fry your cow for you if you ask nicely.

                                              For the record, the Grubber’s steak standard of excellence is still the bistecco fiorentino at Pane e Vino. Damn! Now I have to go there again.

                                              1. Wow, thanks to all of you for your great suggestions. I might have to do a longer steakhouse dining series just to fit all the ones listed in this thread. :)

                                                After everything has been said and done, for my four other outings, I'm going to go with:

                                                Dal Rae
                                                Jar
                                                Mastro's
                                                Dakota

                                                (but I'm definitely going to keep some of the other steakhouses mentioned in mind for other restaurant outings)

                                                Thanks again to all of you! I really appreciate it.

                                                Best,
                                                Abby

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: pleasurepalate

                                                  keep us updated on your steakhouse adventures! i would love to hear about each one.

                                                2. One of my favorites is the Porterhouse Bistro on Wilshire Blvd, they offer a $40 four course Prix Fix meal which comes with 2 drinks (if you don't drink you are out of luck)The big idea here is that you bring a date and you both get the Prix Fix and you get the Monster Porterhouse for 2, they carve it tableside, meat quality is fairly good and they have mastered the illusive art of cooking a Porterhouse without overcooking one side or the other. Well I mean you would think if you call your place porterhouse you would be able to do this but I find most places overcook the fillet side of the Porterhouse/Tbone.

                                                  Anyway I would say a great place for a date, an good place for a steak.