Another word about Gulf Stream [moved from L.A. board]
When a friend and I decided to meet last night in Century City around 10pm for a burger, I got caught up in exploring the new Borders and didn't think to put our name on a list at Houston's. (By the way, the new Bread Bar looks fantastic and ready to open.) Well, we had a choice at 10:05pm. Either a 40 minute wait at Houstons or a 20 minute wait at Gulf Stream. They both have burgers and run by the same company so we opted for the shorter wait - 22 minutes to be exact.
Seated in a comfortable booth we started with the small $5 Caesars that are offered with entrees. The sprinkling of corn kernels seemed odd but didn't detract and although their salads tend toward the sweet side we enjoyed them. We shared a cheeseburger and an Ahi burger, both cooked perfectly and delicious with shoe string fries for $14 and $16 respectively. A glass of Provenance merlot for $9 satisfied and the finishing lemon meringue pie (though suspiciously similar to key lime) was terrific with a great graham cracker crust. Yes, $10. But you do get what you pay for here which is why I post this relatively soon after my last visit, trying to shake the memory of our unfortunate experience at French 75 across the way.
Service is among the best, efficient, knowing and handsome. (Not that looks really matter but where do they find these people? One waitress was a dead ringer for Scarlett Johansonn.) On our way out my friend compared GS to Hayes St. Bar & Grill in S.F. Certainly, no other "chain" so blurs the line between multi unit and independent.
Whoops! I should've taken our name off the list at Houston's.
Not to add fuel to the fire, but we just had a great lunch at the Santa Monica Houston's. I was with the folks who are 78 and 86 and plans for brunch at Joe's were thwarted due to a kitchen remodeling closure. He reopens Tuesday. If you can believe it I had that same great cheeseburger which here is $12. Who knows? Mom had the Scottish Salmon with heirloom tomatoes for $19 which she loved and the old man had the Ahi for $21 prepared to his liking, "I want the fish to barely touch the fire!" Great grilled artichoke to start, a glass of Brander Merlot, a Haack-Beck, an ice tea and cup of coffee brought the total to $82 before tip. Dessert selections here are much less interesting. Service could not have been better. Patient and courteous with a group that doesn't always quite get it on the first go around. That was nice.
I'm glad you had a good experience! Unlike mine. =.( I've been to the Century City location several times, but my last time was, well, my last. The food is generally good (yes, ahi burger is tasty), and I have a friend who used to work there. But, other than her, the service was so snotty and bad...it's much too long of a story, but I won't be back. :T
Also, I don't like how the waiter(ess) always raves about that "hot REAL belgian chocolate sundae with vanilla bean ice cream and sweet pecans." What arrives (every time! and even at Houstons!!) is regular vanilla ice cream with plain hot chocolate and literally THREE-FOUR pecans. I can't believe I've fallen for that more than once.
I heard from a friend that the food was pricy. $14 and $16 respectively for a cheeseburger and an ahi burger sounds igh, doesn't it? $10 for lemon meringue even if it did taste like key lime? Last time we almost ate at Gulf Stream we, my wife, myself and another couple, finally went over to The Daily Grill, of the Grill in the Alley chain, in Irvine and had wwonderful food, not cheap, but none of which did we consider pricy.
Well, the cheeseburger at Daily Grill is $12.95, meaning in essence $13, not the Gulfsteam $14, but close, while the key lime pie is $6.95, not $10 for the lemon.
Crab cakes at Daily Grill are $24.95 - talk about sounding high, and this in a restaurant that at least to me seems much more focused on red meat items. Also, their T-bone steak is $29.95 - not exactly a handout either, you say.
I much prefer the food at Gulfstream or Houstons, as I really feel Daily Grill holds very little value in light of the competition in the marketplace.