Sherman Room (van nuys) really good on Saturday
I know this place is not for all -but- if you are looking for a good price steak, this is a great place.
I am a HUGE fan of "blue hair" type restarants and bars. This place fits the bill perfectly.
One waitress "Sally" is like 85 years old and has no problem telling you how you should be ordering your meat.
We went on Satruday at about 8pm. Not too busy. We were early so we hung out at the bar speaking to wonderful locals. The bartender was mixing some of the best livations I have had in a Loooong time. He makes the best bloody-mary I have ever had, a special hand mixed worchestershire sauce, tomato juice and a toothpick dipped in a secret habanero sauce, just magnificent.
We all had beef in some manner.
I had a 'petit' sirloin medium-rare, it had the perfect amount of char and good flavor. $10.95
The MRS. had an old fashioned treat. Ground sirloin smothered in onions and mushrooms 'well-done' $9.95 - She LOVED it
Our friends had the filet's medium rare $17.95. They were both happy, one of them devoured the filet in about 6 minutes, the other was kinda picking at his.
All dinners here come with bread, salad (or soup) and potato (or fries) which I love. It gets old going to the upscale steak places and paying $45 for a bare plate, sometimes I wish they would just incorporate some sides in the prices.
Ambience, no, not really but if you are a fan of the 'old/tacky/kitchsy feel' then there is tons of ambience. Right down to the fake fire in the fireplace and wood paneled walls.
This place also only allows 21 and over - although I have a 3 year old, I welcome a no kids restaurant here and there.
It's not ruth/arnies/or mastros but it's not trying to be either.
I've been there once. I think the same lady served us too. Yeah, she was great and sure doesn't take any flak either! My dining companions took me there partly because of the great meal deals and also for "grandma" (that's what they called her).
We each had the NY strips that came sizzling on a metal platter. Garlic toast was excellent, navy bean soup was a tad salty, but overall the meal was very filling and tasty. Once you get over appearances of the place, a very enjoyable meal.
At the end of the meal and close to closing time, "grandma" told us to settle our bill so she could go hit the wine.
Funny, I was just at Maestro's last Friday night. The NY strip steak was excellent; the sides (onion rings, creamed corn and twice stuffed potatoes) were totaly tasteless; dessert pretty good; prices outrageous; atmosphere 1/2 pretentious and 1/2 drunk. I would have prefered the Sherman room from the standpoint of overall enjoyment and isn't that what a meal out is supposed to be?
Aw, shoot! The big steak secret is out! Now it'll be harder than ever to get a decent place to park at the Sherman Room!
At least it isn't for everyone. The decor is... oh, dear... The bar is very popular (must be a great bartender) but as a non-drinker, I dread having to eat in there because it's so noisy and the drinkers like to butt into my conversations.
Pardon my hyperbole, but the filets (medium rare) are unfailingly perfect, and I've not had better in the price range. The iced tea is strong, the baked potato is really baked, I love the garlic bread.
I've never been to Cut or the other upscale places. I think an average Sherman Room filet is tastier than the Hitchin' Post II or Far West Tavern in Santa Barbara Co. (I went to a Ruth's once and had a perfectly horrid experience; the "steak" was an oily piece of over-cooked beef and everything else was tasteless No desire to go back or another location.)
With the steaks being perfect at the Sherman Room, for me there is simply no reason to go anywhere else .
I have to say the price of the meal is great for the food you get. If you like meat though you have to try Lawry's in Beverly Hills. They serve the BEST prime rib than any other place I have been. The service is like no other and the enviroment is beyond your beliefs. It can be a bit out of your pocket but one would be nice for a date or special event. The parking is Valet so $5.00 - $7.00 guranteed per car. The best part is they pull the table out and then let you sit down before they put it back. No scooting across the booths at this resturant. The prime rib is already cooked to perfection and they have it in a sliver oven that they bring right to your table. The food is to die for.
You had me at $5.00 - $7.00 guaranteed, per car (do you think they charge the same for vans?)...and then you had to go and gild the lily with the table that pulls out. We are so there. Wait just a dern tootin minute. Don't they have a spinning salad too? As Gomer Pyle used to say, Golly!!
Another place with an 'old/tacky/kitchsy' feel with a good price steak is the bowling alley in Canoga Park. I believe it's called the Canoga Bowl. Their steaks are really good. The restaurant got taken over by a Greek guy I believe. They also have stand up comedy night in their bar on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights.
I'm a big old soft-hearted Santa Claus when it comes to the Sherman Room. Well, except for the hideous, dusty fake flower arrangement inexplicably tacked onto what is otherwise a fine example of a 50's/60's vintage rock fake-fireplace. What's the story with *that*? I've dropped more hints than Bush has dropped bombs about that thing, and yet it mysteriously persists. Perhaps it has sentimental value to Sally...
Anyway, aside from the occasional coffee cup with an old Equal packet stuck to the bottom, this place is a blast. Great bartender! Here, have a whiskey sour on me (love those drinks).
So how'd you like your sour? Good. Let's order dinner...Sally? We're ready. Sally? S-A-L-L-Y! (God love her, she is truly a Valley insitution.)
Ah, the salads...I actually (stupidly?) CRAVE their salads on occasion; they're enough to motivate me to go there, as much or moreso than the steaks or the whiskey sours. Strange, because the salads are simply iceberg lettuce. That's it. No cherry tomatoes, no garbanzo beans, nary a crouton to be found; no scallion, no sweet onion, no peppers nor cucumbers, no Dasher, no Prancer, no Rudolph. Not even a measly parsley sprig.
This, my friends, is the Sherman Room salad (don't try this at home): iceberg lettuce topped with a generous drenching of creamy "Kraft"-style French Dressing(tm) (or your dressing of choice). Fresh-ground black pepper if you're in a trailblazing mood. Brilliantly simple, simply brilliant. Ok, at the very least, efficient.
When was the last time you ordered a baked potato with chives, and were presented with the out-of-a-jar Shilling-type freeze-dried variety? You'll find that at Sherman Room, along with an earthy, perfectly foil-baked russett with TONS of melting butter and a glop of sour cream. Careful, the metal plate is hot! And I'm not being facetious when I say that I love those freeze-dried chives -- they remind me of my childhood. That, and "Good Seasonings" onion dressing (the kind you shake up in a cruet with vinegar and oil).
The buttered and grilled bread served on the sizzling plate is a decadent treat, especially when first served, steaming hot and crispy-licious. Like butter, you, too, will melt.
Now, the top sirloin is hit or miss, be forewarned. At the price, one can't complain, but, then again, often one can't even CHEW the stuff. But on rare/medium-rare occasion, I'll get an AMAZING chunk of sizzling sirloin that warms my water-wheels. I'm talking a semi-salty, lightly charcoal-burned exterior encasing a flower-pink center dripping with deep, rich, beef-y flavors; tender and luscious, the meat melts in the mouth and leaves you wanting more, more, more. Try some of the "special" steak sauce, which I suspect is actually Ralph's(tm) brand, semi-sweet, syrupy, the perfect adjunt to the steak (if you're a steak saucier, that is).
If I'm not in the mood for taking chances on the sirloin, I'll order the filet which is unfailingly delish and fork-tender, as expected. Try one with the buttery button mushroom appetizer, served with dinner, not before. I like to smother the potato and steak with these tender little love-nuggets, Mother Earth's own primal jewels plucked straight from the loam, then drench everything in that silly sauce.
Leave a big fat tip for Sally and, by gosh, hurry up with your order already! She'll make no bones about when her shift ends, and her need to "go home and have some wine." A true LA character, that girl.
Apologies for waxing rhapsodic about this place so predictibly. I can't help it, I LOVE the old-style vibe of places like this (like WON'S COFFEE SHOP in Van Nuys -- DO NOT EVER CHANGE, OWNERS!!! It's perfect as is): tattered, original, heartfelt, nostalgic. The food is practically secondary to the throw-back dining experience.
Try it before it's replaced with a Pinkberry's.