"Great Steakhouse Challenge" - Dinner at Jar (review and photo link)
A while back, a lot of you were really helpful in helping me choose a variety of LA steakhouses for a dining series that I organized for my dining group. See link below:
So I thought that as our group visited each of the steakhouses, I'd post a review. :)
First up was Taylor's Steakhouse in La Canada. See link below:
Second in line was Dal Rae in Pico Rivera. :
Is third time the charm for Jar? Let's find out!
After my heavenly experience at Dal Rae, Jar definitely had a lot to live up to in my books. Unfortunately, my tale is part woe and part bliss.
Before we get to the woe part, I want to mention that everything started off on a high note for me when I had my salad. That salad, which consisted of roasted beets, arugula, sweet roquefort and balsamic vinaigrette, was absolutely delicious. Considering that I work for a produce company that makes bagged salads, I'm extremely picky about my salads and I finished everything on my plate to the last beet.
Following the fantastic salad came the woe. :( I ordered the skirt steak and was extremely disappointed. First off, I expected the meat to be more marbelized, just a little bit fatty to allow for flavor in the meat. Also with that little bit of fat, the outside of the steak would have also been more caramelized, which again would have again contributed better to its flavor. The meat was also chewy-soft, if that makes sense. After the high of the Petite Filet Pepper Steak I had at Dal Rae, this skirt steak was a real downer.
In retrospect, the waiter did say that the dishes that Jar is known for are the items listed under the Braises and Sautes section of the menu and lo and behold, some in the group ordered the lamb shank with star anise, coriander and garlic as well as the Jar's signature pot roast and were quite happy with their meal, so on a return visit, I probably would make different choices.
However, it should be noted that two people in our group split the Prime Porterhouse and raved about the tenderness of the meat, the flavor and the juiciness of the meat, which is another reason to avoid the skirt steak altogether next time.
But along with the woe was bliss and that bliss for me in the form of the french fries with garlic and parsley that I ordered as a side. Crunchy and with a flavor zing...those fries made me a happy camper. Also, the dessert special that I shared with a friend was awesome, a rich butterscotch pudding that almost made me weep with joy. I also had a taste of Jar's signature chocolate pudding and oh my gosh, it was creamy dark chocolate perfection!
Overall, I would make my way to Jar again, but at least this time, I know what not to order in way of a steak and if the butterscotch pudding isn't available, the chocolate pudding will do just as well.
To see pics, go to:
By the way, my camera settings weren't as they should be, so the pics are a bit blurry.
8225 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Thanks for the nice pictured review. BTW, have you "firmly" decided on your next 2 Steak restaurants? Or is that a closely guarded secret? The reson why I ask is that people here could direct you to the best steak option(s) there and you could avoid, hopefully, another Jar-skirt-steak disappointment.
I've never been to Dakota and I've only been to the upstairs bar for a drink at Mastro's so I can't help you personally; however, since no one has responded so far, I'll just suggest the obvious and that is to plug Mastro's, which has many posts, and Dakota into the search function above.
Sorry to hear about your steak, but I also second the Ribeye recommendation. The Kansas City Steak is supposed to be their gem over there but I had the Kobe special last time I was there and was blown away. I know the braises are supposed to be their specialty, and the pot roast is great, but I truly believe in thier steaks too. You should give it another chance and avoid the skirt steak. There are so many better steaks to choose from. And the purple potatoes....forget about it!
Hello... My wife and I dined at Jar last Saturday evening for the first time, for our anniversary and her birthday... Steak-wise, I went with the Rib Eye, medium rare. If you want marbled meat, give it a try. Best steak I've ever inhaled. And the butterscotch pudding lived up to the hype, for us; very 'adult' tasting, i.e., not too sweet and quite a bit of good bitter/burnt aftertaste on the tongue that we likened to creme brulee... The room is lovely and lit so as to flatter us all, but the noise level made intimate conversation a challenge... Thought I saw Nancy Silverton trapse across the room (though it was not Monday), casting a complimentary glance at my black kilt :-) but that might just have been delusions of middle age (mine). We enjoyed ourselves greatly...
It sounds like they tenderized your steak (aging and possibly onions?), but didn't cook it at a high enough heat. Skirt steak can be great, but only if it's cooked over very high heat at high speed. "Chewy soft" smacks of underdone to me.
Oh my god, their coq au vin is one of the best dishes on the menu, yet to the OP, why go to a higher end restaurant and order skirt steak when their pot roast, quality steaks in general, and many other dishes are much more representative of what the kitchen does best.
Yes, stick to the butterscotch if available.
And their wine list is killer, if you like quality and value driven wines by the bottle.
Sorry about your steak - a skirt steak should be very tender and yummy. I was very disappointed in my coq au vin; the meat was a little dry (and it was dark meat too!) and the sauce tasted more like bacon than wine. The coq au vin that I had tasted the night before at Le Petit Bistro was far superior.
I thought that the dinner was good overall but felt that the restaurant was a little off that night; the last time I was there it was much better.