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Which steakhouse gets it "right" regarding how the beef is cooked?

You know, when you ask for "medium rare" and you either get a lump of charred coal or a bloody mess masquerading as steak tartare.

But some steakhouses (or chophouses) are better than others in my experience, while others are as clueless as they come.

The good:
JAR
CUT
ARROYO CHOPHOUSE

The wildly inconsistent:
BOA
DAKOTA
PACIFIC DINING CAR

What about you?

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  1. Ruth's Chris has always cooked my steaks perfectly to order. Nick and Stef's not so much.

    2 Replies
    1. re: writergirl

      Had dinner at the Ruth's Chris in Beverly Hills recently for the first time, and my steak was cooked perfectly medium rare. It was an NY Strip, and I couldn't have asked for better.

      1. re: writergirl

        i was at ruth's chris for medium rare once and they did mine real wrong. the top half of the steak was medium rare but the bottom half was medium well.

      2. I find Mastro's to be spot on. Ruth's Chris is also inconsistent. Most of my experiences at PDC have been good as well.

        1. While the sides and desserts are only so-so, the steaks are always perfect at Morton's on La Cienega in Beverly Hills.

          1. I can honestly say that I have never had a good steak at Ruth's Chris. They are always tasteless, rarely cooked to order, and that stupid molton hot plate the meat comes on continues to cook that meat through. I agree that Boa is very inconsistent. Arnie Morton's is great.

            1. Cut certainly does it right, but I don't get any of the rest:

              1) the hiper hyped vibe,
              2) the celebrity + voyeur + call girl density per square inch,
              3) the $12 for a side of fries,
              4) the attitude of everybody in the damned room & adjacent bar,
              5) the $2 for a chimichurry
              6) Wolfgang's clownish run arounds

              (Please excuse my somewhat out of place rant)

              1. It's not considered "high-end", but I've ever had a bad steak from North Woods Inn.
                I've also had good luck at BOA in Santa Monica, never tried the other location.

                1. The best steakhouse in the L.A. area BY FAAAAAR is Turner's in Costa Mesa.... Meat & Preparation... they actually understand what is meant by the phrase 'French Medium Rare'

                  1. Damon's in Glendale. Always cooked perfectly.

                    Pretrell's in culver City. I like their Rib Eye. Cooked M/R for me every time. Also the burger is great.

                    1. After lengthy research on LA steakhouses on Chowhounds, I've concluded that all the high end steakhouses have some negative opinions, except for Cut (which seems to make all others = lesser breeds in comparison, incl the price), Maybe it's just that reviews are subjective, but maybe it's inconsistency on the part of the restaurant or validity in the negative reviews. If I was going to spend upwards of $100 and more on a steak dinner I'm not gonna take a chance.
                      I'd rather get a nice piece of Prime meat from Gelson's or Bristol Farms, make a salad, twice baked potatos or a batch of homemade fries, some veggies, serve w/ wine/beer - all exactly the way I & my guests want em- Saving $60+ each

                      1. RicRios - What does that mean in relation to my post? Any point went over my head.
                        Thanks for the info on what's promoted as the ultimate gourmet salt -
                        Fleur De Sel de Guérande, but at $1.00+ an ounce, is it worth it & why?
                        As for steaks - a good piece of meat just requires S&P (OK-Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper) , maybe rub w/ a little olive oil, maybe a garlic clove. Sear it on the outside short of charred keep it Med Red on the inside. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Served w/ NO steak sauces & THAT INCLUDES KETCHUP !

                        Ruth Chris's topping their steaks w/ a pat of butter is not only a sign of insecurity about their steaks but goes a little too far to appeal to the Homer Simpson (bacon wrapped butter sticks) in us.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ilikefood

                          "As for steaks - a good piece of meat just requires S&P (OK-Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper) , maybe rub w/ a little olive oil, maybe a garlic clove. Sear it on the outside short of charred keep it Med Red on the inside. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Served w/ NO steak sauces & THAT INCLUDES KETCHUP !"

                          I disagree with that premise. American Beef is very tender, but it is also fairly bland (both seem to be largely diametrical opposites in meat that is merely excellent)... as such it is easy to overwhelm.

                          But there is quality, grass-fed Angus beef from places like Sonora, New Zealand & Argentina that is much gamier, flavorful & robust enough to stand up to interesting sauces.

                          To date... these are my top steak eats... in no particular order:

                          Sonora Black Angus Filet Mignon in Gorgonzola Sauce (Medium Rare) at The Red Lobster in San Felipe, Baja California

                          New Zealand Venison Filet heavily peppered with Roasted Shallot-Wine Sauce (Rare) at Turner's Steakhouse in Costa Mesa, California

                          Argentinian Rib Eye in Bone Marrow Barbacoa sauce (Guacho Style Medium Rare) at Los Girasoles in Mexico City

                          Plain steaks... whether at Boa, Joe's, Michael's, Pinot & others... just do not come close to the perfect marriages above.

                          1. re: Eat_Nopal

                            Since we're getting off original topic I started a new topic under General Chowhounding Topics, transferring our posts and adding a new reply:
                            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/345742

                        2. Cut.
                          The Bungalow in Corona del Mar does a good steak as well.

                          1. You know where I ate recently was Shula's steakhouse by the airport. they get it right... temperatures are right on and even verified witha little description by the servers.. ie MR they say back to you "that it will have a cool pink center,."

                            1. Mastro's in BH
                              Ruth's Chris (only the Irvine location, BH is their worst)
                              Pacific Dining Car
                              Musso & Frank
                              Steak & Stein
                              Dal Rae

                              1. Arroyo Chophouse I find has the most flavorful meat and the most consistent preparation.

                                Mastro's is good, but I think their meat is not as flavorful and honestly, given the lighting, it's pretty hard to tell how done something is!

                                Ruth Chris varies by location, as Ernie just said. Steer clear of BH.

                                1. Dal Rae, hands down, really knows how to cook their steaks properly plus they have a great vintage 50s menu that has items you rarely see elsewhere. Check out my pics below:

                                  http://www.flickr.com/photos/la_addic...