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Aug 7, 2007 10:26 AM

Pacific Dining Car

I ate at your restaurant in Santa Monica on august 6, 2007. I have to say that the atmosphere was out of this world. However, the food was mediocre and not as good as Grand Luxe café and Cheesecake Factory. I ordered the salmon. And it wasn’t cooked properly. The side order, which was charged extra was served on the same plate as the salmon. Since your company chooses to charge a separate charge for the side order, it shouldn’t be served mixed with the main dish. It should be on a separate plate/bowl. The salmon was undercooked!

I would love to come back, but I felt as if the owners weren’t experienced in providing the fine dining that they were trying to achieve.

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  1. Agree about the atmosphere - and definitely the service. A friend and I ended up there at ... oh, perhaps about 4, 4:30 in the morning after a night of drinking, and there was nothing in the area still open. They treated us as if we weren't about to fall asleep at the table (not me, I swear!).. unfortunately, the food wasn't the best (I know that I got an egg dish of some sort, but can't remember exactly what), but in a crunch, I would return there for wee morning eating.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jacinthe

      It's all about the PDC in DTLA.
      I've been going there since I was a little girl...yeiks, sarted at 10, now 35, still some of the same wait days in the middle of the night with friends after a night out...great people watching...everything from businessmen in on the red-eye, drunk party goers, Hollywood Park gamblers-some nodding off in their chairs, total wine and foodies doing a knock down drag our wine and meat fest...all that mattered was the fact that anything we could ask for, we got and the food was always yummy...oooh, the Eggs Sardu, those fried potatos...pitchers of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and a bottle of Vodka dropped off at our table since it was hitting 2am...always great food, great service and comfy chairs.

    2. This is a case where a restaurant with multiple sites differ like night & day, depending on its location. In the case of PDC, the Santa Monica location is merely a shadow of its original big brother in downtown LA.

      The Downtown (original) location is pure old school, and is much better than the Santa Monica location. The steaks are much better than the SM location. Bottom line: try the downtown location.

      At least they didn't OVERcook the salmon (which would be a greater crime than undercooking it).

      By the way, when you go to a steakhouse, why order fish? Try the steak first before you disparage the whole establishment. Just my philosophy...

      1. I totally agree with all the comments from tatertotsrock and J.L. I'm a big fan of the downtown PDC. For me it is a meat and/or eggs destination along with a martini if it's night time or really good coffee in the morning. I love how old school PDC is and I wish there were more places like it in the Southland.

        9 Replies
        1. re: Dyspepsia

          I've been going to the DTLA PDC for twenty years and have never been disapointed. Always a great meal and great service.

          1. re: rednyellow

            I've never been to PDC. I love the idea of a 24-hr steakhouse but I've been turned off by the prices that are rumoured to prevail here.

            How much do you who frequent the place typically spend at PDC? I've heard it's over $75/plate, is that true?

            1. re: jimmyodonnell

              Since I usually hit PDC solo in the middle of the night when I want to read a book, I always order breakfast and it is totally more expensive than going to BLD or Square One but with way better service, (not that those places have bad service...Square One has some of the nicest people...I just mean more on the "fine dining" side at PDC) linen table cloths and SILVER silverware and the best pepper mills, and the cozy-est chairs and booths...dinner can cost you an arm/leg/maybe your first born too, but if you wanna bring a special wine and have a no hassle supper relaxed dinner with great meat, service, and you supply the good company...mmmm...enjoy.
              Oooh, and those little chocolate dipped candy things...I think I must visit soon, it's been far too long....
              Eggs Sardu beckons...

              1. re: tatertotsrock

                when i go to pdc, unless it is breakfast, i expect a bill of $75-$125/person. this inlcludes a drink or two, wine, etc. in other words - the full treatment in a "club" style place with great food, service & ambiance. to me, my family & my friends, well worth it. often a place to take someone for a special celebration.

              2. re: jimmyodonnell

                I think their steaks go from around $30 to maybe $40, maybe a bit less. Sides are typicsl steak house prices.They are not cheap. They are expensive, but no more than any top notch steak house. Good wine list with average restraunt markup. The Somalier really knows his stuff and no attitude either. Do go and enjoy.

                1. re: rednyellow

                  Also, though the sides are pretty expensive, they're pretty large too. I'm a big eater but I would definitely split sides with whoever you're eating with.

                2. re: jimmyodonnell

                  the answers to all your questions

                  i have never been, but would if i lived closer. wish i had known about it in my partying LA days.

                  1. re: soulimar

                    Unfortunately, PDC does not post prices on their online menus.

                    1. re: Servorg

                      indeed, however their prices are listed on the exact prices listed on that site are sometimes outdated but it's still good to get a basic idea of how much it might cost...

            2. Not what it used to be. Or an other way looking : new places have made their food better.

              1 Reply
              1. re: kel

                It is an old school place but of high quality. I think one should not go with the same kind of expectations you might have for a new style steak house. It's not trendy but enduring. At least at the downtown location the quality is quite good and the atmosphere and presentation are wonderful -not sure about Santa Monica. I love tatertotsrock's idea to go to PDC in the middle of the night to have breakfast and read. Perfect!

              2. it is with somewhat reluctance that i am resurrecting this several month old post. i want to change my opinion of the pacific dining car (downtown location).

                i have been going to this place since the early 90's, when my father was a long-term patient at good samaritan. generally get there once every month or so, love the "clubby" atmosphere, great drinks, and good service. the last couple of visits, though, have been disappointing.

                a month or so i had a kobe steak. it was good, but not special. yesterday, a group of four of us had lunch. two rib-eye's, a fillet & a chinese chicken salad. unfortunately, the best dish was the salad. all three cuts of meat were on the small side, and a considerable amount of fat/gristle in the rib-eyes. disappointing for a place that specializes in steaks.

                so i will still go periodically to enjoy the atmosphere and the drinks, but no more steaks.

                5 Replies
                1. re: justanotherpenguin

                  It has become, almost exclusively for us, a high end breakfast destination, (and for which we have no complaints since we go in knowing that breakfast will be $20 pp, plus tip).

                  1. re: Servorg

                    Fast forward to 2012. The average now is $35 per person and worth every dime of it. That average price included one bloody marriage and a jar of their steak sauce to take home. I had the spinach, scrambled egg and sausage dish and my wife had the crab cakes benedict. VErrry large orders. Orange juice was fresh, coffee was outstanding and food was a definite high end experience. Well worth the splurge.

                    1. re: Hughlipton

                      Great breakfast at the SM location a few weeks ago; perfect poached eggs, pretty decent hollandaise and friend asked for bacon instead of Canadian bacon and it was served with a good portion of bacon under the eggs - very happy. Quiet - we could actually have a conversation. Bill with coffee, OJ, three breakfasts taxes, tip was over $100 - but the silence was golden - back to Norms for the noise.

                      1. re: Hughlipton

                        Some people already HAVE a "bloody marriage". ;o]

                        1. re: Midlife

                          A Freudian slip??????? OMG!! Glad wife doesn't access Chowhound.