On a lark I hit up Harris' on Van Ness last night. I was able to secure a table for two at 9 pm by just walking in. Harris' has always been my go to steak restaurant in a City with a serious shortage of steak places.
This night Harris' really delivered. Even better than usual. The rib-eye and the New York strip were awesome. The service was impeccable. The New York had been over cooked and the waiter with no fuss simply returned it to the kitchen to replace it with another. The iceberg wedge with the homemade ranch dressing was very good and it included a few cherry tomatoes (that were nice and sweet, though not local for all you local food obsessed).
All in all it confirmed in my mind that Harris' is the best steak destination in the City.
I'm curious how many steak restaurants you think we should have. I'm not being snarky, really! I can imagine that much of the mid-west is deluged with steak restaurants and a quick google search produced the following ten. Is there one you think we should have?
Izzy's Steaks & Chops: San Francisco
- izzyssteaksandchops.liveonatt.com - (415) 563-0487 - 63 reviews
Ruth's Chris Steak House
- www.ruthschris.com - (415) 673-0557 - 63 reviews
Alfred's Steak House
- www.alfredssteakhouse.com - (415) 781-7058 - 77 reviews
- www.harrisrestaurant.com - (415) 673-1888 - 80 reviews
Morton's the Steakhouse-San Francisco
- www.mortons.com - (415) 986-5830 - 27 reviews
Acme Chop House
- www.acmechophouse.com - (415) 644-0240 - 42 reviews
- www.restaurantanzu.com - (415) 394-1100 - 45 reviews
Lark Creek Steak
- www.larkcreek.com - (415) 593-4100 - 37 reviews
- www.brazenheadsf.com - (415) 921-7600 - 32 reviews
- www.boboquivaris.com - (415) 441-8880 - 38 reviews
I'm not so sure that we have a "serious" shortage of steak places. A serious shortage of good steak places...probably. And I would agree that Harris is the best, but that's by default. There just isn't a world-class steak option here in SF.
People often talk about Alfred's, but I've been twice recently and had truly awful experiences. One visit was the toughtest NY Strip ever, and the other visit was a huge, thick, tasteless, dry filet. And both came with the dryest, most flavorless baked potato I've ever had. Maybe Alfred's has had 2 bad nights, and I was there for both of them...but I won't be going back.
Someone here described Ruth's Chris as being a "prom night" restaurant. That's a perfect description. They have on occasion served me an outstanding steak, but they aren't consistent...and the last two times I've been they didn't have the bottle of wine that I ordered from the wine list. That has happened twice in a row. Then, there's the whole shopping mall/prom night/chain restaurant feel to the whole place. But, I will say I've had one of the best steaks of my life at Ruth's Chris (in Southern California). There was something about that one steak that one night...it was outstanding.
Some people love Izzy's. I beg to differ. That place serves mediocre steak -- on a good night. Maybe I'm spoiled being from the mid-west, and growing up in Texas, but truly nothing moves me about Izzy's.
I can't claim to know about Acme's steaks. I've been there a few times, and I've always ordered something other than steak. My friends who are with me have had steak, and no one was complaining. But no one was gushing about it either. So if you tell me that I need to give their steak a try, I will. But past experiences at Acme haven't inspired me.
So where do I claim to have experienced the best steak in SF? Oddly enough, at Kokkari. About two months ago, I had a rib-eye steak there that was possibly the best steak I've ever eaten. It was dry-aged, deliciously seasoned, and perfectly cooked. Everyone at the table tasted it and agreed it was a spectacular steak.