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steak house

in the city tuesday the wife and i looking for good steak house

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  1. Do a "Search this board" search for steak or steak house and you should be able to pull up several past threads on this topic. It does get discussed at least once every month or two.

    The consensus is probably that SF does not really have a "great" steakhouse. Alfred's and Harris' are probably 2 of the best traditionally styled places, with booths, martinis and tuxedoed waiters. Acme Chop House, near the ballpark, is probably the best modern one, with a wide variety of meats, some grass fed.

    5 Replies
      1. re: monta8

        Personally, I would recommend Harris'. It has a nice cocktail lounge and I like the vibe in the main dining room. The steaks are pretty good too!

      2. re: DavidT

        Another alternative is to look at the Place records and the linked topics. The steakhouse restaurants should all have a link to the website and menus as well

        There's a few low-price/quality joints you can rule out like Tad's.
        I don't think anyone has mentioned Leatherneck at the Marine's Memorial. Never been so don't know how good. The impression I get is that they might be good.

        1. re: rworange

          I don't think there are any good steakhouses on that Places list that aren't on my dry- / wet-aged list.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Yes, but it is an easy way to get the websiteb links with the menus to see what appeals along with the board recs. Just extra info. Reading online menus and websites has been a eye-opener for me. I find all sorts of interesting stuff.

      3. Here's a list of places I've tried exclusively for steak, but some aren't Steak Houses. In no particular order. Bobo's (Boboquivari's) is great for steak. The Seasons Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel has some really nice steaks, plus a nice bar area. Went to Epic Roast House last week for steak and was underwhelmed, but the non-steak food looked pretty good. Lark Creek Steak in Westfield Center is OK for steak. You can actually get a good steak at Out The Door at Westfield also. Joe DiMaggio's in North Beach has good steaks. Alfred's has nice steak house atmosphere, but the steaks were just OK. Morton's Steakhouse was just OK also. So there are choices for steak in SF, you just have to look...

        1. Harris' - hands down. Alfred's is also very nice. Otherwise, I'd recommend Acme Chop House or Bob's. It really depends on the type of steak place you like. Harris' and Alfred's are old-school, traditional steak houses.

          1. dry-aged: Acme, Alfred's, Boboquivari's, El Raigon, Epic Roasthouse, Harris'

            both (?): Lark Creek Steak (menu specifies dry-aged for certain steaks)

            to be determined: Joe DiMaggio's, Izzy's (menus just say "aged")

            wet-aged (all branches of out-of-town chains): Bob's, Morton's, Ruth's Chris



            1. My husband LOVES steak, and he LOVES Bob's Steak and Chop. He really has been to all the steak houses in SF, however will always stand by Bob's.

              1 Reply
              1. I prefer Bobo's on Lombard over Harris' on Van Ness, but both are good choices.

                1. Epic Roast House: Terrible! We went there to celebrate our anniversary. We made our reservations through Opentable.com, and in the past, the restaurants usually make special effort to help with your celebration. At Cortez, a lovely notecard in envelope wished me a happy birthday, along with another little treat during dinner. The hostess also knew it was my birthday as she seated us.

                  At Epic, there was no acknowledgement until dessert, where Happy Anniversary was written across the plate in chocolate ganache. A tiny candle adorned my dessert. Very nice touch.

                  Can't say there were many more nice touches there, though. The roast marrow arrived with odd seasonings and tomato jam. Very dry slices of bread accompanied it. For something like this you want bread that's toasted crispy/chewy.

                  And speaking of bread, when they come around, offering a lovely selection of breads, including mini- corn madeleines, cheese gouyere and rosemary bread, you'd think the specialty breads would be warm.

                  We ordered epic prime rib and porterhouse steak. My husband's prime rib arrived rare, not medium rare. The wait staff claimed this was their medium rare. My steak arrived too rare for me, so I just ate around it, since I ordered a porterhouse in order to have some great steak leftovers.

                  My husband sent the prime back, and instead of slicing another slice done to his liking, they put the same piece under the salamander. It came back rather ugly brown looking. The same "off" seasoning is on the prime rib.

                  I was surprised the plates were not warmed. When you charge $54 for a porterhouse, that steak better be sizzling on a warm plate. My steak was luke warm and looked as if had been sitting there a while. On top of that, the steak had almost no flavor of its own. Even though the restaurant claims to purchase its steaks from the finest local ranchers (Prather Farms and Marin Sun Farms being two of my favorites) these reportedly dry aged steaks did not taste like the steaks I have bought from these farms myself.

                  We ordered steak fries with herbs, potatoes au gratin and spinach. Au gratin was not cooked enough, steak fries were cooked but flavorless. Spinach with garlic confit (what the heck is that?) was ok.

                  The wait staff was properly attentive, but you'd think they'd advise you that when you order the steak frites, you are getting about two gigantic potatoes worth. More for leftovers, I guess. I ate about 1 1/2 frites and I was done. You'd also think they'd advise you on Epic's interpretation of rare/medium rare.

                  Dessert was ok. An apple puff tart that unfortunately had too much almond paste, diluting the flavor. It tasted as if it had been warmed in the micro because some of those puff layers had definitely become soggy. Tasted like some pastry you'd buy at a pastry shop instead of a dessert. Good coffee (illy?) and a nice touch--warmed cream.

                  Anyway, $200 plus and we are not going back--even though the view was beautiful. The restaurant ambience does not impress, either, with its retained industrial big machine grinders (?) for decor.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: barbecue

                    There's nothing "retained" at Epic, it's all new construction.

                    1. re: barbecue

                      Thanks for the report about Epic. I am having a hard time working up enough enthusiasm to get over there.

                      Epic Roasthouse
                      369 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105

                      1. re: barbecue

                        Sorry you had such a disappointing special occasion meal but grateful to read about it.

                        I was particularly interested in your comment about the source of the beef, since Bauer's SF Chronicle review was silent and my emailed query to the restaurant went unaswered. (I prefer to eat only organic and/or grass-fed beef).

                        There is no such thing as "our medium"--that's not only rude but unprofessional and a crock. There are, at least in this country, agreed upon steak house standard definitions. When there's any variation, the menu will go to great lengths to say so (e.g., Bern's in Tampa).

                        BTW--no one mentioned Acme in any of the replies I've read.

                        1. re: Fine

                          Acme was mentioned above, as a more 'modern' alternative to Alfred's or Harris I believe. I am not sure modern is the word I would use but I would agree with the sentiment and, while I haven't been in a while, I've enjoyed dining there. Also liked Alfred's the one time I went (for a large private party, so possibly not as good as it would be for a smaller group, but my steak was good and they made a great martini.)

                          1. re: Fine

                            Acme's in the very first reply above, and also on my dry-aged / wet-"aged" list above.

                            Epic's lists the ranches they buy from on the last page of their menu:


                            There is no standard for "rare" and "medium-rare" around here, or to put it another way, many places overcook their steaks. I like my steak medium-rare but to get that at some places I have to order it rare.

                        2. I guess I'm the only one who likes Ruth's Chris -- I know it's a chain but the steaks are prime and I like the sides, too. The steaks at Houston's are prime, too and delicious -- no corkage fee at Houston's.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: walker

                            The sides at Ruth's Chris are rarely anything to write home about, but for my money they serve the best wet-aged beef in the city. The location and interior don't impress, but the service tends towards excellence and the steaks are consistently good.

                            1. re: grishnackh

                              Agreed, mostly. Hesitated to recommend a chain to tourists since it's not an only-in-San Francisco experience. But I had a perfectly nice meal there some time ago. The sides didn't dazzle, but they didn't disgust. And the meat was excellent. (Having to order everything separately sure does add up the final price, though.) I didn't find the interior offensive, and as for the location, well, it's within walking distance of me, so I guess it's all a matter of perspective. :-)