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Wolfgang's Steakhouse or Jar?

Looking for an amazing steakhouse to celebrate my boyfriend's birthday.

The epitome would be Cut, but I fear from all the reports that it would be waaay out of my price range. Would like to try to get out of there under $250 including tip for say, 1-2 starters, 2 entrees, 1 dessert, and a bottle of wine.

How do Wolfgang's Steakhouse and Jar stack up?

I know it's probably comparing apples to oranges where Wolfgang's seems more like a steakhouse proper and Jar is more romantic and does other things besides steak well? Any standout dishes at either that would tip the scales one way or another?

I'd appreciate any help since we don't often get to splurge on big meals out and would like to make the most of it.

Thanks!

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  1. A. You could pull it off at Cut if you both ordered the 35-day aged 10 ounce NY strip, which is no more expensive than Wolfgang's. And it's a brilliant steak. And worth the whole experience. And sides and starters are genius. Well maybe a bit more than 250 but not way more than Wolfgang's for same. B. Wolfgang's is very good! But not as sublime as Cut. C. Last couple of meals at Jar were less than the best. D. Steak for two at Lucques is my other favorite steak in the city (besides Cut). I say Cut or Lucques. (oh, and the Lucques steak comes WITH sublime potatoes)

    1 Reply
    1. re: la tache burger

      Thanks la tache - that helps. I have a standing res at Wolfgang's on Open Table and will take a closer look at Cut's menu to see if I can swing it. Lucques is great but I thought it might be a bit casual for the occasion. Thanks again!

    2. I think you'd get better food variety at Jar.. and that chocolate pudding to finish.. uh yes please...

      2 Replies
      1. re: raspie

        plus the lobster bearnaise on the steak with fries -- extraordinary.

        1. re: raspie

          Plus duck fried rice. Sounds crazy....but I was very happily surprised.

        2. If your boyfriend loves a porterhouse, I would give the nod to Wolfgang's, which rivals the stellar one at Peter Luger's in Brooklyn; but Jar serves some of the best steaks in town. Jar pulls ahead on appetizers, sides and desserts, as well as variety for the non-steak eater. Among the items I love at Jar are the mussels, the lobster cocktail, the squash blossoms stuffed with lobster mousse, the steaks, the lamb shank, the pork shank, the pot roast, the lemongrass chicken, the fries, the Japanese purple yams, the duck fried rice, and the (frequent special) butterscotch pudding.

          1. been to jar several times and i would not call jar a romantic restaurant at all. food is very good but room is little too loud and nothing really romantic about the place imo
            never been to wolfgang's so couldn't really compare but...

            1 Reply
            1. re: rickym13

              i don't find Jar romantic, but I do find it far more luxurious than Cut. I found Cut to be cold and impersonal.

            2. If you're looking for an amazing steakhouse then forgo either Wolfgang's or Jar and head over to BLT.

              Jar is not even in the same league as either Wolfgang's or BLT so I suggest you mark it off your short list. I've never particularly like the food, service or ambiance at Jar. It's incredible noisy, probably even more so than either Wolfgang's or BLT and it's remarkably dark, which could be why some people find it romantic.

              Wolfgang's filet and onion rings are the standout items but as for the steak for two, three, four... it's not remarkable. It's drowned in butter and lacking in flavor and tenderness. Although the rooms are noisy there's a terrific energy of testosterone that fills the restaurant. Wolfgang is quite gracious and makes you feel welcome in his restaurant. Hands down, Wolfgang's restrooms fixtures are not to be missed. You could spend hours in the ladies room and not want to come out.

              Then there's BLT. The food is simply amazing. So delicious...everything was scrumptious. Chicken liver pate, gigantic Yorkshire pudding/popovers, tuna tartare, the onion ring tower, so many different sides and of course the steaks were phenomenal. So tender and juicy without the pool of sizzling butter. The chocolate & peanut butter mousse was divine. Across the board, presentation was beautiful and the service was flawless. BLT has got to be the best steakhouse in town. Simply fabulous and you probably could get out the door for under $250. But if it turns out to be a bit more than that, it would be worth every penny.

              5 Replies
              1. re: ElleElleInLA

                ElleElleInLA - I totally agree with you. BLTY Steak is my favorite new steak house in LA

                Wolfgangs really was disappointing..I found the sides boring, limited and frankly flat tasting. BUT, go for a few slices of BACON!

                1. re: yummyinmytummy

                  Could not disagree with you more. My two meals at BLT have been utterly utterly disappointing with one of dinner companion swearing that he would eat his shoe first (with more flavor actually) than the food at BLT. Wolfgang's on the other hand is by far the best steakhouse in LA for porterhouse. As a rib-eye lover for my whole adult life, only Lugar and Wolfgang would ever make me seriously consider changing the rib-eye stance.

                  1. re: ExtraCheesePlease

                    What was up with the steak at BLT? Was it steak you ate? Am thinking of going tonight, haven't been yet.

                    1. re: la tache burger

                      It had this strange butane smell that just made the steak awful. I have a heighten sense of smell so I thought it was me but one of my dinner companion who would eat anything (like that Mikey commercial) smelled the same thing and couldn't even finish his NY strip. It happened both times I went and the second time, I sent it back and the second steak smelled the same. The waiter thought I was crazy but I swear I'm not. I eat out almost nightly for business (as my waist will attest) and I know what a steak should not smell like. Anyway, I would love to know if I'm the crazy one. LOL.

                      1. re: ExtraCheesePlease

                        fascinating. I was gonna go last night but couldn't get there on time. I'll be there soon and will definitely weigh in on the butane factor! (and agree that wolfgang's ain't bad at all)

              2. Jar is more cal-cuisine with some good steaks, while Wolfgang's is more like Ruth Chris Steak house. I am not a huge fan of the traditional steakhouse, so I prefer JAR. If you are looking for a traditional steakhouse, try Wolfgang's.

                THere are more options than simply cut, depending on what you like.

                1. Thanks everyone for the helpful responses.

                  I have reservations at both Wolfgang's and Cut and will have to decide then.
                  Might just bite the bullet and do Cut so we'll know once and for all whether it's worth it.

                  2 Replies
                    1. re: TracyS

                      Was at Cut last year and had a $59 steak I could barely finish because it was very over-salted. Everything else on the menu there was fine.

                      I've been to Jar at least four times and have always enjoyed it. It's not the classic steakhouse like the Palm, but everything is very good, and the service is wonderful.

                    2. Jar easily wins. My wife and I ate at Wolfgang's last week, and the food was, at best, "ho-hum",
                      with my meat-loving wife feeling quite foul later (aged meat issue?). We've never had less than a
                      stellar plate of beef at Jar...after dozens of visits. The service at W was wonderful, though.

                      We much prefer the dark moody interior of Jar as well, as opposed to Wolfgang's streetside
                      window show.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: DeePocketChopra

                        I have to say that I completely agree with you. Jar, in my opinion, is far superior to Cut based not only on the entrees and meats, but also in the veggies and side dishes. I have been to Cut twice, to give it a fair shake, and I am decidedly NOT a fan.

                        1. re: lotta_cox

                          I love Jar's steaks and go there regularly but was thinking to try Cut; thank you, for I shall stay on my track and go to Jar, ASAP

                      2. Reporting back on the dinner that ended up being at Cut (maybe makes the post heading misleading).

                        Similar to what's been posted, I was offered only a 5:30pm or 9:30pm reservation slot. We went with 9:30pm and what ended up to be a very pricey disappointment.

                        We had the kobe steak sashimi which was very tasty after our server returned a good half hour after we ordered to tell us that the kitchen was out of the bone marrow flan we first ordered. Very sad to not get to try it, but I guess that happens so late in the evening.

                        For entrees, we had the rib eye and petit cut new york steaks, both the Nebraska dry aged 35 days, along with the wasabi-yuzu kocho butter and shallot-red wine bordelaise sauces. We also ordered sides of creamed spinach with fried organic egg and morel mushrooms with sugar snap peas.

                        First the steaks while very beefy tasting were both overcooked by a degree - medium rare came out closer to medium, and medium came out closer to medium well. I considered sending them back because I think at $60+ a steak they should be cooked perfectly, but by this point it was 11pm and we didn't want to still be having dinner into the next day so we made do. Steaks were fine but just unremarkable - I was definitely expecting more. The bordelaise sauce was quite good and the butter sauce just okay. Sauces came on the side and were large enough that I think two people could split a single sauce easily.

                        The creamed spinach side as many people have reported was delicious. The morels and sugar snap peas were also very good but expensive at $18 for what was a very small portion.

                        Lastly for dessert, we had the "strawberries and cream" baked alaska which was very nicely done. Not too sweet and refreshing after all that meat.

                        Neither of us are big wine connoisseurs so with some help from the server we went with a Malibu cab at $64 which was definitely on the lower end of their wine list but was fine for us. It's worth mentioning that he was originally steering us towards wines upwards of $400 and when asked for a more reasonably priced recommendation he pointed towards a $1700 bottle (yes two zeros) - not sure if he was kidding or misheard us. We also had two bottles of Voss water.

                        Service throughout the evening was also just alright. I'm not a big fan of what seems to be the norm in a lot of high end restaurants now where the server pretty much just takes your order and delivers the check, while in between everything else is handled by other servers and bussers. We did a lot of refilling of our own wine and water glasses and it was a bit of an effort to flag down our server for anything.

                        Not sure if it's expected, but we did not receive anything by way of amuses or mignardises, except for those gougeres at the start of the meal and lots of breadsticks. I thought I did see on several reviews mignardises so perhaps these were also out at the end of the evening.

                        Another couple sat down next to us about halfway through the meal and insisted on having a server that was their main man at Bastide. Our server was introduced to them as "new and great" - they still got their guy but maybe that explains our spotty service.

                        Overall it was nothing bad enough to complain about, but I was pretty disappointed at having some better experiences both food and service wise for much less in cost. We'll probably not return again until we can afford to go Wagyu all the way. =)

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: TracyS

                          Sounds like your service was bad enough to complain about...refilling your own wine and water glasses? Your main Server didn't come by a few times during the meal to check if everything was okay? Especially immediately after each course was served? Your meat was overcooked? Ugh, actually those are all the sort of big misses that a manager would like to know about.

                          1. re: TracyS

                            I have to say that as sad I am at your disappointing service and food, my two experiences were similar. The first time I went with 2 female friends and we were disappointed we hadn't gone to Mastro's. At least we would have had some festivity. The second time I went with my husband and we ordered a 100+ bottle of wine and were again treated with indifferent service. I won't go back.

                            1. re: TracyS

                              Cut is an expensive joke. I can make a better steak for about 1/3 what they charge