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Osteria Mozza, CUT or Mastro's: Good Food, Good Drinks?

Hi everyone, I really enjoy reading everyone's reviews and would love some opinions on the following from those who have more experience...

I am taking my boyfriend out for his bday this weekend and I have three choices: Osteria Mozza, CUT and Mastro's in Thousand Oaks (we live in TO). I have never been to any of these places. His requirement is that the place must have a good dirty gin martini. My requirements are that the food is good and the service is attentive.

So which place has the best drinks/martinis? Food? Service?

Thank you all in advance, it is soooo appreciated! I don't want to mess up his bday dinner!

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    1. DEFINITELY CUT! I just celebrated my birthday there and is was fabulous!

      We had cocktails at Side Bar before dinner - they were on the $$$ side, but served with some wasabi peas, olives and almonds.

      1. I agree that CUT would be my first choice for food, service and ambiance...and an excellent bar. But...be prepared to spend big bucks.

        Mastro's would be my second choice. It's a first class steakhouse that doesn't disappoint, but it too is quite expensive, and for my money I'd select CUT in a heartbeat.

        I would not even consider Mozza, unless 1) you want to spend the evening unable to talk because of the noise, 2) enjoy servers with attitude, and 3) and want generally decent but incredibly uneven food.

        1 Reply
        1. re: josephnl

          Thank you. The bf loves him some beef, but a nice gin vermouth martini sometimes tops it. I only entertained the idea of Mozza because it seems like they have a nice selection of cheeses. We love cheese plates...

        2. cut. and how about cut. try cut. and cut. if you boyfriend likes steak..i mean loves steak..go to cut. but then it will ruin him from eating steak again. the 31 and 50 day aged steaks are great..but try to have the american wagzu at least. its worth its weight in gold. everythign is expensieve but worth it.

          1. For steak, I would go with Mastro's over Cut. I was very disappointed with my dry-aged rib eye at Cut and it was super expensive. This place is way overhyped hotel food

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ernie

              Respectfully, strongly, disagree. Never had the rib eye but the 35 day aged NY is extraordinary. If I was really splurging I'd go for the NY tasting plate -- a bit of the 35 day aged Nebraska beef, a bit of American Wagyu, a bit of Japanese Wagyu. I believe it's $125.

            2. I share Ernie's view about Cut, sort of. It's not that it's "hotel food", that has nothing to do with it. First of all, the modern and minimalist, non-traditional-steak-house decor is something you either love or hate. I hated it. I much prefer Mastro's more traditional steakhouse feel (I'm talking about the Beverly Hills Mastro's, though I've heard the one in Thousand Oaks is similar in feel).

              Second, Cut is outrageously expensive even for an expensive steakhouse. The wine list alone gives you a clue as to their approach to the customer. While it is not unusual to pay 2-1/2 to 3 times the retail price for wine at a nice restaurant, I found Cut to be closer to 4 times the retail price. (That said, its wine list is certainly very impressive in its breadth, though hard to find a cabernet of any sort under $100.)

              Third, I think Mastro's has better steaks, though I did not try the Wagyu at Cut because I felt it was just unjustifiable to pay more than $100 for a steak.

              Service-wise, I think they're both attentive, it really depends upon what waiter you get. Same for the dirty martini, depends upon the particular bartender you have and it's highly likely your boyfriend would get a good one at either place.

              Almost everyone I know who has been to both BH Mastro's and Cut prefers the overall experience at Mastro's. I am a huge Wolfgang Puck fan, I think Spago is a fantastic restaurant and I have nothing but respect for him. But I'd pick Mastro's in a heartbeat.

              Now, one thing about Mozza is the cheese -- ohmigod the cheese -- if your boyfriend is a fan of great, great cheese, and really terrific Italian food, Mozza is a tremendous experience. Yes, however, it is very noisy if that bothers you.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jgsamuels

                Can you really enjoy Mozza with so much noise? Perhaps it is me, but when I have to shout to be heard, it takes all of the fun out of dining and socializing with my friends. And also, the food is good, but do you really think it's great? I think it's fine, but quite uneven. And as far as cheese is concerned...a trip to the Beverly Hills Cheese Shop and I can be in cheese heaven at home...with a wonderful wine, at a fraction of the cost. I know...Mozza is a very popular dining destination, but I can't help feeling it's more hype than substance, probably because its celebrity owners. Perhaps I am being too critical, but for my money there are many places in L.A. where I think the food is better, the ambiance more comfortable, and the value is better.

              2. Have you made reservations yet? If you don't, CUT and Mozza will be the difficult, enless you don't mind eating late. You will have great food and drinks at all, but I would say CUT would be the best to go and celebrate.

                Have you thought about anywhere else, or are you set with the three? I only ask because my wife and I had an awesome experience at Craft. Start to finish, everything was flawless.

                1 Reply
                1. re: toddw8877

                  I have reservations at all three, but I think I will be calling Mozza today to cancel. Mozza sounds like somewhere we can go some other time, not for a special night out. I checked out Craft, but the only reservation I could get was 10pm! It's down to Cut and Mastro's.