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Taylor's Steak House

DVLL Apr 10, 2003 08:31 PM

Maybe as an ex-New Yorker raised on Peter Lugar's Steak House and the like, I am a bit of a snob, but I have yet to find a truly memorable steak and/or steak house in LA, until recently, at Taylor's Pirme Steaks in Koreatown . . . which is memorable for how AWEFUL it was. The steak was like a five dollar piece of choice meat bought at Vons and thrown on a lousy broiler for a couple of minutes: bland, fatty (not by way of marbling, just fat), and limp. Their creamed-spinach was a joke: a tiny cup of tastless steamed spinach with a couple shredded pieces of Velveeta baked on top. The potatoes were so unremarkable that I can't even remember in what form I had them.

What is the consensus on this place? Why is it such an institution? Is our society that desparate for red banquettes?

  1. j
    jessejames Dec 13, 2013 01:34 PM

    I agree Taylor's sucks.

    9 Replies
    1. re: jessejames
      Mr Taster Dec 14, 2013 01:29 AM

      Overly harsh.

      I had the "Dinner Culotte" (10 oz), a thick, well charred steak cooked a little rarer than the medium rare I ordered, but with a fine crust and beefy flavor. With a baked potato, $25. In this category (and at this price point), Jocko's in Nipomo reigns supreme, but hey-- we're not in Santa Maria. Great gin martini and a decent Manhattan were each $6.50.

      Dining companions ordered swordfish and an unspecified "whitefish"-- the swordfish was surprisingly moist. Whitefish was light and flaky, light on flavor but serviceable. Creamed spinach was unexceptional, and the sourdough on the table had been baked relatively recently.

      Great old atmosphere. The place was hopping.

      Particularly considering the price, what the hell else could you want from a humble neighborhood steakhouse? It (mostly) rings all the right bells.

      Mr Taster

      1. re: Mr Taster
        jessejames Dec 14, 2013 07:45 AM

        Glad you like it. I think terrible and vastly overrated on CH.

        1. re: jessejames
          Servorg Dec 14, 2013 08:01 AM

          Taylor's reminds me of places like The Galley in Santa Monica. Comfortable with a nice vibe and old school energy. I'm sure that for those that like cutting edge (or only want to eat prime meat) it's not a good fit. But its longevity and ambiance keep it on my list of places that I'll go back to and enjoy when I'm in the neighborhood and don't want to eat Korean food.

          1. re: Servorg
            Thor123 Dec 14, 2013 06:33 PM

            I have not been to Taylor's so could be wrong, but places like the Galley and Che Jay have an edge and vibe that I don't imagine Taylor's does. That said, I am sure you know better than me.

            1. re: Thor123
              jessejames Dec 14, 2013 06:34 PM

              Along those lines rainbow bar and grill nice steak sandwich.

              1. re: Thor123
                Servorg Dec 14, 2013 06:40 PM

                What the Galley has over Taylor's (at least coming at this as an appreciative member of the male persuasion) is their waitresses are generally VERY easy on the eyes.

                1. re: Servorg
                  jessejames Dec 14, 2013 06:42 PM

                  The galley is rated arrr

                  1. re: Servorg
                    cls Dec 14, 2013 07:12 PM

                    Taylors has a geriatric crowd that might disagree with that assessment...

                    1. re: cls
                      Servorg Dec 14, 2013 07:21 PM

                      I think they would be more likely to agree with it...and I'll have you know I speak from a position of stooped authority (please note I didn't misspell "stupid" there - or shtupped for that matter). ;-D>

        2. Mr Taster Dec 13, 2013 01:10 PM

          Ten+ years later- going tonight, finally, after 18 years in LA. My cousin suggested it for the authentically old-timey ambiance. (www.janetklein.com -- you can see, she's into that scene.)

          Is New York strip and the coulotte the best way to go? Sides?

          Mr Taster

          1 Reply
          1. re: Mr Taster
            kevin Dec 13, 2013 01:31 PM

            Or the London broil. It's a bad cut of beef but tasty as hell. Report back often. And grab a few martinis too.

            And cheesecake for dessert.

          2. k
            Kael Apr 11, 2003 08:32 PM

            Concerning only the quality of the steak, Dan Tana's compares favorably to anywhere else.

            1. e
              Ed.Fontleroy Apr 11, 2003 06:55 PM

              I think you are absoluetly correct on your description. I couldn't figure out what the attraction was either. Even the so-called Molly salad was ruined with such watery dressing I thought I was eating under a running tap. Atmosphere-wise, however, the place is a fun throwback. I just kept thinking how enjoyable the whole experience would have been if the food wasn't so poor.

              (p.s. I am not from NY, but have been to Peter Lugar's a couple of times. As far as that goes, you're better off never comapring anything to it, otherwise you always will be dissapointed. Anyone who says otherwise simply doesn't know steak, or what a steak house is supposed to be.)

              1 Reply
              1. re: Ed.Fontleroy
                o Apr 11, 2003 07:10 PM

                Hi, yammer. Yeah, you've been to Lugar's.

                BTW, it's spelled "Fauntleroy."

              2. j
                juanvaldez Apr 11, 2003 02:01 PM

                All I know is that, *for the price*, the New York strip steak at Taylor's is the best I've had in Los Angeles.. quite delicious/nicely cooked, like a bargain version of the amazing one I had at Sparks in New York last year.. and the atmosphere of Taylor's (and a whisky before the food arrived) really adds to the overall experience. A definite LA treat without the high cost, which is why it's indeed special.

                Basically, it easily blows away (and is somewhat classier than) other *inexpensive/bargain* places like Damon's in Glendale, Edward's in El Monte, etc.. and of course the really problematic chain places like Sizzler & Black Angus..

                Though indeed I'm sure the kitchen does have its off days.. which would make the whole drive into Koreatown for a steak seem almost foolish.. but I look forward to going back again soon..

                1. m
                  Mr Grub Apr 11, 2003 01:13 PM

                  Going to Taylor’s & expecting top-of-the-cooler dry-aged steaks is like going to Echigo & expecting Ginza Sushiko sushi. Ain’t gonna happen.

                  Taylor’s is a throwback to the ‘50s in every respect, from the prominent bar to the red button Naugahyde booths. Unfortunately, this also includes the food. On virtually every occasion the Grubs have hit up Taylor’s (Koreatown only), we have thoroughly enjoyed the steaks – culotte, thick-cut sirloin especially, but the T-bone & prime rib as well. Occasionally – once actually – we have had a bum steer so to speak, a sirloin that was too tough & overcooked to boot. Otherwise, we revel in the red meat, the Molly salad, the cold martinis, the relaxed service, the whole Magilla. & we’ll return again & again.

                  IMHO, if you want the definitive prime rib & currently best red meat in the city, go to Mastro’s in BH on Canon. If you can stand the “be seen” scene & the cacophony (& have MUCHO dinero), carnivores can do no better.

                  1. c
                    cagey Apr 11, 2003 12:13 PM

                    As a longtime customer of both Taylors', I sadly and reluctantly must agree with your assessment. The last 2 of 3 outings to Taylor's in Koreatown were dismal. (Within the last 4 months.) Send-backs for both of us on the prime-rib and cullotte steak. Knots of gristle in the PR and the cullotte steak was tough beyond salvation. I can think of no more than 8 times in my life where I've sent food back, so I'm not overly picky. Where once Taylor's was a haven for mid-priced, tasty aged prime beef, these latest ventures have been a real disappointment for us.

                    We will still patronize Taylors (given the familiar service and atmosphere) but with a heavier heart and less expectation. If we want top-shelf prime, we'll have to pony up to Lawry's prices (and quality).

                    I must note that I often have lunch in the La Canada location (near work) and have yet to be disappointed. Though I admit that I rarely stray from the Beefeater sandwich (which is without peer), it seems the quality of beef at La Canada tops that of downtown. Wish I knew why.

                    Hopefully this isn't a downhill trend to one of my favorite (formerly unknown) smaller steak joints. Proceed with a degree of caution - and moderate expectations - and you may be pleasantly rewarded.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: cagey
                      happybaker Dec 15, 2013 08:28 PM

                      I have been to the La Canada location for lunch recently and it has been excellent.

                    2. t
                      Tom P Apr 11, 2003 01:08 AM

                      Yeah, I'd say you are a snob. The thing about Taylor's is not 'the food' but rather everything rolled into one: the location, the atmosphere, the waitresses, the bar, the booths, the price, the molly salad, the martinis, and the Raymond Chandler LA-ishness. I dunno -- maybe you have to be an LA freak to get off on the place. All I know is that although I would never say it had the area's best steaks (my current vote is Arroyo Chop House ... and before I get my head bit off, I have never been to Mortons. I was a Ruth's Chris employee for nine years and still can't get myself to walk into out arch competitor) I frequent Taylor's and love it everytime.

                      I am curious, though. Which steak did you get? I have much better luck there with the Filet and the Culotte than anything else. The Prime Rib can also be surprisingly good. If you get the cottage fries, you MUST ask for the very very crispy/well done.

                      Also, please don't think I am some LA food heathen I love NYC and love the food there. If I could eat at Gramercy or Jean Georges once a month, I would certainly be fat but I would also be in heaven. I just think you have to understand that there are certain LA places that you have to be here a while to understand. El Coyote would probably be another.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Tom P
                        David Apr 11, 2003 02:16 AM

                        I've been here all my life, and I still don't get El Coyote. :-)

                        Agree with you on everything else, tho.

                        1. re: Tom P
                          Chino Wayne Apr 12, 2003 02:35 PM

                          You are right on in your analysis of Taylor's "cachet". And as far as Morton's goes, they consistently, from city to city, serve the best New York steak I have ever had. So you ought to at least give them a try.

                          I am also looking forward to trying out L.G.'s the next time we are in Palm Desert, and if I am ever trapped at Circus Circus, I will be eating steak.

                          1. re: Tom P
                            susiequeue Dec 15, 2013 07:42 PM

                            Sharon Tate had her last meal at El Coyote. It's an L.A. thing.

                            I LOVE Taylor's for all the Raymond Chandleresque reasons you posted. Get the culotte with a Molly salad. Great value and a really fun experience. VERY friendly staff too.

                            Morton's is overpriced and snooty.

                            I'll stick with Taylors!

                            1. re: Tom P
                              happybaker Dec 15, 2013 08:26 PM

                              The molly salad! Yes!

                              And, at lunch - their tuna sandwich. Uses canned tuna (I asked) but SURPRISINGLY good.

                            2. r
                              russkar Apr 11, 2003 12:23 AM

                              Peter Lugar's isn't great(one of the worst steak dinners ever(1200-), for NY) but Taylors is horrible compared. Some of the best Prime Dry Aged Beef in the World still exists in LV. I know I'll be demoted for saying this but CIRCUS CIRCUS STEAK HOUSE is very GOOD, quality vs. price, almost unbeatable. PRIME Steakhouse(in NY,NY in LV) is better and the Japanese"Highend" Kobe Steakhouses blow it all away. We've had lot's of great Steaks in NY but hardly ever in the Tourist places. On a good day, Mortons.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: russkar
                                Filmfreaketta Apr 11, 2003 12:33 AM

                                The Prime steakhouse you mention, isn't that in the Bellagio? Anyway, the one in the Bellagio is indeed remarkably good.

                                I've never understood the whole Taylor's thing. For me I thought it was just an ok steakplace. Maybe it's because I don't drink and that seems to be a part of it's charm (the bar?)

                                1. re: Filmfreaketta
                                  russkar Apr 11, 2003 09:00 AM

                                  I'm sure your right about the location of PRIME Steakhouse (All Casinos are begining to look the same to me). Drink or not, Taylor's just doesn't have it, especially at the bar and I cringe when a client insists on going there. I had a really good Steak(Ribeye and Filet) at Gulfstream in NB recently.

                                2. re: russkar
                                  Ira Apr 11, 2003 02:41 AM

                                  You deserve a promotion for your mention of the Circus Circus Steak House. The place is an oasis in a hellhole of a hotel. I haven't found a better steakhouse in Vegas given the level of service, the quality of the beef and the prices. I've sent dozens of people there and all have thanked me, If only they could have a separate entrance so you could avoid having to walk through the hotel.

                                  1. re: russkar
                                    Michael Robertson Moore Apr 11, 2003 02:33 PM

                                    Demoted, hell. I had a fine dinner at Circus Circus, to which my brother is almost religiously devoted. Or maybe it was so good because it was paid for by the poor suckers who played that slot before I did. (Michael's unbeatable Vegas system: win once and never go back.)

                                    1. re: russkar
                                      Afty Apr 11, 2003 04:35 PM

                                      Speaking of LV steakhouses, I had a fine hunk of meat at "Nine Steakhouse" at the Palms hotel. Certainly in the Morton's class in terms of the quality of steak.

                                      Russkar said it best when stating "On a good day, Mortons." Let's face it. It all depends on the cow. I've had several steaks at Morton's, Ruth's Chris, The Palm, etc, etc...I usually get the same cut each time. They're almost always cooked to perfection each time and certainly their supplier of meat couldn't change from visit to visit. So what makes one steak on a certain visit a good notch above the identical steak on another visit? A happy cow!

                                      Of course, the best steaks are still prepared over the grill at home.

                                    2. e
                                      Ernie Apr 10, 2003 10:24 PM

                                      Never tried Taylors, but not under the impression that is anything spectacular. Scroll down a bit and read recent thread about LG's Prime Steakhouse in Palm Desert. The on-premise dry-aged cuts are truly dreamy. Will be trying Luger's or Bobby Van's next week, but as far as I'm concerned, LG is the one to beat.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Ernie
                                        Hungry Apr 10, 2003 10:32 PM

                                        I've never seen a post referring to Taylor's as the place to get the best steak -- it's referred to as a place to get a good bargain on a steak dinner.

                                        Two very different things.

                                      2. j
                                        Jerome Apr 10, 2003 08:41 PM

                                        You're not a snob, but it's silly to compare Peter Luger's which is a prime eatery in New York with Taylor's which is an old-fashioned neighborhood place that is by no means a prime eatery. The Palm will compare with Peter Luger's in price and in quality. The highest priced steak for one at Taylor's is about $20. So, the comparison is going to be skewed.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Jerome
                                          TE Apr 10, 2003 08:49 PM

                                          If I wanted to read New Yorkers bragging about their home town in contrast to L.A., I'd take out a subscription to The Times.

                                          The L.A. Times, that is.

                                          1. re: TE
                                            mc michael Apr 11, 2003 11:14 AM

                                            Particularly now that they imported much of their editorial staff and layout straight from the NYT.

                                            1. re: TE
                                              Hally May 6, 2003 10:37 AM


                                              And I can't find a decent taco in NYC. So what? You stop bitching and move on.

                                              Try The Pacific Dining Car.

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