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Taylor's Steak House

  • d
  • 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?

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  1. 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

      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

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

        1. re: TE

          Agree.

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

          Try The Pacific Dining Car.

      2. 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

          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. 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
            f
            Filmfreaketta

            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

              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

              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
                m
                Michael Robertson Moore

                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

                  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. 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

                    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

                      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

                        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

                          The molly salad! Yes!

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

                        2. 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

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

                          2. 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. 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. 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

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

                                  BTW, it's spelled "Fauntleroy."

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

                                  1. 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

                                      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. I agree Taylor's sucks.

                                      10 Replies
                                      1. re: jessejames

                                        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

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

                                          1. re: jessejames

                                            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

                                              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

                                                Along those lines rainbow bar and grill nice steak sandwich.

                                                1. re: Thor123

                                                  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

                                                    The galley is rated arrr

                                                    1. re: jessejames

                                                      Taylor's uses high quality meat and they generally cook it perfectly, and that's 85% of a steakhouse.

                                                      I'm not a huge fan of ribeye in general; have you tried their New York?

                                                      I would only describe Taylor's as "terrible" if you're referring to their sides, which are comically and delightfully old school. Except their baked potatoes, which are the way I like 'em: slow cooked to just shy of shoe leather on the outside, still moist and steamy delicious on the inside.

                                                    2. re: Servorg

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

                                                      1. re: cls

                                                        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. I finally made it to Taylor's for a steak dinner. I had the dinner culotte (the 10 oz version that comes with soup and salad and potato) on the advice of the bartender who said it's their most popular. Medium rare.

                                            No, it's not a top-tier steakhouse but was perfectly cooked and I challenge anyone to find a better steak dinner for $24.95.

                                            Salad was basic but fresh; mashed potatoes are real potatoes. Plenty of acceptable red wines by the glass for $10 and under.

                                            I'll admit that my wife's ribeye was not nearly as good. Go with what's popular.

                                            13 Replies
                                            1. re: estnyboer

                                              did you go to the Ktown location or La Canada Flintridge ?????????

                                              Thanks for the note.

                                              1. re: kevin

                                                Ktown

                                                1. re: kevin

                                                  While the food may be the same, that La Canada version has no excitement nor feel to it whatsoever.
                                                  But if convenience matters, then so be it.
                                                  I like Taylor's for what it is - a second tier steakhouse that has lasted forever, or so it seems, and does a very good job of not being nor even trying to be any of the large chains.
                                                  I always get the filet, and it has never disappointed.

                                                2. re: estnyboer

                                                  i really like the bar at taylors in ktwon. very good, stiff gin martinis at like $8 each. cool old school vibe. not on par of mastros but i think i have much more fun here.

                                                  1. re: cdub

                                                    Had a pungent Bloody Mary at HMS Bounty last night. $4.75, I think.

                                                    Mr Taster

                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                      had a j and b and soda at the interlude, lbc. for 4.75

                                                      as well as johnny black for 6 buks.

                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                        another place that's just a classic in the area. i'm a fan of the prince too.

                                                      2. re: cdub

                                                        I always try to get there early when I'm meeting friends so I can enjoy the bar. I always find their martinis small, though.

                                                        Agreed re: Mastro's. Better steak. Not generally worth it.

                                                        1. re: jesstifer

                                                          Mastro's is extremely pricey and who really wants to/can spend that kind of dough more than once a year? That's why I'm challenging anyone to find a better value than Taylor's culotte.

                                                          Mastro's is definitely great, though - not just the steaks but the entire menu. I've been to Beverly Hills, Costa Mesa (a couple of times) and Newport. Strangely, the Costa Mesa branch is the best.

                                                          1. re: estnyboer

                                                            Pinnacle Peak in San Dimas offers a huge and tasty 28oz Porterhouse with all the fixings for the same $27 as Taylor's 10oz culotte, however they are over 30 miles apart

                                                            1. re: Ernie

                                                              tell me more about pinnacle peak. is it on the top of a hill like the Pomona Mining Co. restaurant (?????????)

                                                              thanks man.

                                                              1. re: kevin

                                                                No, not on top of a hill like Pomona Mining Co. It's a bit kitschy Western-themed (they will cut off your tie if you come in wearing one). However the steaks are very good for the price point and they come served with campfire style beans which I really like

                                                                http://www.pinnaclepeaksteakhouse.com/

                                                                1. re: Ernie

                                                                  dope.