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Musso and Frank's--or other steakhouses

My younger brother is coming to town next week and will be celebrating his 22nd birthday. He loves steakhouses----specifically Ruth's Chris. But I would hate for him to come all the way to L.A and go to Ruth's Chris! Any thoughts on Musso and Frank's---or another similar steakhouse? I don't want to spend the kind of money on a place like CUT since there will be a pretty big group and 1 person picking up the check---but something that is good but won't break the bank.

I would also love for it to have something unique to L.A which is why I thought Musso and Frank's. My family is from Chicago so there is not a lack of good steakhouses there.

Thoughts?

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  1. It would be the rare 22 year old who would actually enjoy Musso and Frank's! I LOVE it, but if your brother like's Ruth's Chris, he's gonna find Musso's to be dank, old-fashioned, possibly even depressing. Plus, it gets to be very expensive since EVERYTHING is a la carte. Sauce? extra. Dressing for your salad? $5.00 extra. etc.

    (Best cheesecake in town, though.)

    Finally, I don't consider it a steak house, so much as a place that has a vintage menu of continental cuisine. I'm sure someone will pipe in with a good recommendation for you.

    3 Replies
    1. re: annalulu

      You're right, Musso and Frank isn't really a steakhouse. In fact I had a steak there a few months ago that wasn't that good at all. People usually recommend other dishes there, not so much the steak.
      I think he would like some place like Dakota or maybe BLT Steak?

      1. re: Chowpatty

        stk, blt, dakota. all would suit a 22 year old visiting LA. but all steakhouses are pricey. taylor's is less but the atmosphere is incredibly different.

      2. re: annalulu

        Love Musso for the atmosphere and the amazing martini's. The Dal Rae in Pico RIver is also a real treat and not crazy expensive. I just ate at The Dal Rae and enjoyed the house salad with the shredded blue cheese dressing, grilled artichoke, and the pepper steak, do not forget to get a bloody mary or the tableside banan flambe for dessert.. Ciao

      3. Musso and Frank's may be fun for a 22 year old if he thinks he might like seeing Hollywood Blvd. and all that happens there....who knows? Food is just part of the allure there and it's still got that old Hollywood feeling to it.
        Everyone's idea of what defines 'the best steak' is different than the next.
        I had friends tell me to get to Nic and Stef's and enjoy the best steak they'd ever had. I found it overrated and sort of bland.
        Lots of people like BOA...I think it's fine but it's certainly not my first choice.
        Ruth's Chris is not unique to S Cal...but the steaks are great.
        Cut is known for the Kobe beef they fly in from Japan...it's quite extraordinary, no question about it, but to ask one person in your party to foot the bill at a place like Cut is a little presumptuous I would think.
        My choice is Maestro. It's solid, consistent and it's my first thought when I want a great
        steak.
        I've also had a fabulous steak at Orso on 3rd....excellent actually and I love the atmosphere there.
        Every 22 year old is different and I've known a few who would think Musso and Frank to be interesting...the atmosphere, the waiters and the history are part of what makes the place what it is

        1. If unique LA atmosphere is a must, then Musso & Franks will do, but the steak isn't close to Ruth's Chris or any of the major steakhouses in terms of quality, and as others have noted, Musso's prices are pretty high, actually comparable or even higher than many of the chain steakhouses such as Ruth's Chris, Flemings or Morton's. ( Morton's can be a particularly good value given some of their coupon specials, but if these folks are from Chicago, the last thing they need to do is go to a Morton's.) Musso's does have a good bar though. Taylor's has an old LA vibe in a different sense (dark wood, dingy, LA Confidential), and the steak is definitely better than Musso's, and a much better value, though the quality is well below the top chains listed above. If it is all about the steak coupled with value and a non-Chicago vibe, consider Pane E Vino on Beverly near Crescent Heights. They have a beautiful patio and weather permitting (which it usually does here -- especially for Chicagoans for whom 40 degrees is "shirtsleeve" weather --) it is lovely to dine there at night. (Very LA -- how many folks in Chicago are doing patio dining in late November?) Their grilled Piedmontese steak -- Bistecca Alla Fiorentina -- especially for two, is really one of the "under the radar" steaks in the City and not a bad value considering that they include sides of roasted potatos and veggies. I think the single steak is around $35, and the double portion for two somewhat less than twice that. Very well prepared and very flavorful. (The Piedmontese beef supposedly has less fat and a more intense beef flavor -- or so we are told. All I know is that I've always found it very tasty and tender.) The rest of the menu is kind of hit or miss -- I've had grilled quail with sausage that was terrific and on other occasions pasta that was good, but ho-hum.

          1. I like Taylors for a good steak, and reasonably priced for steak and potatoes. If you want something nicer but a more varied menu go to Dan Tana's, they have a great steak around forty-five. They also have a whole Italian menu that is much cheaper and very good including the best caesar salad. Also for a different atmosphere try Pane E Vino on Beverly Blvd and sit in the patio outside. They have a very good rib steak and also a good varied menu.

            1. I love Musso & Frank, but like others have said, it's not really a steakhouse. The food isn't the greatest, but I think it's reasonable considering the price, ambiance, history, etc. If you think about it, it's significantly cheaper than most higher end steakhouses since you get sides with your steak at no additional charge.

              1. Since you say he loves steakhouses, I'd go with Taylor's it is very much a traditional steakhouse and not too pricey. If he wants more of a scene, and the higher price to go with it, take him to Maestro's or STK.

                1. He loves Ruth's Chris, take him there. Only place comparable in steaks, atmosphere and price would be Morton's. I've never heard any great comments or bad on the steaks at Musso & Frank....but for some reason it wouldn't come up on my radar if I were looking for a steak dinner.

                  Maybe a tiny step lower in price, steakhouse atmosphere and good steaks would be Shula's 347 at the LAX Sheraton Gateway Hotel. Great filet and Cowboy steak (bone in rib eye).

                  http://www.donshula.com/locations.php...

                  If you're in the Pasadena area I'd recommend the Arroyo Chophouse on Arroyo Parkway.

                  1. for somewhat reasonable pricing and a real "steakhouse" atmosphere i suggest taylors. the one in la canada has just gone through a substantial remodel in a new center and is very nice.

                    my favorite, still kicking from the 50's is dal rae in pico rivera. great atmosphere, wonderful food and great service.

                    personally, having grown up in hollywood, i would stay away from musso & frank. only go there if you want to walk around the area and tell people you've been there.

                    -----
                    Taylor's Steakhouse
                    901 Foothill Blvd, La Canada, CA 91011

                    Dal Rae
                    9023 E. Washington Blvd., Pico Rivera, CA 90660

                      1. musso and franks is a place that makes me think of grandpas.

                        keep in mind that the 'old hollywood' that is associated with the place occurred a generation before your brother was conceived.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: westsidegal

                          For sophisticated atmosphere and great steaks go to Morton's.

                          For a crazy Hollywood type atmosphere and great steaks, go to Dan Tana's.

                        2. Well, you've read the feedback so far and know your brother better than we do. I agree that the charm and history of Musso & Frank's would be lost on the typical 22-year-old, and it is better known for its atmosphere, waiters and bartenders, and dishes like flannel cakes and welsh rarebit (and martinis) rather than steaks. Taylor's is the best compromise with some history, pretty good steaks (get the culotte there), and prices that are less outlandish. But I'll throw out another recommendation for a truly unique L.A. experience with history that will appeal to a meatlover -- Lawry's Prime Rib. You get truly delicious beef, albeit prime rib rather than steak, you get the uniformed servers, the spinning salad bowl, the big silver carts. Not cheap, but you get the meal rather than everything a la carte so prices are somewhat under control. And it is the scene of the Beef Bowl contest every year for the Rose Bowl teams.