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Paul Martin--An American Bistro

n
New Trial Mar 3, 2009 12:06 AM

I recently tried Paul Martin in El Segundo for dinner. It is on Rosecrans near the Fleming's and not far from the P.F. Chang's--I mention this because all three are from the same restauranteur, Paul Fleming and I found it interesting that he has three places within less than .5 miles of each other, even though they each fill different niches. Paul Martin's niche is the casual American bistro, along the lines of a Houston's but with a proclaimed focus on the fresh, local and seasonal. The original Paul Martin is up in Roseville and this is the second location they have opened.

I tried the St. Louis BBQ rib appetizer with coffee BBQ sauce [$9.95] and the burger with pepper aioli [$12.95]. The ribs, which come with an apple slaw, were tender but, even with the BBQ sauce, somewhat bland--the menu said slow-cooked but almost tasted parboiled to me. The burger itself was quite good but was not done any favors by the pepper aioli, which was more salty than peppery. Decent herbed fries are served with the burger. Most worthwhile is that the wine pours by the glass are well-priced, particularly considering that they give you a generous 7oz pour--I just wish the selection was more interesting. I note that, like Fleming's, there is a Sunday roast beef dinner special.

Service was excellent, especially in light of the fact that it has been open just about a week. Prices are in line with Houston's and there is valet and validated parking available.

www.paulmartinsamericanbistro.com

  1. n
    Nicole Mar 3, 2009 02:31 PM

    Thanks for the review. I live in the area and I've been wondering about this place...maybe I'll check it out sometime soon.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Nicole
      Foodandwine Mar 3, 2009 03:03 PM

      It looks very nice from the outside. I was unaware of the affilaition with Flemings Steakhouse. Perhaps I will check it for Happy Hour as that to me seems a no nonsense way for a quick recon.. Thanks for the tip on the wine pours as well. Very nice to know..

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      Paul Martin's American Bistro
      2361 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 180, El Segundo, CA 90245

      1. re: Foodandwine
        a
        Adsvino Mar 3, 2009 06:08 PM

        I'd rather have 4 oz. of great wine than 7 oz of plonk. Quality over quantity..

        1. re: Adsvino
          n
          New Trial Mar 3, 2009 11:03 PM

          Hardly plonk but not many that I felt compelled to try either. Several by Kelly Fleming...but I am sure that is just a coincidence!

          1. re: Adsvino
            Foodandwine Mar 9, 2009 10:03 AM

            Adsvino, most places are proud of their wine list, just my opinion. The same care goes into the selections regardless of their price. The lower price wines near always taste good.. So Plonk at this type of place ( flemings sisiter ) is probably not going to happen. Most bartenders will notmally give you a splash taste if you ask as well.. Thought that I would chime that in. As to the larger pours.. I like those too as stated above..

            1. re: Foodandwine
              a
              Adsvino Mar 9, 2009 12:17 PM

              I saw the list, not plonk you are right. I am sure the extra 3 oz. is factored into the price, though.

              1. re: Adsvino
                westsidegal Jun 28, 2009 10:40 AM

                wouldn't that be normal? any restaurant that wasn't a front for a money-laundering business would need to factor quantity into the price, yes?

      2. o
        Ogawak May 5, 2009 03:47 PM

        Paul Martin's has gotten mixed reviews here, but rave review on Yelp. Given the state of places to eat in El Segundo, my wife and I went to try it. We shared the calamari appetizer and the warm bacon spinach salad. I found the calamari very nice and light, with a choice of aioili and marinara for dipping. The salad was nice but a bit overpriced.

        For entre, she had the short ribs, which came with a very light fluffy mashed potato. We both enjoyed the short ribs, tho maybe too much gravy.

        My entre was a mahi baked with tomato and spices on a bed of asparagus. I chose this over the salmon, and found the meat nice and firm.

        We closed with their homemade ice cream and their devil's food cake. Good but not earth shattering.

        All in all, a good dining experience. I found the wait staff friendly but not very thorough. I had to ask her about any specials. Also when she came by to ask how the food was, she didn't stick around long enough for us to answer properly.

        Paul Martin's is similar in price points to Houstons. Because of their menu offerings, I prefer this place.

        1. creamfinger May 5, 2009 08:17 PM

          I finally got to try this place. I love Houston's, but often the wait for a table during lunch is longer than I can afford to be away from work, so I was really hoping that this would be a decent alternative. Perhaps they are still working out the kinks, but my experience at Paul Martin's will keep me from going back for a long while.

          I ordered the burger and asked them to leave off the pepper aioli. Of course I got the burger with a huge glop of this stuff on the bun. After a few minutes I managed to flag down my waitress, who was very apologetic and took the plate back to the kitchen. I assumed she would immediately return. After all, how long does it take to swap out a bun? About ten minutes pass and I don't see her, but a waiter shows up with a side order of pepper aioli and sets it on the table; trotting off before I can say a word. At this point I flag down another waiter and ask for the manager, who returns and asks how my meal is. I explain everything. Another apology and another ten minutes. My original waitress finally returns with a new burger.... with pepper aioli on it. By this time I have to return to my office. I ask again for the manager who, wait for it... offers to remove the completely untouched burger from my bill. That was of awfully big of her.

          They still charged me for the diet coke.

          2 Replies
          1. re: creamfinger
            Foodandwine Jun 28, 2009 08:16 AM

            Wow, creamfinger.. Sorry to hear about your lunch. I was meaning on trying this place but now have second thoughts..

            1. re: creamfinger
              westsidegal Jun 28, 2009 10:43 AM

              thank you creamfinger for taking one for the team!
              you saved me from having to experience this place myself!

            2. m
              mdpilam Jun 28, 2009 11:44 AM

              I tried the burger here (after a friend's co-worker said it was the best), and was pleased with it. Definitely not the best (Umami & FO get that award), but a good burger. It seems that once you get south of CC-ish, it tends to be a culinary wasteland (I know an exaggeration, but still...), so for the area, it's pretty good I'd say.

              1. c
                cheezz Jan 27, 2010 12:06 PM

                AMAZING food - all fresh, locally grown or raised. They are always happy to adjust to a particular food dietary need. I love their tomato florentine soup and do NOT miss the banana cream pie!! The only thing I've ever had there that I wouldn't recommend (6 visits) is the cheese plate - just a very so-so dish.

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                Paul Martin's American Bistro
                2361 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 180, El Segundo, CA 90245

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