Alexanders Steakhouse in Cupertino
Havent been here in awhile, but looking for some recent feedback on Alexanders Steakhouse in Cupertino. My husband and I watched an episode of check please bay area and it looked amazing. All 3 people loved it. We have been to several steakhouses in the city and they are good, not great. We love Mastros in Beverly Hills. It is the best, and havent found a steakhouse in the bay area that delivers like Mastros. We also recently tried Cut in Beverly Hills, Wolfgang Pucks new steakhouse and it was also really good, and a fun scene. The asian twist plus kobe beef at Alexanders is appealing. I probably wouldnt order the KB, but since it is my husbands birthday he may order it.
Anyway....I have booked a 6:30PM reservation for next saturday night. Here is the caveat. We are coming from the east bay and decided to stay overnight in a hotel close by so we can eat and drink without having to worry about driving back to Walnut Creek an hour away. We also have to bring our baby because we dont have anyone to watch her over night. She is generally really good in a restaurant so not a huge issue.
Is Alexanders worth staying overnight in San Jose and bringing the baby to eat a birthday dinner there?
i know that a lot of people love this place, and i've only been here once several years ago, but this is one of the very few places that i vow never to revisit even tho i LOVE steaks (my favorites are peter luger in ny and grill 23 in boston).
first, i'm a steak purist. i like the natural flavor of the beef. alexanders' steaks seem to all come with an overpowering sauce, and sometimes too sweet of a sauce for my taste. but that's my personal preference, not something i'll really "fault" the restaurant for.
i went with my parents, and between a rare ribeye, rare t-bone, and a beef 4-ways, everything was so tough that we could barely even cut into them, let alone bite into. i mentioned this in passing when they were clearing our plates. first, we get a lecture about not having said anything earlier. but they didn't really come to check up on us after the steaks were served until much later, plus we usually feel bad for sending things back and we figured that the chances of the steaks coming back better were slim considering that *none* of them turned out right in the first place. then, we get a huge lecture about how they only use the finest cuts of beef, blah blah blah.
It's been about 2 years since I've gone, but my friends and I really enjoyed it when we went. If you can request a particular server, we had a really great time w/ Sabrina, who was very funny, knowledgeable and helpful.
As for the food, our steaks were very tender, though we didn't order the kobe steaks. But, I do agree with wahbahdoo that some of their preparations are too creative in that they aren't always the way a steak purist would like. Overly dressed might be the right description for some of them. Though I thought the 2lb bone-in ribeye was one of the best steaks I've ever had.
We went on someone else's dime (e.g. wined/dined on expense account). http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5311...
As a disclaimer, I am not a steakhouse person. I am just as happy with my steaks at home. That being said, I wouldn't make a special trip. My husband did really like the Kobe Beef though, but they put a soy glaze on it.
Alexanders is wonderful. But as mentioned by others, if you or your husband is a steak purist you will not like it. If you like french-inluenced or japanese-influenced food, you will love this place.
Also saw that "Check, please" episode and I was a little surprised they were just learning about Alexander's -- it's been talked about locally online for years. I've been there maybe 8 times so far.
I'd say it's best to look to Alexander's for its specialty, which is dishes that add East- or Southeast-Asian ideas. (Rather than as mainly a steakhouse). With that in mind, I had truly one of my best Bay Area meals of the last year or two there a couple weeks ago (before seeing the "Check, please" episode), trying novel specialties after asking about them. A classic European-style cold bloc foie-gras but garnished very thoughtfully with Asian condiments and sauces. A "Mongolian spiced lamb" loin. I didn't know what Mongolian spices were, but the description didn't do the dish full justice. It was a "log" of tenderloin perfectly cooked, laid out in (12? 15?) slices among good garnishes -- plenty to share, or a self-contained hearty meal for one. The rub on the outside of the meat was spicy rather than "hot." Exquisite. A slice of that would convert most people who think they "don't like lamb." Then a simple baby-greens salad done very sensitively with a yuzu-flavored vinaigrette. This complex citrus flavor worked beautifully, I'd go back just for that salad.
I went there once for steaks with a cook who knew his meats, who was a bit critical of how they were prepared. Some dishes including some a-la-carte sides lean to the rich side, for example using generous amounts of cheese (not so east-Asian). But other dishes with obvious creativity and passion have been superb, so poke around the menu and ask servers about things. Oh yes, the wine list is excellent, good values, well set up to serve your tastes whatever they may be. One of the somms from 231 Ellsworth, the high-end San Mateo place, works part-time among the several wine staff at Alexander's.
The only restaurant worth an overnight stay, IMHO, is Cyrus in Healdsburg. We've eaten at Alexander's twice, and the first time it was pretty good, but the second time it was the worst steak I'd ever had, by far, anywhere. (I asked for medium and it came out rare - I sent it back and it came back burnt to a blackened crisp, and the server never came by to ask how it was. We spent $150/person, and it was a major disappointment.) Other than that, the food isn't bad, but not worth a special trip. The 3 people on Check Please grossly over-rated it.
Wow. It seems like nobody likes this place. The food looked SOOO GOOD on CPBA, and with all 3 people knocking themselves over with how good it is, Im surprised by the response here. We are relatively new to the bay area, living in the east bay, so havent spent much time in "silicon valley" and thought it might be nice to explore the area. Plus Alexanders is very kid friendly, whereas a lot of restaurants in the city are definitely not.
Isnt there a new steakhouse in the city that also serves kobe beef? Maybe we could bart into the city for dinner and get a baby sitter instead of an overnight for Alexanders.
Oh...and YES I definitely want to try Manresa, but it is my husbands birthday, and he likes tasting menus, but we generally do those for my birthday because I LOVE them, and we do italian or steak house for his birthday.
Cyrus is definitely on the list, but I consider that to be tied into a wine country trip which warrants a weekend and not just an over night since we havent yet explored the Alexander Valley.
"Wow. It seems like nobody likes this place." luckygrlll, prior to yours above, I count the following yes-no-maybe postings: 4 positive from some 10 visits; 1 purely negative with 1 visit; 3 indifferent with 4 evident visits. Again, after some eight visits I stress that I do think it's worth a special trip; that what you saw on "Check, Please" is pretty consistent with what I've seen; and that I firmly believe even the people with bad or mixed experiences here would have a better opinion after more exposure to Alexander's, especially to its particular strengths that I mentioned above.
However, if you're looking just for a premium steak house, there are others (though not as many or as good as in some other US regions). For example Forbes Mill where, at the Los Gatos site, I've encountered excellent steaks, embarassingly cheap institutional-style side dishes (prefab-type pilaf, "wild" mushrooms), excellent wine selection, and total tabs very similar to those at Alexander's and Manresa.
Since it sounds like you're going to try the Wagyu beef (and not just any other ordinary steak), I say you should go ahead and make the special trip to Alexander's. I've only been there twice, but both experiences were similar to what was shown on CPBA - service was impeccable, food was well done. I wouldn't go out of my way if you were just going to order a regular steak, but if you're going gung-ho for the Wagyu - it's worth it!
I enjoyed Forbes Mill's Kobe (which I believe is from Australia), but Alexander's Kobe blows it away (I know...duh).
I've been to Alexanders twice and feel like its just not worth the price. The up-selling is pretty obnoxious and if you venture outside the "big meat" menu, you risk subpar food. My last trip a few months ago was on an out of town friends expense account and was $850 for three people ( 2 did kobe beef) The meat was tasty everything else was just fair. I'd rather spend that kind of money at Manresa or Cyrus or the French Laundry
What did you end up doing luckygrlllll?
Another newer option in SF:
Wagyu A5 Steak Lounge
Maybe someone who has checked it out can chime in.