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Taylor's for dinner-- how is it these days?

Mr Taster Oct 9, 2009 05:07 PM

Coworkers suggested a dinner out at Taylor's. I've read mixed reviews here, but most of the posts are 2005 and earlier.

Has anyone been recently? Any tips for first timers? Where to sit... what to drink... what to order? Do they do a tableside caesar? (I do see steak diane on the menu... is it any good?)

Any and all recommendations are greatly welcomed.

Thanks

Mr Taster

  1. h
    Harry Nile Oct 9, 2009 05:32 PM

    I hope posters will provide ample details about the food. I haven't been to Taylor's in several years, because, even though I enjoyed the drinks and atmosphere, the steaks I had in my last couple of visits were tough -- not just chewy -- and unappetizing. There's plenty of room in this town for high-quality beef-houses that don't cost an arm and a leg for less-than-sterling meals. My last trips to Taylor's made me think they were reasonably priced but still didn't deliver quality appropriate to the cost.

    1. b
      bad nono Oct 9, 2009 05:43 PM

      I've been there last year, for a B-Day party. It was in a private room. I don't have very precise memories except that my very own steak was good and that I must have chosen the "culotte" cut. All in all I don't think it is an exceptional place food-wise but it is solid, I liked the atmosphere (I don't like trendy places, old-fashioned more my cup of tea), it was reasonably priced, service was attentive.

      1. mollyomormon Oct 9, 2009 05:46 PM

        I think it's worth going for the atmosphere alone. I was there this summer for lunch in the private room. Service was great and my food (I got whatever the fish special of the day was) was very good, if not especially memorable.

        1. rednyellow Oct 9, 2009 07:38 PM

          I go about every other month. The steaks are always good and so is the onion soup. I have never had the ceasar or Dianne. It's not an amazing place, but its always very good. Their french dip sandwich is my fav. but may only be a lunch thing.

          1. Tom P Oct 10, 2009 08:13 AM

            I also go every couple of months and love it. It certainly isn't CUT, etc but if you order right, the food is indeed good and the place has great character/ambiance. I love the booths. If you go with 4 or under, you can get a booth downstairs, which is where you want to be. I do love the small bar on the stairs halfway up to the second floor. And I have eaten on the second floor, which is fine. But booths downstairs are the way to go. Ask when you make a reservation.

            My favorites: The Molly Salad, named after a waitress, which has blue cheese and onions, etc. GREAT Salad. You have to pay extra for it, rather than get the salad that comes with the meal, but I think it is worth it.

            I am not fond of the Culotte, which gets a lot of attention. I had it a few times and think their filet or strip both are better. I like both of those very much. I like their creamed spinach, if it is a night they are making it. And a friend of mine thinks they have the best prime rib in town. They make a good cocktail as well.

            They do not do a tableside caesar and if my memory serves correct, the caesar is just standard. Nothing like the caesar at Musso's, for instance. Give it a try, I love it. (And be sure to go to the original, Koreatown restaurant, which I like better than the La Canada site.)

            1. cagey Oct 10, 2009 08:58 AM

              I frequent both locations fairly regularly (well, twice-to-three-times a month is probably more "regularly" than my doctor would recommend). I've stated in previous reviews that IMO, Taylor's is still about the best medium-priced steakhouse in the city. As far as '"quality appropriate to cost," I'm not sure there's a dinner cut of prime rib out there for $26 that can do better. (if there is, someone please recommend!) Can the quality be hit or miss sometimes? Most definitely. Probably 1 in 10 cuts I order are what I'd consider to be sub-par (and are usually sent back and replaced with a suitable cut).

              I've yet to try their Steak Diane but I have had the culote (which if "tops" are your thing, you should enjoy). I'm more of a prime rib guy and Taylor's has good flavor. I check the evening specials and have tried the rack of lamb (which was decent), but I rarely stray from the prime rib.

              Mentioned too here was the beefeater dip sandwiches, and I would agree it's more of a lunch item (price drops a couple of bucks) and it's very good. I've seen it compared to Houston's and for my vote, and while I've had both, I'd say Taylor's dip is better. Other great lunch items (mostly had at La Canada location) are the daily specials - corned beef sandwich, omaha ribeye sandwich - are great if you catch them when they're on the soup n sandwich "specials." Also burgers are good (if you can bring yourself to order a cheeseburger over a steak or prime rib cut).

              Drinks? Their wine selection is good and you can usually go for a bottle of merlot that won't set you back too much. I usually start with a Ketel One Gibson up, and then move to a red or pinot to go with my beef. (It's a great martini atmosphere if it's not too crowded and hectic.) If your party is large enough, suggest reserving a table in the upstairs dining area.

              Agree too with bad nono that this isn't a "trendy" place (thank god) and is very much the way a real steakhouse should feel.

              Hope this helps.

              6 Replies
              1. re: cagey
                Peripatetic Oct 10, 2009 09:52 AM

                Would you say both locations are equally good?

                1. re: Peripatetic
                  cagey Oct 10, 2009 10:31 AM

                  Yes. Slightly different vibe (since the La Canada location is a tad newer. Used to be Sparks steak house back in the day.) Both have cozy booths and food / menu 95% the same. Unless you're in the area, La Canada can be a bit of a haul.

                  1. re: cagey
                    justanotherpenguin Oct 10, 2009 11:09 AM

                    actually, it was "Sparr's", and was not a steak house. mainly a great old bar which moved from its original location in montrose where the current la cabanita resides.

                    that being said, the taylor's la canada location is very nice. we believe that it is a good value for what you get, and the bartenders are great.

                    1. re: justanotherpenguin
                      cagey Oct 10, 2009 01:47 PM

                      Ah yes, I stand corrected. (How did i come up with Sparks?)

                      1. re: justanotherpenguin
                        justanotherpenguin Oct 13, 2009 11:02 AM

                        just a couple of afterthoughts. i generally don't order steaks in restaurants because i prefer to cook them at home. if i do order a steak, i generally order unadorned, unless i know that the particular place makes a great steak dianne or something similar.

                        the items that we've had that are quite good are: bacon wrapped shrimp or scallops, the london broil (very tender), and the homemade potato chips - delicious. we usually go during "happy hour" time, and these items work quite well.

                      2. re: cagey
                        Peripatetic Oct 10, 2009 06:40 PM

                        Thanks. I recently moved to Pasadena so the La Canada location is closer, but I'm happy to go to the K-town location for the old(er)-school atmo.

                  2. p
                    pdn2 Oct 10, 2009 12:19 PM

                    I was just there this past week at the La Canada location.

                    My wife had the ribeye and I had the petit filet. We both found the entrees to be just adequate. I just asked the missus and she responded "okay" which speaks for me as well. She added that she should have of stuck with the prime rib which she think they do an excellent job with. I got the filet with the bernaise sauce which was a big mistake . The meat was fine, but the sauce significantly detracted from the meal and it was clear it was an afterthought simply spooned over the meat from a holding pot. I generally enjoy their meat when it is presented as unadorned as possible. I knew that about them, so I got what I deserved.

                    On the positive side, they make a Molly salad that is just great retro fun and feeds two adequately. Their bar is quite good and they turn out a first class martini (gin). Their wines by the glass are pretty good selections and not overpriced.

                    So, stick with what they do well -- simple presentation of meat and you should enjoy yourself.

                    1. katydid13 Oct 10, 2009 04:22 PM

                      I was at the original location about a month ago -- eating there for the first time. My strip steak was really delicious. Don't bother with the lobster bisque, though. I sat downstairs, and my companion, who'd been there a few times before, said it's much more atmospheric than the upstairs. I think it's nice that you get a complete dinner for your money, as opposed to steakhouses that make you do everything a la carte.

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