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Cut. Am I being unfair?

4 of us went to Cut Saturday and as always it was great. However there was one issue that has been bothering me.

The 4 of us had 3 appetizers, shared 2 Nebraska dry aged New York sirloins, 3 sides, 3 desserts and 2 $100 plus bottles of wine. Everything tasted great and service was a little on the "cool" side but efficient.

Check comes and I notice there is a $12 per steak charge for splitting. Now I realize after a $600 dinner complaining about an extra $24 bucks seems cheap but considering all they did was cut the steak in half and put it on a plate seems ridiculous.

You know going in Cut is very expensive but I believe the $ 6 per plate charge is offensive.

Am I wrong?

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  1. After spending $150/person, I wouldn't like being nickled and dimed either. Did you call them on it? They sure know how to put a dent in an otherwise nice evening.

    1. I'd be torqued too! I hope you spoke up! Did they mention when you ordered that there would be the extra charge? Did you see anything on the menu denoting the extra charge?? It sure spoils the dining experience to have that happen at the end of the evening!

      1. Yeah, not so cool. That said, glad you brought up Cut since it's been under-represented in recent Chowhound conversations about steaks and about the best restaurants. Cut is super pricey but so far beyond any other steak in town it's almost ridiculous. Went on a bit of a steak jag recently with a friend who could do most of the paying. We hit Mastro's, Wolfgang's and Cut in about ten days. No contest!!!!

        1 Reply
        1. re: la tache burger

          While I love the steaks at Cut, what I really like best are the appetizers, sides and the great wine list. Dana, the beverage director is really passionate about her work and always provides something great I had not tried before.

          I did mention the charge to the waiter who as I said provided an efficient but cool service experience. He credited me $12 for the split of one steak and I was too annoyed to bring up the $12 charge on the second steak.

          If a couple comes in and orders one steak and 2 iced teas then maybe I can understand the split charge. Not this time.

        2. Did you not split the steaks?

          I can see a gracious restaurant not charging you, even though it's their policy, but I don't believe the waiter was obligated not to charge you.

          4 Replies
          1. re: invinotheresverde

            It's cheesy and tacky to charge a split charge for, of all things, a steak! Could there be a dish that is easier to split in the entire universe. Would they have charged for an extra plate? Certainly, I could do the splitting myself.

            Unless the split charge was specifically mentioned on the menu, I would have asked for it to be removed. If they refused, the 24 would have come out of the waiters tip.

            1. re: manku

              completely concur with manku.
              when one has racked up a $600 tab, whatever the official policy may be, the restaurant should comp the splitting charge as a matter of good will.
              the customer should not even have had to ask.

              1. re: westsidegal

                Don't you think almost every table of four racks up a couple/few hundred dollar tab at a place as expensive as Cut? It's definitely not unheard of, and certainly not rare (punny!) for a $600 four-top.

                As I said, it would've been gracious for the restaurant not to charge for a split, but, they did split steaks. Similarly, if it had been corkage, and not a split, should that have been removed because they otherwise racked up a big bill?

                1. re: invinotheresverde

                  since i normally buy my wine at whatever restaurant i'm eating at, i can't say what the 'normal' treatment is of corkage at an upscale restaurant.
                  but, i can say, that i often split dishes of food at upscale restaurants , and that i can't think of once that i've been charged a split fee.
                  irrc, the only restaurant in which i've actually been charged a split fee is a place i go where the entrees are in the $12-$15 range, and even that restaurant, when i order a lot of food for the table (i.e. an appetizer platter, salads, alcoholic drinks, desserts, special side dishes, etc.), they will generally overlook the fee.
                  my expectations are a result of my LA dining experience, nothing more.

          2. I agree with you. I love CUT - it's one of favorite restos in LA and have hardly a negative thing to say about it, but that seems inappropriate and, dare I say, classless.

            1. My first visit to Cut became the last when:

              a) bill showed an extra charge for ... chimichurri

              b) Lee Hefter told me re. the above : "not charging extra for chimichurri would be unfair to customers that don't ask for it".

              Sorry, I'm not kissing a** for a steak, no matter how pedantic it's formulated.

              1 Reply
              1. re: RicRios

                Does that mean that if I turn down the bread basket and petit fours, I get a credit on my tab...

              2. Well I think $60 for a feedlot steak is offensive. So after that, I think $12 for an extra plate would just be icing on the cake.

                But yes, the last thing I want to see after an elegant meal is nickel-and-diming on the tab. Perhaps they need to be reminded that they aren't selling steaks; they're selling a dining experience.

                1. We were not charged a split fee.

                  It's also not on the menu (at least not last years iteration of the menu).

                  I would complain.

                  1. All charges ought to be clearly stated on the menu. If they are going to charge to split a steak or anything else, fair enough if they say so on the menu, or at the very least the waiter ought to inform you when you ask to have the item split. If the charge isn't stated on the menu and the waiter doesn't tell you in advance and you're charged anyway, you ought to complain. Let the buyer beware should only have to go so far.

                    Usually, if my girlfriend and I are going to split something, we just order it without mentioning we're planning to split it, then take care of the division ourselves.

                    It also irks me at restaurants when they don't tell you the price of the specials - as if somehow that might not have anything to do with what you decide to order. I don't think you should need to ask. (This isn't necessarily about Cut. I have yet to go to Cut so I don't know what they do about the price of their specials.)

                    1. When 3 of us went last year and split 2 steaks between the 3 of us, there was no split charge. Silly nickel and diming.

                      to In Vino, yes, most restaurants I go to that have corkage will waive it if you buy a bottle from their list too. Its being gracious to good customers.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Senor Popusa

                        Agreed, but it's not expected, is it? And if they didn't waive it, would you ask?

                      2. I think you are being unfair. I do not think it is inappropriate to charge a split charge on main dishes. They have certain expectation as to what they are going to make per table, and I would have to say a table that orders less then one entree per person and 1/2 an entree per person would be well below expectation. The fact you ordered 1/2 bottle of wine on their low end does not make up for the lower expectations.

                        Could they have waived it, sure. WOuld I expect them too, no.

                        This a corporate owned restaurant and in run as such. Things are very closely watched. Your server would probably have to get specific manager approval to remove it from your bill.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: veniceslug1

                          But they ordered 2 bottles f $100+ wine...hardly on the low end....their bill of $600, or $150/head is probably higher than average.

                          Most restaurants, in this country at least, serve way too much food...especially steakhouses. There is no way I can eat a full app, 16 ounce steak, sides, bread and desert plus 1/2 bottle of wine+ without feeling ill!

                          Agree that it is a corporate restaurant and souless...one of many reasons I won't return.

                        2. I don't think it's unfair to be upset about a surcharge that wasn't listed on the menu or mentioned by the waiter. Seems to border on the unethical. The restaurant may think the charges are justified, or may be trying to make up some revenue lost due to the downturn in business during the current economic slump but they should be upfront about it.