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Jul 30, 2010 07:49 AM

Old School Last Night @ the Dal Rae in Pico Rivera

We had to be out in the area for my wife's business so took the opportunity to have dinner at the Dal Rae. A classic 1950's Steak and Continental Dishes type of place that reminds me of one of the same types of places I used to eat at in the SFV; Tail 'O the Cock in Sherman Oaks / Studio City. Almost all large comfortable booths that explains why the Naughahyde herds are almost extinct in the world and a chalet like feeling with lots of beautiful big wooden beams and a subdued lighting with waiters and waitresses dressed in very natty duds. The lounge had live music and singers doing standards from the 50's as well. I think I heard someone doing an imitation of Bobby Troupe in there.

The relish tray and bread basket appears. The relish tray overflowing with everything from quartered dill pickles to at least two different types of (mild) peppers to radishes to carrot sticks to celery. Bread is fine too, although the sourdough needs to a bit more sour to really hit my taste buttons.

A kamikaze up was in a huge glass and perfectly made. They certainly don't short you on your cocktail.

My wife decided on the lobster Thermidor and I had the bone-in prime grade rib eye steak, medium rare. All dinners come with vegetable (in this case French style thin green beans) and choice of potato or rice. We both got baked potatoes with the normal heart stopping ingredients that come when you use the term "loaded" at places like this.

Service was impeccable and the food was very good for what it is...and since these types of places appeal to my sense of nostalgia I came away very happy and full.

I'll close by saying, since I didn't know what time we were going to getting to the restaurant I figured it would be late enough that we could walk right in. And while that was true, they were going great business last night. Lots of diners there when we arrived about 8:40 PM, and still a fare amount there when we left a bit before 10. I think they close at 10. Nice to see them doing so well.

If you want a bit of a "time warp" dining experience I can't recommend the Dal Rae strongly enough.

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

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  1. Thanks for the review, Serv. I've been wanting to go to the Dal Rae for years but haven't gotten around to it. There's a lot to be said about the old style traditional restaurants.

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: Baron

      It's the type of place that, if you like that style of food, will leave you feeling like you were well taken care of by the staff in a friendly, professional, very unpretentious manner. Comfortable, yet festive - I came away feeling very satisfied (from soup to nuts, as it were). Lots of folks having birthdays scattered about the room. The table next to us was having one of their "table side" crepe desserts and the flambe portion of the presentation was impressive, to say the least. I could feel the heat from where I was sitting...

    2. I think you nailed it with "nostalgia".

      Banana Flambé ... that's the only reason I would go to Dal Rae.

      Same is true with The Derby in Arcadia. I go there for the Baked Alaska, and really nothing else.

      4 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        I think that's a little harsh. I mean, if you want to have a nice steak dinner they certainly can provide that. They also do a terrific prime rib dinner option. The quality of my rib eye ($38 or so IIRC) was terrific. I was tempted to try the duck a la orange, but played it safe. And the ambiance is soothing. If you are looking to unwind after a tough day this would be an excellent place to do so.

        1. re: Servorg

          I've only been to the Dal Rae once but based on that visit your review was spot on. What they do, they do very, very well. I think it is better to go to a place like that who has their act together rather than many of these more trendy places that overreach and fail, and charge you for being trendy.

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

          1. re: Servorg

            I don't think I was trying to knock Dal Rae (or even The Derby).

            What I was trying to say is I would not go to Dal Rae for the steaks or the seafood, which isn't to say necessarily that the food is "bad" there. Just saying that what I would go to Dal Rae for *is* the Banana Flambe.

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

        2. Hi Servorg,

          Great review as usual. :) Sounds like a lovely evening, and it reminded of a place I still need to visit one of these days. Thanks. :)

          1. Several months back I too went to the Dal for my first visit. A friend living in Pico needed a birthday celebratory dinner, and this place won the debate as to where to get caught up and of course eat well.
            Your review was exactly my experience. I too had the prime rib, choosing to keep it simple, and was glad I did.
            The quality is not unlike Taylor's for Steaks in K-town or La Canada, yet prices are a bit higher. Place was very busy. It is the only place in that region for a nice evening out, and virtually everyone knows it.
            Would not rush back, yet when in that area....

            1. Nothing has changed in the past eight years, and i am guessing in the forty before then:


              And from a post I made after a visit seven years ago:

              "What a great experience. Subdued lighting, cozy booths, attentive but unobtrusive service. Spied the middle aged gent in a booth with a young bimbo, and in another booth the older white haired, white bearded gentleman with his lady all dolled up, he in an elegant black suit, she in beautiful black dress and black hat. All we needed was for Phillip Marlowe to show up."

              Truly old school ambiance.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ChinoWayne

                "...and in another booth the older white haired, white bearded gentleman with his lady all dolled up..."

                Hey, I'll have you know that my hair and beard are "platinum blond" and I think they make me look very extinguished...err distinguished! ;-D>

                1. re: Servorg

                  I beg your pardon, Servorg, but I resemble that remark!

                  I'm also a fan of the Dal Rae. Their pepper steak, frog’s legs, abalone and crab cakes are big draws for me, not to mention their excellent Caesar salad prepared tableside, usually by the owner himself. His humorous stories alone are worth the price of admission.

                  Funny thing, I first visited DR in the late ‘70’s. My visits have been relatively infrequent until the last three years during which time I’ve gone several times each year. Hmmh, it must be the hair thing.

                  Nice review. Thanks for the reminder; it’s that time again.

                  p.s. It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen a NAUGA too. (^_^)


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