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Mastros Steakhouse

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  • new hound Feb 25, 2006 10:11 PM
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Is Mastros in Beverly Hills as good as they say or is it a safe and better bet to dine at Mortons or Ruth Chris?

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  1. Totally overrated. While the steak is pretty good, i would much rather have Ruth's Chris. The oysters were scary big. They were about 3 bites each. After 1/2 dozen, I was afraid of oysters for almost a year. If you go try it, don't get the oysters.

    5 Replies
    1. re: imda14u29

      I prefer Mastro's over Ruth Chris, and love the HUGE oysters.

      1. re: imda14u29

        Agree. Mastro's is the epitome of quantity over quality. Ruth's Chris makes a much better steak, and their broccoli au gratin is like to die...

        If you go to Mastro's avoid the big seafood tray thing, that's how they pay the rent. And definitely avoid the creamed spinach, hack ptuey...

        Link: http://clippertalk.blogspot.com

        1. re: jcwla

          The au gratin at Ruths Chris is disgusting, like something at elementary school and the only decent Ruths Chris in town is the Irvine location, the BH store is the worst in terms of steak quality and ambience.

        2. re: imda14u29

          This is so funny reading this since I choked on one of their oysters, they are so big and you swallow a oyster that I had to rush to the mens room.

          1. re: Mike

            hahaah mike, reading your post made me lol, especially after reading the other post about the oyster being 3 bites big. it must have not been a good experience, but its funny to read about it. thanks for sharing.

        3. I disagree with prior posts dissing Mastros. From my previous experiences there, I find that Mastros is absolutely worth every penny. It is the best steakhouse in L.A. currently, bar none.

          Of course, if you're looking to save a few bucks you could compromise and go to Ruth's Chris or Mortons, both of which are fairly decent.

          1. I have a questions about the two, quality of food aside.

            I have only been to Ruth's Chris in Irvine and both Mastro's in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. I can only assume the Ruth's Chris in Beverly Hills is a very differerent experience then the Irvine location.

            The Irvine location was a mess. Parking was a terrible. We were all hearded up front like cattle just waiting for our name to be called. There were young children running around. The service was o.k but hardly of the Mastro's level.

            The Mastro's Steakhouse & Ocean Club in Orange County are where you go for a classy evening, while the Ruth's Chris in Irvine was like family night at a shopping center.

            I am not saying this to be critical of Ruth's Chris, I would just like to know if I should try the Beverly Hills location.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cdmedici

              My view can be summed up in a single sentence: Why go to Ruth's Chris if there's a Mastro's nearby?

              I think Morton's is better than RC and have had excellent luck at the Morton's in Santa Ana (near So. Coast Plaza).

              But I'm really looking forward to visiting the new Mastro's by South Coast Plaza in the near future. Thanks for your review of it above, cdmedici!

            2. Ruth's Chris and Mastros are in completely different dining categories, even though they are both steak houses. Ruth's Chris is far more casual, although the food is pretty damn good. And I find it consistent from location to location. (Palm Springs, Sacramento and Maui, and good esperiences all).

              Morton's is NOT consisten and I refuse to spend money there ever again after having had the worst steak of my entire life there about 4 months ago and not having the situation resolved to my satisfaction by management.

              Mastros is PSYCHOTICALLY delicious. One of me favorite restaurants in any category...it is like they cover their steaks in crack, they are so good. And the seafood tray is extravagant, but my husband and I love it....I love love love mastros!

              3 Replies
              1. re: hellolizzie

                i was going to post a response to the original poster's inquiry - but your's pretty much sums it up. mastros is the real deal.

                1. re: jaydee

                  "it is like they cover their steaks in crack, they are so good." that sold me right there haha

                2. re: hellolizzie

                  I can't agree more with Mastros... the bone-in filet is FANTASTIC. The rib-eye is really good too.

                  We went last night with some friends and I had their Chilean Sea Bass — it was DELICIOUS! But I would still want the filet or rib eye.

                  *mmmmmmm*

                3. I have not been to Mastros yet, but I have heard great things from everyone. These posts are the first negatives I have ever heard of Mastros. I am dying to try it for myself and soon will try and post a review.

                  As far as Ruth's Chris. My first experiences with RC were up in San Francisco, and I fell in love with the place. Definately in for a great steak and a wonderful experience. I have been to the one in Beverly Hills twice as well, and I must agree that it is not as good as the San Fran one, but still, amazing steaks. RC is definately my top steak house at this point (keep in mind I have not tried Mastros yet).

                  Mortons is completely overrated. I prefer not to go if I can avoid it. The steaks are decent, above average, but not in the same category as RC. If Mortons was half price it would be worth going.

                  1. I think you should try Mastro's. From what I hear its delicious.
                    Ruth's Chris has some tasty steak too.
                    IMO, Morton's is anything but a safe bet if its your dollar. Ripoff.

                    1. Mastros is the absolute best. I've never had such a fantastic meal in my entire life. Try the Lobster Mashed Potatoes which are off the menu.

                      1. I'm a newbie here and don't post often. But since I do enjoy what others have posted, I felt compelled to give some back. I've been to Mastros in B.H. 4-5 times now and each time I'm disappointed with the food, service, and ambience. I've dined hundreds of times at the various Palm & Ruths Chris Restaurants around the country, as well as most of the other L.A. steak houses, including, Mortons (Peter's and Arnie's), Nick & Stefs, Pacific Dining Car, Boa (aka, Balboa), etc. Mastros is for tourists and others who fall into that dining category I call 'ostentatious consumption'. imho

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: MSB

                          IMHO Houston's & Flemings have pretty decent steak and sides.
                          Our favorite filet is at Maggiano's of all places, mid-Western beef, where curiously the Italian chow sucks, stick with the house salad and veggie sides, and nice assortment of fresh baked breads for starches.
                          Interestingly, Claim Jumper's filet is decent but other than the spud the sides are below par.
                          Ruth Chris is OK sans butter. When we eat beef we want to taste beef, not butter, bacon or other grease.

                        2. Had my first AND LAST visit to Mastro's Steakhouse in Costa Mesa just this past weekend and it was unpleasant at best. My steak was overcooked and underseasoned. The sides were bland - even the gorgonzola mac which I was really looking forward to. I had to repeatedly ask for refills on my iced tea (yes...I was the DD for the evening). We were seated directly underneath a speaker and had to strain to hear the person across the table and the server paid no heed to our request to turn it down (even just a little)...At any rate, I just feel that they are way overpriced for the quality of food and service that we received. And the icing on the cake? They charged $6 for mandatory valet. What kind of upscale establishment that charges that much money for mediocre food would charge you for valet? It's reprehensible. They're really just cheating the poor valets out of better tips. Now, I've heard that the Mastro's Ocean Fish House in Newport Beach was much better and did not charge for valet, but I'll not be wasting my money on this chain ever again.

                          1. I have dined at both and prefer Ruth's Chris over Mastros. I actually got RC's steak prep recipe off the internet and prepare it at home. The Mastros in BH was underwhelming, over-priced and was just the type of scene I like to avoid when dining.

                            1. I ate at Mastro's Beverly Hills two nights ago, for the first time. It was the most delicious meal I have had, ever. Service was perfect. We sat downstairs, not up in the noisy part. I am not all that adventurous about what I order in a steakhouse, and I do not eat seafood, so this is just about the steak and the sides. I love garlic, and lots of flavor...but we'll get to that, soon. I do need to mention that my friend brought along a ridiculously hard-to-find bottle of Dom Perignon rose...the maitre d' was our lil boy as soon as he spotted that. What fun.

                              So the charming waitress ogles the wine, too, and then expertly opens it and chills it.

                              The bread basket arrives: It has sourdough, pretzel bread, something whole grain looking and was beautifully arranged. I wanted to keep it as a centerpiece, it was so gorgeous. I only ate the garlic toast/crostini which was delicious.

                              Then comes the Caesar salad. Someone here mentioned that they must put crack in the food. I agree, and not just the entrees. The lettuce was a complex as a fine wine. I have no idea where they get this lettuce. It was just Romaine...but must have been grown in some very fine dirt. The droolingly garlicky and I-don't-know-what-else dressing was coating every single leaf, with no pool on the bottom. The croutons (just two slices of baguette with garlic and cheese) were good enough to eat every day, forever. I do not know what they did to that salad, but it was spectacular.

                              They bring out the sides, in copper saute pans: sauteed spinach (with garlic and again, who knows what else but it was the best spinach I have ever had), and the gorgonzola mac & cheese (very tasty, but not quite up to the greens.)

                              And then the steak. I had the bone-in filet mignon, with some bearnaise sauce on the side. I ordered it "medium-rare plus 20 seconds." And that is exactly what I got.

                              At the first bite I swooned to my friend, "I think this what people in opium dens must have felt like." The steak was so intensely flavorful (almost like some much fattier cut, but still with the tender buttery texture of filet) that after a few dips in the bearnaise, I stopped and just ate the meat unadorned.

                              Utter bliss.

                              The waitress has psychic radar about things like when to refill the champagne glasses. The thought would only have begun to form, and there she was.

                              I had them pack up all that was left (they do give you gigantic portions of everything) and we ordered the chocolate Sin flourless cake, a la mode. They brought it out, along with a big ol' pan full of just-made whipped cream.

                              The waitress, upon our asking, recommended the Inniskillin Ice Wine to go along with the dessert (the Dom Perignon Rose...which absolutely contributed to the opium den feeling, was gone).

                              I do not want to get pornographic here, but I easily could.

                              The only thing I would change if I had zillions of dollars and owned the place, is the decor. They really ought to go all exotic and opium den on that. Nice ranch house style really doesn't match the intricacy of the food.

                              The caveat is that the place is very expensive. And if you like your food a little blander, or do not like garlic and salt, go to Ruth Chris (which I also like…just not the same way).

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: ecaitlin

                                Interesting how mixed people are with Mastros. I love it and find it to be the best steak place around. Much better than the buttery Ruths Chris. And love how they serve Cosmos with the shaker on the side!!! Just went to the Palms after not having been there in a long time. Had perefect shrimp cocktail, an excellent Rib Eye, fabulous creamed spinach, and mashed potatoes. I "get' Ruths Chris...

                              2. I think the lesson here is to avoid all three!!

                                That's what I'm taking from this thread...very interesting.

                                1. It is a safe and better bet to dine at Cut--if you are serious about steak.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: mc michael

                                    Good point. I would add that there are a lot of places that aren't "steakhouses" per se but offer very very good steak...

                                    1. re: mc michael

                                      Actually, if you're serious about steak...order from Lobels and cook it at home...of course, the raw meat costs more than any steakhouse, so it ain't a great deal!

                                      As for the steakhouses, everyone has a different opinion. I personally like Mortons in BH the best, and Mastro's hands down one of my least favorite restaurants in the world. So much so that I've turned down FREE meals there twice this year. The place creeps me out, and aside from the steaks, which are excellent, I find nothing else on the menu (and I mean nothing) worth eating. Add the OBSCENE wine list (highest markups in LA...period!), the rude, dismissive hostess/managers and, well, you get the picture.

                                      Morton's is not the French Laundry by any means, but it's always dependable and friendly.

                                      As for CUT, too much attitude for me. Some steaks were great, others ehh...Sides were awful, apps and desert killer.

                                      1. re: manku

                                        I didn't find much if any attitude at Cut. And they are the only steak joint in the entire USA with R*E*A*L Kobe steak. Not American Kobe. Not Australian. Real Japanese Kobe steak. And their other aged US beef ain't bad either.

                                        1. re: mc michael

                                          I really liked the American Kobe...the Japanese Kobe was frankly too fatty for me (and I LOVE fat!)...even though I only had one slice (at about $25 for three bites), it made me feel sorta ill afterwards...like i just ate a stick of butter. the flavor was amazing, though.

                                          my ny strip, aged 35 days, was really disappointing...flavorless.

                                    2. I would like to weigh in on the discussion. I used to think Mastro's beat Ruth's Chris (BH) for food and service. BTW I don't mind the ambience of both places -- I think they are similar. I don't mean upstairs at Mastros -- that's a whole other scene of scary facelifts, leering men in lounge suits being serenaded by a smarmy electric piano player.

                                      But the second time we went to Mastros and we had appalling service.

                                      In short, a large party of LARGE men was seated next to us and the servers repeatedly asked my husband and my friend's husband (we women were comfortably ensconced in the booth) to move his chain in closer to the table. Of course he did the first time. They were still asking him to move in and shoving past him even when his (full) stomach was crammed against the table. Basically, he could not move in any further! The servers kept pushing past him and never once asked the large people to move their chairs.

                                      It was ridiculous.

                                      When we complained to the manager, he literally smirked the whole time then gave us his card and said next time we'd get the "best table in the house".

                                      Well, I wasn't lookinig for a freebie, but he was unable to explain why that situation was permitted to happen, despite my interrogation of his policy under these circumstances.

                                      Ruth's Chris has never failed in service and ambience.

                                      I feel the steaks are marginally tastier at Mastro's that Ruth's Chris (BH), but tragically poor service ensures I will not return to Mastros.

                                      Did I mention two of our party of four were celebrating our birthday? It was the birthday boy who was treated so shabbily. Also they wrote my name around a complimentary dessert, which was nice but completely overlooked him!

                                      Next time I go for steak, I want to try CUT!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Maxmillion

                                        Get the filet at Max in Sherman Oaks, and save all the hassles and money too!

                                      2. This seems like one of those unresolvable debates. There are worse chores than going to each steak house to see which one you like best. I, personally don't like Maestro's. They're portions are huge and tend to be very rich, but I just don't like the quality of the food. I also end up feeling sick afterwards as though whatever indulgent ingredient excess they're employing to gild the beef lilly is more than my normally hardy constitution can tolerate. I also don't like the Ocean's Eleven/Vegas-like atmosphere. My true-confession (guilty pleasure) is I really like Ruth's Chris a lot. Just to be sure, I went again recently. The salads, sides, steaks and cocktails are always quite delicious. I heard they changed hands again maybe a year ago or so but surprisingly, they've maintained their consistency over the years, regardless. I wish I had the budget to go more often...

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Dyspepsia

                                          i dont get why people dont like mastros. The BH location was nice we were seated downstairs and the service was pretty good. They didnt try to upsell us on bottled water which many restaurants do. We went on a friday night and the place was packed and service was still great. the bone in ribeye was perfect and the sides were really good. i cant vouch for the wine list since we didnt drink any wine. it was pretty noisy upstairs but thats a given since its by the bar area. Costa mesa mastros food was just as good, service was so-so, dining room was nicer though. i still dont like ruths chris.

                                          1. re: AGENT FOODIE

                                            I LOVE Mastros....the cheesy scene at the Beverly Hills location adds to the ambience. The best app is the sauteed shrimp. It is the most decadent to die for dish Ive ever had. Ruth Chris (BH loc) on the other hand is maybe 1 notch above a Dennys. My husband and I COULDNT believe how downhill that place went...both in food quality and atmosphere.

                                            I recenty had to leave LA to move to San Francisco for work, and while SF is a great restaurant town....it totally lacks in steakhouses. SF NEEDS a Mastros, a Boa, a CUT, a DAKOTA...anything. They keep opening the same type of "cal cuisine" restaurants with the same freaking menus here.

                                            1. re: luckygrlllll

                                              i agonized about which steakhouse to choose for my birthday dinner a few months ago, as it was also going to be the first steak i had eaten in 21 years.

                                              unfortunately, i opted for mastro's in beverly hills. never again.

                                              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/416257

                                        2. STAY AWAY FROM MASTROS - totally overrated with annoying waiters who try to 'sell' you on the most expensive items on the menu. We entertained guests for dinner here and the check could easily have skyrocketed to twice the amount had we taken our waiters suggestions! Luckily we got away with only $150 per person which would have doubled if we had ordered the seafood tower, the lobster mashed potatoes and the outrageously overpriced wine that were recommended to us. We know how to read and can order from the menu - we don't need a waiter or waitress going around to each diner and trying to push higher priced items for a bigger tip. The food was good but nothing special. The atmosphere is early 70s with outdated music and decor. Why would anyone spend big bucks here when there are much better places in L.A.?

                                          1. As someone who lives in England and spends a few days a month in Newport Beach I must say you're all SPOILED !

                                            All three, Mortons, Ruths Chris and Mastros beat anything we get in most restaurants in most cities so long as all you want is steak

                                            Mortons seems a tired concept now. Very good steaks but a big yawn

                                            Ruths Chris is too bland too

                                            Mastros is, for me, the best of the three.

                                            I always spend at least one evening there and it's got a great atmosphere if you want to "people watch" even though most seem to be out to show off how good looking they are or how rich. It's amazing to Europeans how differently we speak in restaurants. At home people speak to the people at their table whilst in California people seem to speak at the whole restaurant.

                                            We worry that people might be listening. You all seem to hope evryone IS listening so you shout .

                                            Anyway, back to the food at Mastro's.

                                            I think the lobster mash is over-rated and too greasy

                                            The wine list isn't expensive by European standards but I do hate the way that you only get a decent set of glasses with a fine rim if you go past $100

                                            The steaks are delicious (not so sure about the fillet but the Sirloin and T-Bones are fantastic) as is the swordfish

                                            The seafood tower is uninspiring with cheap sauces from a huge jar no doubt

                                            The waiters do try to upsell you and they are smarmy, self satisfied and sanctimonious and so loud with their rehearsed theatrical recital ad infinitum of standard dishes which never seem to vary but which they try to pretend are so special that night

                                            The wine list is very American.....suppose it's fair enough but your wines are so full of tannin (sorry to generalise)

                                            However, for all that the steaks are great, its loud and lively and full of interesting to look at people (shame you have to listen to them all) and it has a real buzz

                                            It's nasty but it works really well (though I have noticed recently that it's nothing like as busy, so their dress policy has dropped and there are now a few people getting in there in shorts and t-shirts rather than Armani and Hugo Boss and Jimmy Choo)

                                            I think it's brilliant and would love one to open in Manchester or London . I recommend the high tables in the bar where you get the same food but are in the middle of the buzz

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: kphilbin

                                              "The wine list is very American.....suppose it's fair enough but your wines are so full of tannin (sorry to generalise)"

                                              That's a flaw with the restaurant *selecting* the wine, but you knew that generalising would bite you in the arse.

                                            2. I just ate at Maestro's (sp?) for the first time last night. As far as the vibe, I enjoyed it more than the dark wooded, hypermasculine decor that I expect from steakhouses.

                                              Bread - I love the pretzel bread. Hot, slightly sweet dough contrasted with just a whisper of salt. My only complaint was that it took forever to get a second, pretzel-only basket after I asked.

                                              Wine - I didn't care for. I wanted to avoid the obscene markups from the "reserve" list, but what I was recommended from the "bargain" list I drank reluctantly. So bring your own wine if you want to guarantee yourself something you'll love.

                                              Appetizer/salad - Had the seared tuna and a chopped salad. Should have passed on both. The tuna tasted old (granted it was a Thursday, one of the days you're not supposed to order fish), but I shouldn't have ordered tuna at a steakhouse. The salad was also forgetable, in that I don't remember a thing about it.

                                              Steak - had the large, bone-in fillet. It was delicous. Not the best meat I've ever had, but very, very good. I ordered it medium rare because the waitress told me that they cook on the rare side since the plate (at 400 degrees) cooks it a bit too. The inside was cool, which unfortunately made the meat a little too chewey. But it was still a great steak, I ate the whole thing even though I was fuuuuuuuull.

                                              Side - We shared the lobster mashed potatoes (the signature dish) as a side. There were three of us, and the dish could have easily served four. I've had lobster mash at Asia de Cuba, and this was definitely better. There were whole cunks of lobster on top of the potatoes. It was tasty, but not great, because I don't think there was any lobster IN the potatoes. Also, the dish was sitting in a pool of butter. I thought it was an easy way out. Sure, everything tastes great sitting in a pool of butter. How about less butter and more complex flavors? It was a dish I'm glad I tried, but I don't think I'd order it again.

                                              Dessert - We shared the butter cake. The outside was overbaked and dry, but once I got to the moist inside.....YUM!!!! This cake was delicoius, and it came with a HEAPING side of freshly made whipped cream. They didn't skimp on this cream. Usually I run out before I'm half way through the dessert. Here, we had whipped cream to spare!!! I wish they were able to balance out the dryness a little. The cake is so large that in order to prevent a liquid inside, they had to completely dry out the outside. A smaller serving would be better, that way the whole cake could be good.

                                              Service - was fine. Nothing memorable in either direction.

                                              In summary, I had a terriffic meal and a wonderful time. Total, with tip, was $120 per person. I'm not a huge fan of steakhouses, but I'd probably go there again. I liked it better than Jar, which is the only other steakhouse I've been to in LA. The food at Jar seemed less adventurous, and the crowd and vibe were older.

                                              1. Um, chow, some people just don't care for steak. Or attitude.

                                                1. Second visit for us. First visit was downstairs in a quieter setting.

                                                  First of all our reservation at 8:45 on a Thursday night was pointless. We were seated at 9:45. Pretty unacceptable. After a grueling wait in an overcrowded lobby/bar we were seated upstairs next to the wailing crooner meets one man band. I realize this is a novelty for those anywhere over 82, but for groups that enjoy conversation somewhere under 120 decibels this may not be the place for you. Was the food good? Sure. Exceptional, no, overpriced, not necessarily for the location. Luckily for us in LA, we have more than just a couple of choices! As I mentioned, first experience was more enjoyable, second one was a deal breaker. I think that a better understanding of keeping your clientele content may be just the answer.

                                                  1. Mastro's is totally overrated. For the best steak (and atmosphere) in LA, we head to the Pacific Dining Car on Wilshire around 28th.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: PaliBruin

                                                      Not even close. You might dislike Mastro's (I like it myself) but PDC isn't anywhere close to the best steak in LA. PDC is, however, the best steak available at 0330 on a Tuesday in LA.

                                                    2. Been going to the BH Mastro's since it opened and have never had a bad meal. The tower is alway great (the biggest shrimp) and fresh. The bone in rib eye has never disapointed me, The Chiliean Sea Bass is also great. Great side dishes.