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Steakhouse Paradox - sceney but not too overpriced

My mom is coming into town in the middle of October, and her favorite types of food are: Italian, Steakhouse, and Seafood. Since we will be spending the week prior in Maui, I think we will get our fill of seafood there. I'm gluten sensitive, so while though Italian could work, a steak place seems like a better choice.

She's not above paying for steak (ie. $60/pp without alcohol), and is interested in maybe seeing a celebrity from across the room. No specific cuts of meat favored. This isn't a must, but rather a hope, for her. I'm willing to sacrifice some food quality for scene.

Any recommedations? Like STK without the price, or Fogo de Chao with a possible star sighting? Also open to italian places that fit the bill but with meat options.

Many thanks.

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  1. Google Dan Tana's and their "Dabney Coleman" steak and see if that doesn't fill the bill for your mom.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      Dan Tanas is the call. Steak and pepers is great. I like the chicken beckerman with the dark meat. Must sit in the bar room.

      1. re: Servorg

        The Dabney Coleman costs about $60 by itself before any tax/tip/etc and, if i remember correctly, is just a hunk of meat (no sides or anything). so this may be pricier than you want.

        1. re: Bert

          Easily dividable between 2 people, with plenty for both.

          1. re: Servorg

            The steak and peppers is also huge and can be shared. Also comes with a side of pasta. I like the meat sauce. For another $6 you can get a second side of pasta.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Mastro's in Beverly Hills. Great steaks, great sides, fun vibe and always a possibility of star gazing.

          1. re: maudies5

            I want to love Dan Tana's, I really do. But I just don't think their steaks are all that. Mastro's has never disappointed, and has a good celeb sighting %. But even without alcohol, I imagine it would push the $60 ceiling? I wouldn't know; I've never not had a martini and wine there.

            1. re: jesstifer

              I am a long time fan of the Dabney Coleman (and gilled onions) at Dan Tana's. But after a five year hiatus (not for any quality reason, just eating less steak) - I went back and was quite disappointed. It was as tough as a rhino's hide, I cut hardly cut it. I sent it back and was told the chef thought it was fine and that he could not send me another that would be satisfactory, since they are all cut from the same "block." At my table was another steak, the smaller one, which my Mom said was very, very tough but she was able to eat it (and since she doesn’t like the rest of the menu, would not have been happier with anything else). Both of us thought steak was far from perfection…which it should be for the price.

              Hopefully, just an aberration: I have had steak there more than 30 times...always wonderful.
              The grilled onions, remain, superb!

            2. re: ipsedixit

              Also Ushuaia, in the old Drago place on Wilshire in SM.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Couple times.
                  Entraña has been actually the best ever.
                  Amazingly tasty piece of flesh.
                  Even tastier than my new fave for meat: "Agua" in Beijing ( no kidding! ).
                  Also: very good mollejas, and morcillas (although in this last bloody chapter, Agua is definitely the winner).

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Second both. Jar offers some of my favorite steaks in town.

              2. BEFORE TAX AND TIP, and drinking only water, you can probably get out of The Grill on the Alley at about your budget.
                i've seen a number of stars there at different times.
                fwiw, i've never seen a star on a friday or saturday night, though.

                1. Thanks all for these insights - very helpful, as I'm a recovering vegetarian and don't know the LA steak scene that well. I'm leaning toward Mastro's now, but going to have her look at info for both that and Dan Tana's to see if she prefers either. I'll look into Entrana too.

                  From a side-dish only standpoint, do any of these places stand out over each other?

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: Betcom

                    Mastro's has a great sea food tower and nice sides. Dan Tana's does a very nice ceasar and I like the pimento and anchovy. Dan Tana's steaks come with a side of pasta. The meat sauce is very good. At Mastro's make sure to sit upstairs. At Dan Tana's you want to sit i the bar room.

                    1. re: Betcom

                      Yes...Cut is the best for sides...but you won't have any money left over for steaks.

                      1. re: Ciao Bob

                        I thought he was down to Mastro's, Dan Tana's and Entrana??

                        1. re: Thor123

                          I believe that "entrana" just refers to the type of steak RicRios liked at Ushuaia Steakhouse in Santa Monica rather than a separate restaurant of that name. Entrana is the term for a skirt steak.

                      2. re: Betcom

                        I'm guessing you checked out the menu and prices for Mastros? Their steaks alone are ~$50, so after tip and tax, you'll already be over your budget w/o any drinks, sides, appetizers, dessert, etc.

                        1. re: TailbackU

                          Dan Tana's would work if they split the Dabney or steak and peppers which is a huge dish. Almost certain to get a celeb sighting and a good laugh from something at the bar.

                          1. re: TailbackU

                            Wasn't budgeting drinks or dessert into the $60 - no sweet tooth's here. Given an entree and a side, I think we can swing $150 on food for us ... so that's a little more breathing room. I just don't want it to go much higher. If there's a "must have" that is really worth it, budget becomes flexible.

                            @Thor123 still open to recs. Will be dining there third week in Oct. So would like to make reservations soon, but still have time.

                            Thanks for for your thoughts thus far. Really appreciate it.

                            1. re: Betcom

                              Cut, IMHO, is far, far better than Tana's or Mastro's.
                              And celeb sightings are extremely common at all 3.

                              1. re: Ciao Bob

                                I have to say, after reading Ric Rios recommendation above for Ushuaia http://www.ushuaiasteakhouse.com/ushu... (the Argentinian steakhouse that replaced the old Drago's on Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica) it is now my number one wish list restaurant to go to in Los Angeles.

                              2. re: Betcom

                                If that's the case, then I HIGHLY recommend Mastros. They have the best steaks in town imo. While Cut might have better appetizers, I've always been disappointed with their steaks at a higher price tag. Mastros is definitely my steakhouse of choice.

                                1. re: TailbackU

                                  I find Cut a bit sterile and sedate compared to Mastros and Dan Tanas.