The Sea by Alexander's Steakhouse [Palo Alto]
Interesting there has been no discussion on this new and VERY expensive restaurant in Palo Alto.. The chef is from Providence in LA.
Blog post with pics:
The Sea by Alexanders Steakhouse is a new seafood oriented restaurant in Palo Alto by the folks behind Alexanders. They focus on the freshest, wild, and sustainably harvested products. This restaurant is a nice addition to the South Bay scene. There really aren’t many places of this caliber down here.
The Sea by Alexanders Steakhouse Food Picks:
Peary Nice ($14) – Reyka Vodka, Pur williams pear, lemon asian pear, cherry bitters – They definitely know cocktails!
Mutsu Mutsu ($14) – lecompte calvados, laird’s bonded apple, combier, five spice simple, cinnamon sugar – Nice zesty drink.
Mojito ($12) – tall, strong, and balanced.
Amuse Bouche of Sliced Octopus
1 dozen Oysters $35 – Kushis were fabulous.
Four types of homemade bread. Very good quality and variety.
Hamachi shots ($12) – truffle ponzu, avocado, ginger, jalapeño were not as good as Alexander’s, but still passable.
Lobster Risotto ($22) tarragon, lemon, parmesan, lobster jus was a standout appetizer. Rich, flavorful, very al dente, wish there was more.
Seared Big Eye Tuna (WILD HAWAII) ($39) cranberry beans, shellfish, smoked paprika, tomato, arugula looked like a mess but showed off the cooks prowess.
Maple Leaf Farms Muscovy Duck ($38) bacon, cabbage, green peppercorn duck jus cooked to our medium rare, was technically executed. Sides made for sweet/savory action.
Cab Prime New York Steak ($58) polenta, tomato compote, parmesan was the only ‘reasonably’ priced steak on the menu. Awesome rich flavors, a must order. They should add more cuts.
Truffle Fries ($10) parmesan, truffle aioli are a must order. Thin and decadent.
OK: (Order if you like this dish
)Seared Mero (WILD HAWAII) – Sea bass – ($40) sweet potato, sautéed brocollini, cipollini onions, port wine was too meaty and overwhelming.
Butter Poached Lobster (WILD MAINE) ($62) – kabocha squash, heirloom beets, spinach, horseradish – Flavors were good but the tail part was a bit overcooked and raggedy.
The Sea by Alexanders Steakhouse failed to live up to our expectations. Prices are extremely high, leaving not much wiggle room for error. Most of the food was very good, but we expect Michelin star quality food at this price. We’ve eaten superior fish dishes at Boulevard, Chapeau!, among others recently.
Wow, those prices are pretty breath-taking! Thanks for the early word. And I agree that execution should be perfect at that price level.
I'm always a bit taken aback to see Maple Leaf Farms listed as a duck supplier on a menu (and it's not infrequent around here). It's based in Indiana and the biggest industrial producer of ducks in the US. Surely the team can find a better local product.
4269 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA 94306
Like you, I've enjoyed both Water Grill and Providence, so this would have been on my list. Just wanted to chime in and also thank you for the extremely helpful review. I don't know of any top-notch seafood restaurant in the south bay; it's a shame this one's prices aren't a bit lower.
Haven't had a full meal there, but we went to the bar when the first weekend it was open and had an excellent dessert there. Easily Michelin level dessert. Not sure, but I think I heard the waitress say they brought over the pastry chef from Alexander's, Dan Huynh. The alcohol selection was pretty good for the Peninsula as well.
It looks like Michael Bauer didn't give it a good review (1.5 stars overall).
I'm not surprised by that -- but I didn't know that just before opening the investor team fired Alexander's founding chef Jeffrey Stout.
Looks like some others were fired too because of disputes with the investors. It is too bad -- the last time I went to Alexander's in SF Jeffrey Stout came out to talk with us -- you could really tell how much he cared about the food & making the overall experience right.
When the reason for the change is described as "a difference in philosophies with the shareholders," that doesn't bode well for a restaurant.
I have to agree with your review. In sum - we had a great head waiter but the rest of the staff was not up to par for the price (missing dishes, not knowing what was being brought to the table - forgetting requests etc.). The food was mediocre esp. for the price point. The ingredient combinations were standard and the quality of the food acceptable but did not particularly shine.
It would be a fun place to grab a drink at the bar and say dessert - the bartenders seemed to know what they were doing.