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My son wants steak for his graduation dinner

Don't care about the "scene", and some elements of the "Prime, dry-aged, etc" might wash over him. (Not to say we wouldn't savor something wonderful) Did some digging and thought we might go "old school" at Taylor's, but seems as though Chowhounds are neutral at best.

So I'm willing to spend the rest of his college fund for dinner, and would prefer not to do a chain.


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  1. Though technically part of a chain, Mastro's Beverly Hills is still my choice. Get the bone-in ribeye or tomahawk ribeye.

    Recent chatter has really favored the bistecca alla fiorentino at Chi Spacca as well.

    Usual non-chain suspects CUT, Pacific Dining Car, Nick & Stef's and Wolfgang will all serve you well also...

    1. Bistecca alla Fiorentina at Angelini Osteria. 42 oz Porterhouse done in their wood burning pizza oven. $95 for two, but includes potatoes and vegetable.


      5 Replies
      1. re: Servorg

        Sevrog, you ate the whole thing on your own right ?

        1. re: kevin

          Our son and I split it. Plenty of food, even divided in half.

          1. re: Servorg

            Oh man.

            I may have to revoke your hound street cred.

            You're officially going healthy on us.

        2. re: Servorg

          In terms of price, I do feel like that is the appropriate price.

          I wish someone could explain to me why the same size steak is $175 at Chi Spacca.

          I love Chi Spacca, but what is it about their steak that causes it to be almost double the price of other similarly done steaks?...

          1. re: TailbackU

            Mastro's...yes, yes, yes. CUT...a big no unless you enjoy wearing earplugs and being treated rudely.

          2. A few thoughts: Chi Spacca has an amazing Bistecaa Fiorentina [42 oz for $175, though]; I really like all the steaks at Jar; there is the new L'Assiette on Melrose which offers only steak frites. For Argentine style steaks, Ushuaia on Wilshire in WLA does a nice job. Although a chain, you could also go the Brazilian route with the all-you-can-eat Fogo de Chao on La Cienega.

            1. although it's a chain,
              the "show" they put on at fogo de chao might make it a fun evening.
              also, it's all-you-can-eat at fogo de chao and normally young men are capable of really benefitting from this aspect of the service.

              1. Dan Tana's.

                I think they have mediocre food in general, but the steak is stellar. And you can't beat that wonderfully weird and eclectic crowd.


                Chi Spacca has some great meat. And I just did the steak Fiorentino at Angelini Osteria - excellent.

                My favorite meat places.

                CUT should also be considered. Also pricey.

                Nic & Stef's downtown.

                All the above are the best places. There are others which are very good, but just not the best.

                4 Replies
                  1. re: foodiemahoodie

                    Plus three at Tanas.

                    And word to the wise:

                    Shut up and drink.

                    1. re: foodiemahoodie

                      Wonderfully weird and eclectic


                      Truer words have never been spoken before.

                    2. Thanks for the suggestions. Angelini Osteria was not one on my radar. And Mozza is a must do for us, so maybe we give Chi Spacca a try.

                      Have been to one churrascaria...in Sao Paolo. (Too many caipirinha!)

                      And stupid question...can I assume that a 40+ oz steak is meant for sharing by 2+ people? How does that work?

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: jmasgat

                        They carve it table side for 2 at Angelini

                        1. re: Servorg

                          But trenchermen like me will usually devour the whole thing on my own some.

                          1. re: kevin

                            Kevin -

                            Dude really? REALLY? Wow.

                            As a five foot nada female, all I can do is watch and be impressed.

                            Diet coke anyone?

                            1. re: happybaker

                              Yea. Of course. You need the diet coke to wash everything down.

                      2. Mastro's without a doubt. I've found quality and service to be excellent and extremely consistent there; Cut, by contrast, can be really hit or miss depending on the day. And while not inexpensive by any means, Mastro's is also a notch below Cut in terms of price, it seems to me.

                        The suggestion of Fogo de Chao is also a great one -- it's not exactly a steakhouse but still feels upscale, and might be ideal for a young man (or group of young men) capable of devouring pounds of meat in one sitting. But it won't work if your son would like a single, large steak versus smaller parts of many steaks (and other meats).

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jbeecher

                          Mastro's for sure gets very high marks, but Fogo is great fun, certainly a bit different, and surprisingly good for vegetarians!

                        2. I'll third or fourth Mastro's Beverly Hills. It's my go-to big celebration steak. Though a small chain now, this is the one that started it.

                          But honestly, Taylor's is great, too, and 1/3 the price. I'd be surprised if the Chow opinion of it is "neutral at best," but then I'm often wrong.

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: jesstifer

                            I always thought the original Mastro's was in Scottsdale, not Beverly Hills?

                            1. re: J.L.

                              J.L., you're right. I stand corrected.

                              1. re: J.L.

                                I think Mastro's started in Scottsdale, then opened 2 in OC (the second has a lot of seafood in addition to steak), and I think Beverly Hills was last to the party.

                              2. re: jesstifer

                                I LOVE Taylors!!!

                                The culotte steak, Molly Salad and even some desserts (key lime pie, for example) are GREAT. The original location in Koreatown looks its age (which I kinda like; you can almost picture Bugsy Siegel there!)... The La Canada location (which is much newer) has been made to look just like the KTown site. BUT the La Canada location still looks newer, cleaner and, all in all, "nicer." So it comes off much more chic-chic (pronounced shee-shee!!) It looks as nice as one of the places that cost four times as much!

                                Otherwise, you've always got Ruth Chris, Mortons, Cut, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera (like Yul Brynner once intoned)!!

                                1. re: susiequeue

                                  Wow. Thanks.

                                  I always wondering if I was pronouncing that word correctly.

                                  1. re: susiequeue

                                    Love the La Canada location. Great food, great staff - easy free parking!

                                    1. re: susiequeue

                                      Hmmm Chic-Chic would be pronounced Sheek Sheek, Shee Shee is chi-chi.

                                      I love Taylor's Koreatown, but for a really special occasion I'd look at Nick & Stef's, Pacific Dining Car or Cut.

                                      I was a so so fan of Mastro's before and now with Landry's owning them, I am even more put off by them.

                                      I love Fogo and chi Spacca, but not for special special occasions.

                                      1. re: scottca075

                                        I didn't think anyone has posted anything about Mastro's changing since taken over by Landry's. Any hint of a change. Amazingly, Eddie V's Seafood and Wildfish have seemed to have improved slightly since taken over by Darden!

                                  2. Fogo de Chow in Beverly Hills is an AYCE Brazilian steak house and is wonderful, Meats are all carved at your table and it includes the best salad bar in Los Angeles. A meat eaters Disneyland.

                                    If you want to try Korean you'll love Park's BBQ. Some of the best cuts of beef in the city including their boneless short ribs.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: wienermobile

                                      Some of the 30+ items on the Fogo de Chao salad bar:

                                      24 Month, Aged Parmesan
                                      Aged Manchego Cheese
                                      Brazilian Hearts of Palm
                                      Artichoke Bottoms
                                      Sun-Dried Tomatoes
                                      Fresh Mozzarella
                                      Smoked Salmon
                                      Italian Salami
                                      Jumbo Asparagus
                                      Shitake Mushrooms

                                      1. re: wienermobile


                                        Dang. Can I go and just get the salad bar?

                                        1. re: happybaker

                                          Yes you can. I believe the price was $28. Not sure if that's still the price at the moment.

                                      2. re: wienermobile

                                        Although the OP said no chains, I'd vote for Fogo de Chao as well. I loved that kind of thing when I was 21, and you can feel free to be loud and rambunctious at Fogo. I think it's more fitting for the type of celebration.

                                      3. Had dinner at Wolfgang's last night. It was very good. The porterhouse could easily serve 3 and the portions are huge. Its a fun venue and while pricey, significantly less than Mastores for a similar experience.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Thor123

                                          I used to have the whole Porterhouse for 2 followed by the incomparable chocolate mousse cake and a bowl of schlag.

                                          1. re: Thor123

                                            Wolfgang's is also my recommendation. Not a big scene like Mastro's. Great steaks, sides and service.

                                          2. Bistecca alla Fiorentina at Chi Spacca.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              As much as I love CS, and their bistecca...and would recommend it in this case because of the "no price restriction" and special occasion...

                                              Do you have any idea why it is, and feel it is worth almost double the price of Angelini's bistecca?

                                              1. re: BacoMan

                                                Dunno, BM.

                                                My guess it probably has something to do with the grade of beef used. Or it might not.

                                                Never had the one at Angelini, so I'm just blowing smoke out of my fat ass, as usual.

                                            2. Go to Chi Spacca.

                                              Just do it.

                                              It will be the best decision you ever make. And it will be remembered forever.

                                              Well...ok...actually if the "rest of the college fund" is over $1,000, then just go to CUT. What could be better than trying samplers of real Kobe beef, and their various wagyu from around the world? That is a truly once in a lifetime kind of meal isn't it?

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: BacoMan

                                                Sshhhh....we're not telling the son how much of the fund is left over (after the tax bill, gulp!) 'cause then he'll want to claim it, and the kid needs to get himself a job!

                                                1. re: jmasgat

                                                  Gonna assume it's enough to go to CUT then.

                                                  Personally, I think taking a kid to a restaurant that is truly spectacular is one of the best motivational things you can do to give them a spark to get a job ;)

                                                  (But do cut the kid a bit of slack...the job market is pretty wonky. I do work helping kids out of school apply for jobs, i.e. editing/creating resumes, cover letters, professional emails, interview prep, etc... and even very qualified kids have a damn tough time of it).

                                                  1. re: BacoMan

                                                    Yep. It's tough out there in this day and age.

                                              2. Am I the only one who loves the steaks at Larsen's in Encino? The bone-in ribeye is consistently as good as the best steaks I've had at Mastro's and Cut. They use a combination of dry and wet aging. I don't know if it's special enough for a graduation dinner with no spending limit, but it is an excellent steak.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Jwsel

                                                  Larsen's has good steaks?!
                                                  They have closed 2 places in the past 5 years, as if to say that no one liked the steaks, and now you tell me this!

                                                2. Cote de boeuf at Melisse


                                                  Bistecca alla fiorentino at Chi Spacca

                                                  1. I had my 50th at Taylors in Korea Town and it was great! They have the u[stairs for private parties and they even have a private room for 12! It is very old school, get the Molly salad. The other place I enjoy is The Dal Rae in Pico Rivera, get a table side Cesar and the Pepper Steak, be sure to order the skillet potatoes with onions and jalapeƱos!

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: Burger Boy

                                                      happy bday.

                                                      I guess that makes you a burger man instead of a burger boy now.

                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                        LOL Kevin, it is Burgers from 26 Beach vs Anything you got! Then Pepper Steack from The Dal Rae at 5 ft!

                                                      2. re: Burger Boy

                                                        Add another vote for Taylor's in Koreatown. Molly Salad with the Culotte steak. I didn't see anyone suggest Damon's in Glendale, I like them as well!

                                                        1. re: Burger Boy

                                                          Taylor's way better than the Dal Rae, and is less expensive, btw.

                                                        2. The Ranch in Anaheim. Probably the best steak I've had.

                                                          1. I've never been disappointed at Jar. Maestros is definitely nice but id save some money for his unemployment assistance in this economy.

                                                            9 Replies
                                                            1. re: chezwhitey

                                                              I like Jar, but have never ordered the steak. So many other menu items to choose from that sound better at the moment of ordering.

                                                              1. re: chezwhitey

                                                                I love the steak at Jar, but the atmosphere may be too staid. I'd take my son to Dan Tana's if he wanted steak since I know he'd like the vibe.

                                                                        1. re: kevin

                                                                          Me too! The more I think about it the more I lean toward Dan Tana's. All of the places recommended have good steaks; I think it comes down to atmosphere and Dan Tana's is the most fun.

                                                                          1. re: whatsfordinner

                                                                            Fun ,??????

                                                                            Maybe that's why I liked it too.

                                                                            1. re: whatsfordinner

                                                                              Yep, but only if you are in the front room.

                                                                1. Has anyone tried the cote de boeuf for two at Spago? It is about $95 and comes with potatoes. Just curious as to how it is if anyone has tried.

                                                                  1. OMG! No one mentioned the Stinking Rose!!!!!

                                                                    1. High end and pricey, Id go with Cut or Mastros. However, if he doesnt have a palate that can really tell the difference between a $25 steak and a $100 aged, grass-fed, massaged and pampered cow, you may want to go for like a Fogo due to the portions and variety. The food is actually pretty good and if my parents were to take me here for a high school or college graduation (didnt have much youth experience at restaurants) I would have been super happy.

                                                                      1. Technically, even CUT is part of a "chain". But... I would go to Mastro's (also part of a small chain -- and the one in Thousand Oaks is just as good). The long-bone-in ribeye there is probably the best steak I've had in L.A.

                                                                        1. I'm another vote for Mastro's, unless you're willing to shell out big $$$$ for Japanese Wagyu at Cut. I also love the Beef Grenadine at Musso & Frank's, but that's obviously a lot cheaper. Jar's steaks are good but their pot roast is really the only thing worth the trip.

                                                                          1. Arroyo Chop House in Pasadena - best steaks (tender and flavorful) I've had over the last two years on multiple visits.

                                                                            I am not a fan of Mastro's - visited the BH location a couple years ago and ordered the 22 oz bone-in rib eye AND the 24oz Porterhouse - both steaks were completely disappointing - they looked gorgeous but lacked flavor.

                                                                            I used to be a fan of Taylor's (I've only frequented the La Canada location) - but my last visit was the last because it was a far cry from my previous experiences (the steak was passable, but everything else was atrocious (all the other food on the plate (veggies, baked potato), smelly back room, lackluster service).

                                                                            I was also underwhelmed with the meat quality at Nick + Stef's (compared to ACH).

                                                                            I have not been to Cut - so I can't compare that... but, I'd definitely add ACH to your short list for consideration.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: The Oracle

                                                                              For pie month, I kind of remember Nick and Stefs having great cream pies ????????

                                                                              Any truth to that ????

                                                                              1. re: kevin

                                                                                I've heard amazing things about their key lime pie, but haven't had the pleasure myself....

                                                                            2. I vote for Mastros or Wolfgang's. Jar was underwhelming the past 3 times I went.

                                                                              1. Thanks for the recommendations, all. Just back from our dinner at Mastro's, which fit the bill for the grad dinner and was enjoyed by all. Just the right amount of solicitous service, nice recognition by the staff of his celebration, and the steaks were delicious (filet, ribeye, and KC strip).

                                                                                Have enjoyed the rest of our trip so far as well. Staying at The Line, and so have eaten at Pot, Soowon Glabi, Ricky's fish tacos (after a hike in Griffith Park, complete with coyote). We'll see what tomorrow brings--Pasadena for the Tour of California.

                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                1. re: jmasgat


                                                                                  And best wishes to you for the rest of your trip!

                                                                                  P.S. For ice cream, I love Fosselman's, in Alhambra, just south of Pasadena.

                                                                                  And Scoops on York is pretty darn awesome. If you need treats. Just saying...



                                                                                  1. re: happybaker

                                                                                    Yes. And Fosselam's taro ice cream is a must order.

                                                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                                                      And rum raisin!

                                                                                      Plus, they have mango for the month of May and their mango ice cream is pretty awesome : )

                                                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                                                        Lychee ice cream milkshake at Fosselman's. North of Pasadena is the hamlet of Altadena, home to Bulgarini, the tastiest gelato in the entire U.S. (get the pistachio or hazelnut, heck do ALL their flavors!)

                                                                                        1. re: J.L.

                                                                                          Yep. A proverbial tasting menu of myriad gelati.

                                                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                                                            And his wife, Elizabeth, is beyond easy on the eyes of you catch my drift.

                                                                                    2. re: jmasgat

                                                                                      How was Pot? What would you recommend there?

                                                                                    3. Taylor's was awful the last time I was there.

                                                                                      How about Wolfgangs?

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: lesliesue

                                                                                        I had a very good meal at Wolfgangs. Love to try the steak at Chi Spacca.

                                                                                      2. It may not be the absolute best steak, but it's good and I think the atmosphere at the downtown Pacific Dining Car feels like graduation.

                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Thor123

                                                                                            Part of me feels all graduation is circa 1954, not necessarily a bad thing. If you want the same thing, 50 years on, it's probably Mastro's but unless you can get a private room it could be a little crazy.

                                                                                            1. re: mc michael

                                                                                              Crazy is pretty good.

                                                                                              Doncha think ???????