LA's best steakhouses
Beverly Hills is home to more than a few steakhouses, but since opening its doors inside the Beverly-Wilshire hotel in 2006, Wolfgang Puck’s shrine to beef has been the chicest in town. With a Michelin star and several awards in its pocket, Cut stands out from the rest with a stellar art collection, a bright dining room that skews more Brat Pack than Rat Pack and a globally-influenced menu. Here, diners not only choose the type of steak, but also where it came from: The selection features five different farms including dry-aged USDA Prime beef from Kansas, grass-fed Angus from outside of San Diego, and authentic Wagyu beef from the Miyazaki prefecture in Japan.
What’s an old-school steakhouse doing in the middle of Koreatown? Surviving. This place doesn't look like it's changed one bit since it opened almost 50 years ago. The menu still boasts classics like shrimp scampi and French onion soup that are among the best in the city. Skip the prime rib; instead, opt for cuts from the char-broiler such as extra-thick, prime top sirloin served on a sizzling platter. Taylor's may be one of the cheapest steakhouses in town, and also one of the most comfortable. From the big leather booths to the servers who look like they were born in the RKO days, this is one LA classic that is timeless.
First thing's first: Mastro's is not an LA original. Founded in Scottsdale, AZ, there are now locations in four states. The Beverly Hills outpost has been packing in big spenders for more than a decade with its charming, supper club space that feels like an old-school boys' club. Excess is the name of the game here and Mastro's wears it well. Servers in white dinner jackets bring mountainous seafood platters, mammoth steaks and huge slices of cake. The bi-level restaurant recently added a less formal Penthouse with an alfresco patio that caters to a younger, clubbing crowd; no matter which level you dine on, you're going to get a beautiful steak.
In stark contrast to the casual, flip-flop tolerant sports bars and cafés in Hermosa Beach is Steak & Whisky, a steakhouse that oozes formality and channels the kind of atmosphere your well-to-do uncle might seek out with his squash buddies. Chef Tin Vuong (Little Sister) opened the masculine restaurant with executive chef John Shaw (NYC’s Tavern on the Green), and the South Bay’s high-heeled set have swiftly come calling. You’re going to drop a lot of money at Steak & Whisky: cuts of steak range from a bone-in ribeye to a 25-ounce porterhouse, and never dip below $50. But if it’s money you want to spend here, steak is the way to spend it. A 32-ounce prime cut of ribeye here is a phenomenal entree, along with the house steak sauce or béarnaise (all steaks arrive with two sauces of your choice).
Jacques Fiorentino specializes in steak frites in a Melrose space that houses a hit for the first time in years. L’Assiette sports a red awning, features a long zinc bar and wood panel walls. The steak frites centers on silky Nebraska-raised culotte, which is cooked sous-vide, finished on the grill and slathered in a French butter sauce with wine and herbs. L’Assiette serves the first half of the steak and frites, but waits for your signal to serve the second half, to keep both elements hot. For special occasions, L’Assiette provides the option to order Rossini steak frites (foie gras and shaved black truffles) to the equation for an extra $30. No matter the meal, they start customers with complimentary bowls of sorrel soup seasoned with cream, crème fraîche and citrus.
Lawry's doesn't technically serve steak. But it serves prime rib—pounds and pounds of prime rib—that is legendary. To say that the atmosphere is formal is putting it mildly: meat is carved tableside on massive silver carts by men wearing tall chef's toques, while waitresses wear uniforms that's a cross between a maid and the Flying Nun. The meal may be traditional, but it's not complicated. There are only a few decisions to make: what size cut you'd like, what temperature and whether or not to add a vegetable (tip: always add the creamed spinach). A few bites in and you'll know why Lawry's has been around for 75 years; by the time you leave, you'll wonder why you don't eat from silver carts every night.
With locations in both Santa Monica and the Sunset Strip, Boa is the Godfather of the Glitzy Steakhouse, a modern take that’s both sexy and satisfying. At either location, start with a fantastic garlicky Caesar served tableside, then pick your favorite steak—try a 21-day dry-aged, bone-in rib-eye and dress it up with signature sauces like the J-1 (Boa's take on A-1) or a rich blue cheese crust. Celeb sightings are a given, so be prepared for the papparazzi outside the WeHo location. In Santa Monica, you'll find a more subdued, sexy vibe, perfect for an oceanside dinner date.
Mad Men may be over, but the martini drinking, steak consuming era of the '50s still lives on. In Manhattan Beach, it comes in the form of The Arthur J, a steakhouse by chef David LeFevre. Curved booths and geometric patterns can be found here, along with an equally decade appropriate menu to go along with it. Steaks—big ones, so you'd be wise to share—are available in various cuts, wet or dry, with both obvious sauces (Bernaise) and ones that might make you pause (Vietnamese Caramel). Kansas City Strip, Ribeye, Wagyu, NY Strip and more are all represented here, but you'd be wise to start with the popovers, which come with a strawberry butter that is thoroughly addicting. Once you've made it through the steaks, old school desserts await on the other side: strawberry shortcake, maybe, or a light blueberry cheesecake.
After a massive renovation, Bunker Hill's upscale restaurant Nick & Stef's Steakhouse is back in action with a revamped menu and mid-century modern flair. Coral blues, caramel and brass hues decorate the space, but it's the onsite curation of quality meat that really speaks to the restaurant's focus. Executive chef Andreas Roller delivers beautiful cuts of beef, like a Tomahawk rib chop cut tableside (you can even choose your own steak knife!). Also served tableside: a classic Nick & Stef's Caesar salad, crafted to the diner's specifications (easy on the anchovies, please). Decadent sides include an orecchiette mac and cheese, creamed spinach with bacon, and roasted fall squash with maple syrup and pumpkin seeds. If there's any way you have room for dessert, a rum raisin chocolate cake will finish you off—and will most definitely have you rolling out of the restaurant.
Pacific Dining Car, which has locations in both Downtown and Santa Monica, is an elegant throwback to the early 20th century, when robber barons met over thick steaks and thicker cigar smoke. The bargain-hunter's secret is the breakfast menu (available 24 hours a day), but if you're coming for the steak, you're in for a treat. Prime, aged beef is available as ribeye, filet mignon, T-bone and more, along with their classic Cowboy Steak. Choose from complimentary sauces like truffle butter, smothered mushrooms or black pepper.