So, the former Holiday Inn that's located right next to the 405 in Brentwood had some work done and is now a posh, trendy "boutique" hotel owned by the San Franciso chain Joie de Vivre.
On top of the hotel sits the restaurant "West". In addition to the soft lighting, brand spanking new furniture and plethora of candles, the restuarant boasts a phenomenal view of LA. When the lights go down in the city, West is a prime spot for a cocktail to watch mother nature's light show.
On to the food...
For starters, we ordered two antipasti. The first, roasted mini sweet peppers (about 5) with melted burrata. Nice, tasted like it should. Second, baby artichokes (about 8) with lemon/olive oil; tasty and fun to pop 'em in the mouth like popcorn.
To accompany the bread for the table, I was pleasantly surprised to see a bowl overflowing with olives and another dish full of parmesan cheese chunks; literally fat chunks of fresh cheese. Delish.
The wine list is very straightforward and plainly describes and groups wines into various categories i.e. supple, powerful, etc. I opted for a '01 Martinegna Barberesco knowing that the three of us were going to order steak. From a great vintage, the Martinegna was excellent with smooth tannins, leather/earth on the nose and refreshing acidity which paired nicely with our entrees.
I ordered a 14 oz bone-in NY strip medium rare and my two colleagues ordered the 20oz porterhouse. For sides, we ordered two spinach and one french fries.
Each steak comes with 2 asparagus spears, 3 tiny fingerling potatoes and a small dollop of balsamic caramelized onions. In other words, you must order the a la carte sides to get a complete meal. Three "sauces" arrived at the table in individual dishes; a gorgonzola butter, bernaise and a barolo reduction; the gorgonzola was the best.
My steak was cooked perfectly, juicy with ample flavor and made me appreciate the NY strip again as a tasty cut of meat; I usually go with a filet or a ribeye. My friends commented that their porterhouse was very good, although one said he preferred the porterhouse at Morton's.
As for the sides, these are not your typical steakhouse sides meaning the portions are not large by any means. In fact, the portions are downright small; the spinach comes in a small bowl and is good for 4-6 bites. The fries, thicker cut and very crispy, are not on the menu, but they obliged our request.
Second bottle of wine was a Seghesio zinfandel; not a single vineyard, but their basic zin from the '05 vintage. I'm a huge fan of anything Seghesio and always consider their wines "go-to".
Overall, despite that this city has yet another steakhouse, I thoroughly enjoyed my dining experience. Our waiter was great; excellent service that never interrupted our conversation and knowledgeable about the menu and wine.
Would I go back for dinner if I had to pay the bill??
No. It came to about $360 and I need the usual steakhouse sides and an ethereal steak grinding experience to justify that kind of hit; plus, if I'm going out for steak, I'll probably go to Mastro's.
However, I would definitely go back for drinks and a few small bites.