A recent Los Angeles Magazine proclaimed the Buggy Whip in Westchester the best steakhouse in LA. Now while I do take everything that magazine says with a grain of salt, the place sounded too good to resist. Plus, it was off the grid of the usually hot spots. I'm a huge fan of Taylor's and The Galley for their steaks and old school ambiance. And judging from the stats, the Buggy Whip looked like it had all the ingredients to be a winner.
We got there for a 7pm Friday night table for 6 people. Right away we were excited by the fact that they had a huge self park lot, which is so rare in LA. Once inside, all signs pointed to a promising evening of red meat consumption. Without question the interior is really cool. Two big rooms with worn red booths, dark wood paneling, photos of long since dead Los Angeles luminaries, ski chalet sized ceilings, and a wait staff and clientele that looks like they were pulled from some david lynch film.
Anyway, on to some Bombay Sapphire martinis at the bar. It turns out that these were the best items we ordered all night. Unfortunately, we should have had more. Maybe that would have helped us to forget the mediocre fare that followed.
For the first course we had soups or mixed salads that came with the entrees. Chicken noodle soup that was straight up out of the can tasting. The green salad was fine. and a couple of us tried the archaic green goddess dressing, which was actually pretty good.
Two people had the prime rib, which is one of the dishes they are famous for. It was fairly tender and had decent flavor, but it failed to rise above the standard prime-rib dished out at most wedding halls. I had the rib eye special. It clocked in @ 22oz, so no one was going hungry. but it did not have that consistent marbleized ribeye look, and was ultimately dry and tasteless. Even the béarnaise sauce and grilled onions were unable to revive this d.o.a. hunk of meat. Two other friends had the surf & turf . They said the filets were decent, but nothing to write home about. And the lobster tail was pretty small, even by normal hide & tide size standards.
If the place was somewhat of a bargain you could forgive certain shortcomings. But it aint cheap. The wait staff and hosts were great, and made you feel comfortable and right at home. But the food was disappointing.