Had a really great time at two places last weekend.
Izzy's Steak and Chophouse, on Steiner, on a rainy Friday night: we were in the mood for some really good but unfussy food, and this is exactly what we got at Izzy's. We loved the old-school decor, the straightforward professionalism of our waiter and the bustling scene. Myself and the other guy in our party ordered the Rye highball, just because it's what should be done at a place like this. The fried calamari app was fine, if a bit uninspired, but the cocktail sauce that accompanied the dish made up for any lack of extra seasoning. With our dry-aged New York steaks, we shared a nice bottle of zin. I found the wine list to have some nice offerings at decent prices. All of the sides were good, esp. Izzy's special potatoes which were basically a potatoes gratin.
Next night, Zuni Cafe: After a lot of back and forth over various places, we ended up firming up our resi here, and we certainly did not regret it! From the great bread that was served as we settled in, to the last bite, everything worked at this place. We started with some of the best, absolutely freshest oysters I've ever had in my life. Accompanied by a nice split of white wine from Grave (they have a very nice selection of splits here), this was perfect !
I split the famous roast chicken with another in our party, which was indeed very good. Loved the "bread salad" that accompanied this dish. I think the universal winner was the salt cod dish with beans, which reminded us of a great cassoulet with cod rather than duck confit. The flavours of this dish were tremendous, complex enough so that you'd never tire of eating it.
Service was professional but very personable.
As a chowhound from the south (Orange County), I'm very jealous of the wealth of great places that you have to choose from ! Cheers, Mike G.