It's my birthday, so my best friends took us three to The Palm, West Hollywood edition.
We ordered a number of dishes to share, and as the birthday boy, I ordered a steak. 18oz strip. I asked for it cooked "the rare side of medium rare," and for once the very good waitress simply said, "Of course." And that is how it came out. Very good meat, aged properly, cooked a point. I went for the Béarnaise sauce, which was perfection. It seemed freshly made, fragile, almost. Often restaurant béarnaise over-reduces the wine/vinegar/shallot/tarragon/chervil flavor base,so that it becomes a little metallic. Not so tonight.
Started with excellently dressed, very well-balanced Caesar salad. A teeny more anchovy wouldn't have hurt.
Calamari, fried in corn meal, greaseless, tasted of squid. Thin strips of pepper and lemon were also fried, a few strips each amid the pile of calamari. The lemon especially was a revelation, not bitter at all. The marinara sauce was very hearty, too much really, for the delicate squid. A tiny dab was fine, though.
Excellent brussels sprouts, small, again perfectly cooked. Dunno the methods involved, but they worked. Bright green, still textured but done to a turn.
What they call hashed browns which are really little batons of fried/roasted spuds, addicting.
Crab cakes, tasting of crab, filler invisible, very crab-like but no fishiness I have encountered with lump crab meat before. Mild mango salsa.
Our waitress was utterly professional, non-robotic, friendly but just distant enough, not butting in or trying any up-selling arm-twisting.
Best meal I've had in ages. I don't eat often in the Land of $50 steaks, but having been disappointed in other LA steak-houses, The Palm was a revelation.