I had some friends in town from New York and they were staying at the Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood. As such, I took the opportunity to head over the hotel and check out all of the new establishments.
On the first night we ate at Dakota, which I was hoping could live up to the recent hype. I am really picky when it comes to steakhouses because I always feel that here in LA we have high quality beef available to cook at home as well as and sometimes better than the guys working the broilers in the steakhouse kitchens. I have to report back that the steak was excellent. Each of the three orders at the table were perfectly seasoned, perfectly cooked and tasted delicious.
Starting from the beginning, however, we ordered a round of beers and took a chance to try some of their bread. They were serving a sourdough, a raisin and an olive bread that night. All were pretty good.
After taking a look at the menu, we settled on splitting the appetizer special to start off the night. It was a plate with three decent sized Santa Barbara spot prawns served with three small spinach gnocchi and some kind of lemon cream sauce (Note: the waiter did mention before hand that the order came with three shrimp). The shrimp were grilled to perfection served with the heads still on. They were just translucent with a super sweet taste and absolutely no chewy-ness. The gnocchi and the sauce werent very good, but we ordered the dish for the shrimp. At $21 for the dish, though, it was a little expensive $7.00 per shrimp is way overpriced when live spot prawns are available for $19.00/lb wholesale at IMP downtown.
For dinner I ordered the ribeye, and the other two dining with me ordered the new york strip and the veal porterhouse. As I mentioned earlier, each piece of meat was cooked to order and it was well seasoned. There isnt much to say about steak other than that. Oh, the meat appeared to be of high quality, but we never asked whether they were serving prime.
For the side dishes we had the ever popular onion rings, the braised mushrooms and the roasted asparagus. Each dish was well executed but the onion rings took the top prize. I was trying to order them again the next night at 25 degrees, but it turns out, 25 degrees has great onion rings of their own. All in all, Dakota put out a nice meal. The service wasnt really worth mentioning either way. It wasnt great, but it certainly wasnt bad. The final tab came to about $200 before tip for the three of us (no wine, just beer).
The next night we headed over to 25 degrees for more red meat. Rather than go though all of the different topping variations ordered that night I will just put the link to the menu at the bottom. But as for what I ordered, I had the ground sirloin with neals yard cheddar and bacon. The burger also came dressed with lettuce and pickles, Dijon mustard and Thousand Island dressing (all burgers come with thousand island unless otherwise specified). I order the burger medium rare and it came medium rare. It was incredibly juicy with plenty of cheese and bacon served on an excellent toasted egg bun. All in all it was a great straightforward bacon cheeseburger. As such it was in a different category than Fathers Office and different than the pug burger at Hungry Cat. I think that this burger at 25 degrees has its place in LA.
Also of note, the 25 degrees buttermilk batter version of Tim and Liza Goodells onion rings (owners of both restaurants as well as Meson G) were also very good, but the batter had a tendency to fall off the onion before it got to your mouth. The beers were a little overpriced, but two people could have a burger, a beer and split an order of fries or onion rings and get out of there for $20 each.
All in all another good meal.
One final note about the Roosevelt itself: We stopped at the lobby bar and had a few drinks out at the poolside Tropicana bar. Despite the trendy-ness of the watering holes, I dont think I will be going there just for drinks considering the Jack and Cokes were $12 a pop.