OK, finally got to go on someone else's dime - having tried the Houston and Beverly Hills branches, I wouldn't have done it on my own.
Tables too close and awkwardly arranged - not my idea of comfort. The chairs are armed and well padded, though - a real plus.
Service amateurish but sincere ("would we like the wine opened now?...What would we like to enjoy tonight?"). Anything you order is "spectacular - great choice - best you will ever have". Long waits between courses.
The tomato/mozarella appetizer actually was spectacular . Best tasting tomatoes this side of Spago; achingly tender and flavorful cheese. If you end up here, do not miss this dish. Other salads nothing special.
Sides are tourist New Orleans - way too heavy mashed sweet potatoes with pecan pie style toping - huge amounts of brown sugar. Shoestring fries came out cold, but were readily replaced.
Now, how can you make a great piece of beef positively unattractive? It does take some doing. Put it on a small, cheap white plate with absolutely nothing else on it and then drown it in nauseatingly rich assertively oily butter. I knew to ask for no butter, but the other plates passing by threw off such a scent that I had trouble tasting anything at all. Even a nice piece of beef looks sad and forlorn on that little naked plate. Maybe a piece of plastic parsley or a sliver of tomato would cheer it up a little. And make the plate so hot that no matter how you order the beef done it changes in the next five minutes. Forgot the cold plate ordering drill - so much to remember to make this tolerable!
Some sort of Australian fish (Garabaldi??) was great, though also doused with the overly rich butter and $34.
Wine list is fairly plebian but not outrageously priced. Our 1982 Margaux was treated a little roughly (yes, I know, why would you have it here? - not my idea) and charged the $25 corkage.
I did get a look at the bill - $295 for 4 with the corkage and 2 extra glasses. Parking is $7, though I think the valets had to pay the garage.
Save a few bucks and have a better time at Arroyo Chop House. Even JJ's is probably better.
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