OK. Let’s get this out of the way right up front. The Place for
Steak, despite its unpretentious appearance, is not for the feint of
wallet. It’s priced not terribly far below places like Morton’s. But
if you’re in the mood for great beef in a friendly setting, you might
want to steak your claim here.
The small restaurant is housed in a, well, in a converted house.
The deep rose walls and forest green carpet set off linen-clad
tables. Soothing music plays in the background. The owner, who will
also be your waiter, greets you. He’s very personable and his polite
service and attention to detail reminded me of dining standards of a
bygone age. The Place For Steaks does not serve liquor but they do
have a beer and wine list.
Appetizers feature seafood -- calamari, shrimp cocktail and crab
cakes. The crab cakes come with a buttery brown sauce laced with
lemon. Though a bit on the bready side, they were pretty good.
The Caesar salad, frankly, was a disappointment. An uninspired
bowl of the leafy ends of romaine lettuce leaves topped with quite
ordinary dressing. For a restaurant that aspires to such a high
caliber, they should know that a good Caesar is made with hearts of
romaine and a dressing that is prepared tableside.
In fairness, the restaurant is not called The Place For Salads.
Steaks are, of course, why you’re there. And happily, they’re
excellent. My charbroiled rib eye was tender and expertly prepared to
a perfect medium rare. It was well marbled without being fatty and
nicely trimmed. (Though I was tempted to order the Cajun version, I
just couldn’t bring myself to pay 50% more.)
Also excellent was the rack of lamb. Again, it was expertly cooked
to order and featured a savory rosemary sauce. The menu also includes
filet mignon, New York strip and Beef Wellington.
For non-meat eaters, there are several chicken, pasta and fish
selections, including lobster. Meals are served with a choice of
baked or garlic mashed potatoes, steak fries or rice pilaf.
And, of course, the seemingly obligatory mixed steamed vegetables
come with the meal. (How I wish restaurants would come up with more
inspired side dishes!)
There are a few desserts offered for those that can manage it, but
they are not prepared on the premises.
Bottom line is that if you have a healthy bottom line and a
hankering for a steak on a par with the best in an unpretentious
setting with solicitous service, The Place for Steak may just be your
kind of meat-ing place.
* BILL SCOLLON is a Burbank resident and president of Scollon
Media Arts. You can reach him at ewscollonhotmail.com.