The 1950s room at Dal Rae is subtle but wonderfully dated in that upscale, blue-haired way. Yawning black booths shade you from the hanging lights, with impeccable waiters in matching black bow ties refilling drinks. Should you find yourself at Dal Rae for a celebration, reserve the banquette table that surrounds the baby grand piano. It's so perfectly of-an-era that it makes you want to croon along with the Jello-soft melodies coming from the hidden speakers, if such a thing weren't seriously frowned upon here. For dinner, you'll be having the pepper steak. It's the one listed inside its own box on the menu. Absolutely snowed in by cracked peppercorns, thin chips of bacon and sautéed green onions, the pepper steak feels like the only extravagant meal you'll ever need to pay for again — especially when you spring for the starter Caesar salad that's spun tableside. With the elevator-lite music, the irreproachable waitstaff and the ink-dark booths full of everyone's grandparents, Dal Rae is almost the distillation of an old-school steak place. Plus it has one hell of a parking lot. 9023 Washington Blvd., Pico Rivera. (562) 949-2444, —Farley Elliott

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