Edendale Grill. Housed in an old firehouse and named for Los Angeles’
first movie studio, Silver Lake’s Edendale Grill is a bit of set-dressed history.
Craftsman-era lighting fixtures with mica shades cast a warm, golden glow in the
dining room. The Mixville bar has an original hammered-tin ceiling and firehouse
doors. The kitchen serves up its own brand of culinary nostalgia for midcentury
Midwestern American cooking: oysters Rockefeller, caesar salads made tableside,
Green Goddess salad dressing, sand dabs, steaks and chops, even a beet-red velvet
cake from the Waldorf. Despite somewhat harried service and slapdash cooking,
the Edendale Grill can be a tough reservation, which indicates just how much Atwater–Echo
Park–Los Feliz–Silver Lake citizens have hungered for such a fine-looking, versatile
neighborhood dinner house. 2838 Rowena Ave., Silver Lake,
(323) 666-2000. Dinner Sun.–Thurs. 5:30 p.m.–10
p.m., Fri.–Sat. 5:30 p.m.–11:30 p.m. Sunday
brunch 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Full bar. Complimentary
valet. Entrées $13.75–$27. AE, DC, MC,
V. American. MH $$
Gallo’s Grill. With its tiled patio furnished with oversize wooden
tables, shaded from the sky by a canopy, and decorated with citrus trees and “peeling”
brick, this sweet Mexican steak house serves everybody’s idea of a great Eastside
meal: warm, thick corn tortillas (or paper-thin flour tortillas) patted to order,
fresh salsas brought to the table perched on intricate wrought-iron stands, garlicky
steaks served still sizzling, flanked by bushels of charred scallions on superheated
platters. The beef is prepared in a specifically Mexican way, butterflied and
re-butterflied and laid open like a scroll, a broad, thin filete abierto
marinated enough to allow for a bit of juice. 4533 Cesar E.
Chavez Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 980-8669.
Lunch and dinner Wed.–Mon. 11 a.m.–9
p.m. No alcohol. Lot parking. Dinner
for two, food only, $20–$25. D, MC,
V. Mexican. JG $
Jar. Chef Suzanne Tracht’s interpretation of the contemporary American steak house means many sides and sauces and the occasional Asian twist (duck fried rice, sautéed pea tendrils, tamarind sauce). But meat, braised or dry-aged and grilled, is the real focus: flavorful and tender New York steak with the bone in, magnificent pot roast. The décor is tasteful, the art wry, the service totally professional and the noise level off the charts. 8225 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 655-6566. Thurs. and Tues.–Sun. 5:30–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. to 11 p.m. Full bar. Valet parking. AE, D, MC, V. Entrées $19–$29. California American. MH $$ Lawry’s the Prime Rib. When restaurateur Lawrence Frank misconstrued in the ’30s something he’d heard about the famous roast beef at London’s Simpson’s-on-the-Strand, he inadvertently came up with American prime rib as we know it: big, pink roasts glistening from silver carts, carved to order tableside and served with Yorkshire pudding, mashed potato, and salad from a spinning bowl. Lawry’s prime rib is as archetypally Angeleno as the Tudor mansions and yawning Norman cottages of Beverly Hills. 100 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310) 652-2827. Mon.–Thurs. 5–10 p.m., Fri. 5–11 p.m., Sat. 4:30–11 p.m., Sun. 4–10 p.m. Full bar. Valet parking. AE, CB, DC, MC, V. Entrées $26–$42. American. JG $$$
Lincoln Steakhouse Americana. I would have bet there was
nothing new under the sun when it came to steak houses, that every possible permutation
of the Rat Pack lifestyle, every $120 Kobe-beef fillet, every conceivable tomato
salad, cigar station and vodka martini had been explored. This steak-house thing
has been going on a long time, after all, and even the most Atkins-crazed Robb
Report subscriber could hardly want for variety. But it’s not the braised turnip
greens that make the difference at Lincoln Steakhouse, owned by the people who
run Paladar. The profoundly charred Angus-beef porterhouses are fine, but no better
than you’ll find at a dozen other places in town. What Lincoln has that other
steak houses do not is young women, in packs and in pairs, on dates, on business
dinners and dining alone. And these aren’t young women nibbling salads or sipping
white wine, or hanging around the bar waiting for you, but women ordering big
steaks and eating them. I would credit the well-known charm of the antler chandeliers
for this phenomenon, but I would probably be wrong. 2460 Wilshire Blvd.,
Santa Monica, (310) 828-3304. Lunch Mon.–Fri.
11 a.m.–2 p.m. plus bar menu until
5:30 p.m. Dinner Mon.–Sat. 5–11 p.m.,
Sun. 5–10 p.m. Full bar. Valet parking.
AE, MC, V. $20–$30. New-fashioned steak
house. JG $$$
Mastro’s. One of a small chain of Scottsdale-based steak houses, Mastro’s
has the look — volcanic rock work, blackout curtains, black-leather banquettes
— of desert resorts, supper clubs, casinos and other booze-filled refuges where
the dreaded sun don’t shine. Eat downstairs for more intimate dining, or upstairs
if you’re up to walking the gauntlet of a long bar (where serious drinkers swivel
on cue to watch you pass) to get to your seat. The excellent service staff is
adept, adaptable and good-natured, even when their customers — Beverly Hills carnivores
— are not. Meat dominates the menu; steak to be exact. Order the Kansas City bone-in,
the porterhouse or the bone-in rib-eye (the latter, ordered charred rare, is a
glorious, rich, big, big-flavored piece of meat with a crusty char oozing juice).
Here, rare means rare, i.e., cold inside — yes. Start with the horseradish-spiked
caesar salad, or the traditional iceberg wedge with blue cheese. Sides — fried
onions, creamed corns, sugar snap peas, potatos gratin — are fresh, enormous,
delicious: Split ’em. Finish with a paradigmatic Key lime pie. 246 N.
Cañon Dr., Beverly Hills, (310) 888-8782.
Open for dinner weekdays 5–11 p.m.,
weekends 5 p.m.–mid. Entrées $20–$47. Full
bar. Valet parking. AE, D, DC, MC,
V. American. MH $$$
Nick & Stef’s. Joachim Splichal’s downtown steak house pushes
the genre’s envelope. The décor is sedate enough — banquettes wear banker’s gray
— but annexed to the dining room is a climate-controlled glass case filled with
slabs of darkening, crusting, dry-aging beef — a library of meat. The à la carte
menu features 12 kinds of potatoes, 12 sauces and at least as many other side
dishes. The outside patio — a sunny clearing in a forest of skyscrapers — may
be the best urban dining spot in town. 330 S. Hope St.
(Wells Fargo Center), downtown, (213) 680-0330.
Lunch Mon.–Fri. 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Dinner
Mon.–Thurs. 5:30–9:30 p.m., Fri. 5:30–10:30
p.m., Sat. 5–10:30 p.m., Sun. 4:30–8:30
p.m. Full bar. Parking in Wells Fargo
Center. Entrées $19–$37. American steak house.
Taylor’s Steak House. The two Taylors are everything a steak
house should be: dark, clubby, with red booths and frosted glass. The drinks are
strong, and the menu’s long suit is meat, specifically steak, at very delicious
prices. Never mind that you might be the only Democrat or Jew or nonwhite in the
room. Get a culotte, the rib-eye, or the big fillet. And don’t miss the Molly
Salad, a variation on the lettuce wedge, invented by a former waitress. 3361
W. Eighth St., Los Angeles, (213) 382-8449.
901 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada-Flintridge, (818)
790-7668. Lunch seven days, 11:30 a.m.–4
p.m. Dinner seven days, Sun.–Thurs. 4–9:30
p.m., Fri.–Sat. 4–10:30 p.m. Full bar.
Lot parking. AE, MC, V. Entrées $12.50–$24.95.
American. MH $
Edendale Grill. Housed in an old firehouse and named for Los Angeles’