Sure, there are other, newer and fancier joints for feasting on big hunks of red meat, but for sheer value, and the rah-rah factor, Taylor’s Steakhouse is tough to beat. Located in the same windowless mid-Wilshire cavern since it opened as a pub in 1953, Taylor’s caters to a fiercely loyal clientele — nearly 70 percent of the restaurant’s business comes from repeat customers, according to proprietor Bruce Taylor. Even the occasional visit from a celebrity — Sean Connery dropped in on a recent evening — doesn’t dampen the low-key, friendly atmosphere, with patrons calling out greetings, table-hopping, and lingering way beyond the dinner hour. Like Taylor and his dad, the restaurant’s original owner, many regulars are USC alums, who crowd in after football games to rehash highlights over thick, macho burgers made from freshly ground steak.
Perhaps the best-known item on the Taylor’s menu is the culotte, introduced by Bruce after he took over operations in ’77. It’s cut from the sirloin and delivered to the table still sizzling, accompanied by soup or salad, green veggie, and baked potato or potato-chip-style fries — all for just $18.95. A fine martini from the full bar — two olives, straight up — completes a most satisfying meal, one without regrets, for sure. 3361 W. Eighth St., mid-Wilshire; (213) 382-8449. A second location, in La Cañada–Flintridge, at 901 Foothill Blvd.; (818) 790-7668.