The Unvegan

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Burgers and Dumplings at Village Tavern
Scottsdale Culinary Fest 2018
Breakfast in a Brew Box
Finz to the Left, Finz to the Right

‘Steakhouse’

Hand Cut and Half Off

Best steak ever?

Steaks aren’t cheap. At least, that’s the tale we’ve all been told. But what if I told you that the beautiful ribeye steak to the left there was only $18? Well, it’s the truth. Because Tuesdays in Scottsdale are apparently not the most popular nights to go out, so Hand Cut Burgers Burgers and Chophouse offers its steaks for half off. Thus, on a night that I had been intending to order a burger, I found myself ordering that ribeye instead.

Spinning Around Compass Arizona Grill

Round stuff.

There was a weird time in history when revolving restaurants became popular. Only one of these, at least as far as I understand, also was a Playboy Club back in the day, and that was the Compass Arizona Grill on top of the Hyatt in Downtown Phoenix. Today, it serves as kind of a throwback steakhouse, there to remind you how cool rotating restaurants once were, while trying to adapt to the modern palette.

Back to Belcampo, Santa Monica-Style

Literally what it is called.
Literally what it is called.

Once upon a time, I brought you Belcampo’s burger from the Grand Central Market in Downtown LA. It was a solid burger and one that I would absolutely eat again. Yet, when I found myself armed with a gift card sent to me by the good folks at Belcampo themselves*, I just had to make my way to the Santa Monica location for a full-on DineLA Restaurant Week experience.

Sunset Steak at Coral Gables

Yes, a bonus ribeye sounds great.
Yes, a bonus ribeye sounds great.

After attempting to grab dinner at the most popular spot in Saugatuck, Phil’s, we realized we couldn’t wait for a table and made our way to Coral Gables instead. The place was nearly empty, which we took as a bad sign for the food, however, it had a beautiful view of the Kalamazoo River so we knew it couldn’t be all bad.

Teppanyaki Time at Nakama

Shocking shrimp flipping.
Shocking shrimp flipping.

Remember a time when Benihana-esque teppanyaki places were just the coolest damn things ever? Yes, it seems like a long time ago, but that time was very real. Well, the excitement has certainly passed, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to get a group together to hit up a teppanyaki place every few years. Well, we did just that in Pittsburgh’s South Side at spot called Nakama (which weirdly translates to “fellow”).

An Old-School Steak Out at Taylor’s

Oh, it's a baby boomer.
Oh, it’s a baby boomer.

Two parts of LA’s beautiful food scene are its hidden gems and its seemingly effortless connection to its past. Taylor’s Steak House is both of these. Nestled in the heart of Koreatown, Taylor’s opened up in 1953, long before most Los Angelenos had ever heard the word “kimchi.” Yet, through the last 60 years, Taylor’s has endured and maintained an old-timey Hollywood charm.

Devouring Delmonico Steakhouse

I guess it's an Emeril restaurant...
I guess it’s an Emeril restaurant…

Steakhouses are generally reserved for special occasions, which are few and far between. On one hand, this is a good thing, because steaks are meant to be appreciated. I, of course, would appreciate a steak everyday but I get it. On the other hand, it makes it tough to truly compare steaks. I mean, how does a steak tonight measure up against one from months back? It’s hard, but I try my best knowing that my steak from Mastro’s is where the bar is set. Enter: Delmonico Steakhouse in Las Vegas.

Mastro’s and Commander

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Pretzels for all. Or just two.

As a meat blogger, I am often asked what my favorite steak or steakhouse in LA is. My usual answer is, “I’m not freakin’ rich, back off of me,” but usually I’m able to come up with a place that has served me a good steak. Smokehouse in Burbank and Fleming’s have both treated me pretty well, but as much as I love me some steaks, it is simply not economically feasible for me to eat them as much as I want. Enter my wife’s bosses, who decided to take us and her dad to Mastro’s in Beverly Hills as a wedding gift. Well, my friends, we have a new winner.

A Bachelor Steak at Captain’s Anchorage

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Steak!

My first time up in Big Bear Lake happened to be for my bachelor party. Since I knew little to nothing about what sort of food existed up there, my best man arranged a night out beginning at Captain’s Anchorage, an old-school steakhouse. Steak is unquestionably a man-food, and I was damn happy with the choice of restaurants. Since this was the low season, the clientele was mostly geriatrics and local middle-aged couples, but our group of men was welcomed into the fray.

A Bacon-Wrapped Smokehouse

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Cheesy blasters!

Smokehouse in Burbank is old school Hollywood. Opened in 1946, it’s the kind of place you could picture Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman or Audrey Hepburn eating a steak. New Hollywood has embraced it as well, and apparently it is a regular stomping ground for George Clooney. I don’t fit into old or new Hollywood, but Smokehouse is a steakhouse and I certainly fit into that crowd.