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.
Not too long ago, a new place called Burger Lounge made its way into Beverly Hills. Well, new is a relative term, as the place has been hanging out in San Diego for years. As with all intriguing burgers, I knew I had to test out it and recruited my buddy from San Diego to accompany me. He had frequented the lounge down in SD back in the day and I thought he would be helpful in my quest.
For most, Burger Month ended on May 31st, but I have never claimed to be like most and feel like every month is Burger Month. This is why, despite being the first week of June, I’ve opted to tackle a burger. This particular burger comes from a little place in Beverly Hills called The Hill. By day and early night, it is a restaurant, but when night comes around is a bar in no uncertain terms.
EDIT: This Grand Lux is dead, but you can find others in different states serving the same old thang.
Sometimes you are so hungry you’ll eat anywhere. Well not just anywhere, but the place closest to you that seems to have good food. Such was the case when I found myself eating at the Grand Lux Cafe in Beverly Hills. This is not meant to knock the place, but simply to say that this place has never been on my to-eat list and I probably never would have sought it out. To tell you the truth, the name simply sounded like an overpriced fancy restaurant and not what it truly is – a Cheesecake Factory with a different name.
To celebrate yet another Dine LA Restaurant Week, we found ourselves at Simon LA in the Sofitel Hotel in Beverly Hills. I’m not usually one for restaurant ambience unless that ambience is dingy and dirty, but I really appreciated the way that Simon LA was decorated. In our little booth, we were seated near the middle of the restaurant, yet felt like we were in our own little world because the booth was half-surrounded by some really cool woodsy decor. Not like backwoodsy, but modern and classy. I looked at both the Dine LA menu and the regular menu, then quickly came to conclusion: Dine LA was dead to me.
Ok, I have a confession to make. Longtime readers know it already, but newcomers may be a little surprised. That confession is that…well I don’t eat meat for every meal. Yes, it’s true. Sometimes, a breakfast of pancakes or a dinner of mac and cheese satiates my appetite just as much as a steak. But most importantly, these meals are devoid of vegetables. After all, unvegan principles are more anti-veggie than pro-meat. One such meatless meal occurred at BLD.
With the ever-growing popularity of vampires in silly stories like Twilight and edgy television like True Blood, it seems that something important to our very human survival has fallen by the wayside. That is garlic, the fabric of our lives…errr…the thing that vampires hate. For some reason. One place you’ll never see a vampire hanging out at is The Stinking Rose, a restaurant in Beverly Hills. The reason is that apparently “stinking rose” is another term for garlic. I disagree with calling it stinking because I like the smell of garlic, as long as it hasn’t yet been eaten, but perhaps pungent rose was already taken.
For a nice little Sunday brunch with the grandparents in Beverly Hills, we headed to an LA icon. This icon is Nate ‘n Al and it’s been hanging out in Beverly Hills since before the hillbillies. Started in 1945 by two good old fashioned Detroiters named Al Mendelson and Nate Reimers, Nate ‘n Al brings the comfort of Detroit delis to Southern California. Supposedly. But I would be the judge of that.
Everyone knows The Cheesecake Factory for their namesake. And those people are also probably aware that The Cheesecake Factory is a full-on restaurant with a restaurant about as massive its portions. Sadly, when I went to Cheesecake in Beverly Hills, my stomach wasn’t treating me as well as it usually does. So naturally, as an unvegan, I turned to fried chicken. Yeah, that’s right.
EDIT: This location is gone, but you can find the same over-peppered steak at The Capital Grille elsewhere.
Found in or around malls all around the country, The Capital Grille is a reliable, upscale steakhouse and I’ve never met anyone who isn’t a fan. So the combination of the girlfriend’s parents visiting and an awesome coupon led us to grab some dinner at the aforementioned grille. Despite having a reservation, we still ended up waiting a good 15 minutes for our table, then finally took our seats.