Where To Get A Nice Steak In LA  guide image

LAGuide

Where To Get A Nice Steak In LA

If the words "medium-rare" make you feel a special type of way, head to these 18 spots.

The steak dinner is usually synonymous with special occasions, and for good reason, but sometimes a random Tuesday calls for a textbook-sized slab of meat, too. From French bistros that bring the boeuf, to upscale KBBQ spots and old-school chophouse institutions, these are our top picks for when you're in the mood for a nice hunk of steak and nothing else with suffice.

photo credit: Jakob Layman

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The Old Place

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29983 Mulholland Hwy, Agoura Hills
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Whenever we need a break from the chaos and congestion of LA (as well as this century), we take a drive up to The Old Place. Up in the Santa Monica Mountains, it's located on the grounds of a 19th-century general-store-turned-saloon, complete with large, wooden fixtures and a Wild West aesthetic that's not unlike what you'll find in Pioneertown. The menu is filled with American comfort staples like chicken pot pie, cast-iron apple crisps, and something called a "noodle and cheese bake," a thick egg noodles smothered in three kinds of cheese. But if you don't get the oak-grilled bone-in ribeye, you've made a mistake. It's one of the heftiest steaks in the city and considering it comes with a salad and loaded baked potato, the $68 price is very fair.

Words like rich, indulgent, and uncomfortably full come to mind when describing a meal at Chi Spacca, and we mean all of them in the best way. This meat-focused Italian spot from the people behind Mozza is where you go for excellent wine, housemade charcuterie, and hearty dishes that KO us faster than Mike Tyson's right uppercut. The flaky bone marrow pies and sizzling cheese-filled focaccia di recco are fantastic, but try to save room for the main course: showstopping dry-aged florentine steaks with charred crusts and medium-rare interiors. If a $200 tomahawk steak sounds like your idea of a special night, Chi Spacca is the place to be.

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For anyone who lives in or around Beverly Grove, Marvin is the textbook definition of a neighborhood hang. This upscale French restaurant is far from stuffy, with an eclectic mix of French country decor and Christmas lights that feels oddly cozy, and an easy place to sit around for hours with wine and their top-class steak frites. Their juicy New York Prime comes topped with a dollop of herb butter that melts over the steak's crust and a pile of warm, thin-cut fries that soak up all the drippings. This 12-ounce steak is a nice-sized meal for one, best eaten on Marvin's bistro-style front patio with a glass of cabernet sauvignon.

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

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8.0

Carlitos Gardel Restaurant

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Somehow this Argentinian steakhouse has been around for decades but still feels like one of West Hollywood's best-kept secrets: you walk into an old-school dining space with white tablecloths, portraits of tango legends, and waiters floating between tables pouring glasses of Argentinian reds. All the cuts on the menu, from the juicy ojo de bife (prime ribeye) to the charred slabs of entraña (prime skirt), come with a side of garlicky chimichurri that you should generously drizzle on everything. There's also a full parrillada for two if you want to try a bunch of different meats, and several incredible dulce de leche desserts that you need to order a least one of.

A meal at this Beverly Hills original is slightly corny, and you'll definitely feel like you're eating dinner on a cruise ship, but the food is legitimately delicious. Between the spinning salad, the "meat and potato" martinis, and the glorious, silver prime rib cart that rolls right up to your table, dinner at Lawry's is a show from start to finish. They offer five different cuts—ranging from the lighter "California" cut to the massive "Beef Bowl Double" cut—but we prefer the signature "Lawry's." It's juicy and succulent, hefty, yet won't leave you in a red meat coma. Get several sides of creamed spinach and/or creamed corn, too.

With all the high-profile restaurant openings in Hollywood over the last few years, Gwen is a steakhouse/butcher shop that has slipped under the radar a bit. That should change—this upscale spot on Sunset Blvd. is a fantastic option for a meat-centric meal. Their salumi and spread-filled charcuterie board are some of our favorites in the city, and the 32-ounce ribeye, which can easily feed two grown adults, is an evenly charred, perfectly cooked cut of meat. If you're in need of an understated, fancy dinner in Hollywood with great steaks—and available reservations—head to Gwen.

Comparing Mun to your basic Korean barbecue experience is like putting up your local rec center against a fancy gym with free scented towels. Everything about this Koreatown spot is premium, from the quality of the meats to the fancy bar that pours a solid Old Fashioned. You'll get to choose between rounds of marbled flat-iron steaks, aged ribeye, and thick short ribs that pull right off the bone, plus creative side dishes like buttery beef tartare bibimbap and kimchi pancakes glued together with molten cheese. When you want steakhouse-level meats without sacrificing the high-energy party atmosphere of the best KBBQ spots, Mun offers the best of both worlds.

To be clear, Musso & Frank does not have the best steak in LA. But if you write off this iconic steakhouse as a Hollywood Blvd. tourist trap, you'll be missing out on one of LA's most classic dining experiences. The waiters wear red jackets and bow-ties, crab louie is still on the menu, and there's a vintage phone booth in a corner that you'll absolutely want to take a photo in. Their house martini is among the best in town. For steak, we like the ribeye, but make sure you order it one level below what you usually do—meats tend to be slightly overcooked here.  

We'll just say it: Taylor's Steakhouse might be a Koreatown institution, but the sides here are pretty underwhelming (whatever you do, don't order the steamed broccoli). The good news is that almost no one comes to this old-timey red booth spot for anything other than excellent steaks for under $50 and strong gin martinis. The kitchen knows how to cook a london broil so that it cuts like butter, and the spencer steak (a boneless ribeye) has the right amount of marbling to give it serious flavor. In other words, Taylor's puts the steak in steakhouse—no more, no less.

Dear John's has all the classic touches we love in an old-school steakhouse: a dark dining room, red tablecloths covered in shrimp cocktails, and leather booths to sink into after putting down 18 ounces of beef. The ribeye at this Culver City spot is juicy, well-seasoned, and has a nice crust, but it's the restaurant's side dishes and general ambiance that make Dear John's a standout pick for a great steak dinner. The creamed spinach is decadent and flavorful, the crispy, thick-cut fries are a must-order, and the tableside caesar doesn't hold back on the anchovies.

The Arthur J is the Jeff Goldblum of steakhouses—we haven't met anyone yet who is immune to its charm. The dark leather booths and sleek walnut ceilings inside this Manhattan Beach spot radiate laidback luxury, the kind you'd usually find in a members-only supper club. The steaks here are cooked over a wood-fired grill, which gives the meat a deep, gloriously smoky flavor. Once you've decided which cut you want, choose a couple of sauces, butters, toppings, and sides to round out your red meat dream. We're partial to their filet mignon, cooked medium rare, with a side of chimichurri for dipping and a little slab of foie gras right on top. Keep this spot in mind when you want a steak dinner that feels both classic and cool without being too over the top.

Located one crosswalk away from Warner Brothers Studios, Smoke House has been a Valley icon since 1942 and a place where, on any given night, you'll find celebrities, set designers, and security guards swigging martinis and toasting to another day on the lot. As for food, don't get too cute with your order—this is the kind of place where your table should be filled up with caesar salads and several orders of their famous garlic bread. And considering the name of the place, it's best to stay in the red meat category for entrees. Cuts range from porterhouse to chopped sirloin, but we love the house prime rib—a succulent, slow-roasted slab of meat that they've been cooking the exact same way since the Truman administration.

Located in the city of Pico Rivera, Dal Rae might be a haul for some people, but no matter how scary traffic is looking, this is a pilgrimage worth making. The classic steakhouse opened in the 1950s and we get the feeling not much has changed since. Their classic space is made up of multiple dining rooms with wood-paneled walls and twinkling chandeliers, and the menu is filled with dishes like oyster rockefellers, fettuccine carbonara, and tableside caesars. If it's your first time, go for the famous pepper steak, either a filet mignon or New York strip (you choose the cut), topped with a sauteed mixture of bacon, onions, and peppercorn.

This clubbish spot in Beverly Hills specializes in multi-course, prix-fixe menus consisting of various premium wagyu dishes. It's definitely an indulgence, but when you actually dine here, you'll be taken aback at how toned-down and sensible the whole experience is. Dishes like steak tartare and beef croquetas are presented in a way that doesn't feel like you're being subjected to a meat gauntlet. You'll sip clear earthy beef broth, sample thin-sliced pieces of NY strip steak, then finish with a wood-fired ribeye. If you're looking for a beef-filled dinner that isn't just another big slab of steak and a side of potatoes, Matū is an excellent option to keep in mind.

One of few Brazilian steakhouses in town that doesn't rhyme with "pogo de wow," M Grill in Koreatown serves an AYCE buffet that includes eighteen different cuts of meat for $70 per person, which, based on current beef prices, is a great deal. Spit-roasted options like juicy lamb chops or tender slices of filet mignon are all carved to order tableside, though we tend to hone in on the real star of the show: the picanha. This top sirloin cap is served medium rare with the right amount of salt—you barely even need to cut it. We highly recommend layering a plate with as much picanha as it can handle, adding a side of feijoada, and pairing it with one of the caipirinhas from the bar.

As you might have guessed by the name, Charcoal, located exactly on the border between Marina Del Rey and Venice, is pretty into grilling things. And we're pretty into eating grilled things, so we get along. Steaks here come out exactly how you ask for them to be cooked, with plenty of the housemade chimichurri and barbecue sauces on the side. Take your pick between prime skirt steak, ribeye, and sirloin, but if you're ordering for a group, just get the ribeye. It's bone-in, buttery, and always worth it.

Cut is a Wolfgang Puck-owned steakhouse in Beverly Hills that is predictably expensive but surprisingly excellent. Before you can even order a $20 glass of wine, a suited server shows up with a platter of steaks from all over the world, each more marbled than a fancy countertop in Architectural Digest. The move here is to get one of the shareable cuts, like the 24-ounce New York strip that arrives expertly charred, sliced, and served with various mustards. Add on sides like the creamed spinach topped with a fried egg for some extra oomph.

Though we'll forever mourn the closing of the original Palm in West Hollywood, the Beverly Hills location is a fine consolation. The cavernous dining room is a great spot for big, spendy company dinners that involves tomahawk ribeyes and veal chops, but the best time to come here is actually during lunch. This is when they roll out their "Power Lunch" menu, a three-course meal for $29 that includes an appetizer, entree, and dessert. Springing for the six-ounce filet is an extra $15, but considering you're eating lunch on Canon Drive, it's an excellent value. Plus, it comes bathed in their famous brandy peppercorn sauce.

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