APL is permanently closed
photo credit: Jakob Layman
Nobody just stumbles into a steakhouse for a last-minute meal. You go to a steakhouse because your best friend is engaged or your cookie-delivery app got an investor, you’re not terribly concerned with prices, and you want to eat the rare part of a cow. When these situations come up, there’s a short list of places in this town - Chi Spacca, Taylor’s, Lawry’s - that get the job done. It’s time for APL to be added to that list.
Located at the corner of Hollywood and Vine, it’s difficult to mention APL’s location without receiving some look of distrust. Outside of seeing a show at Pantages or restocking your Halloween wig drawer, there are very few reasons to be at this intersection. That said, it takes about ten seconds inside APL before you realize that it’s one of the few high-end restaurants in Hollywood. Or, at the very least, one that definitely looks and acts the part.
Filled with brown leather booths, tile floors, and a bar showcasing rare bottles of whiskey, APL has the touches you want in a classy steakhouse. But there are also some key differences - namely, it’s kind of a party here. It’s loud, Jimi Hendrix is playing over the loudspeaker, and that group in the corner is on their fourth round of gimlets. There’s also a “felony knife” on the menu, which means that if you steal one of the monogrammed knives that comes with your steak, you have to pay $950.01 (one cent over the California fine for grand theft). These are just details, but they go a long way in making APL feel more special than your standard place to eat meat and brag about your accomplishments.
At first glance, APL’s menu reads like a steakhouse Hall of Fame induction ceremony. There’s a shrimp cocktail, caesar salad, creamed spinach, and massive plates of meat that hover around $75. That might seem like a lot of money for a cut of meat, but know that everything off the “Dry Aged” section is meant to be shared between two people. If your pilot just got picked up by Netflix, go for their $180 short rib. Otherwise, the $78 T-bone is just as fantastic.
APL’s non-steak dishes aren’t exactly going to induce gasps of wonderment, but they will round out your meal nicely. The caesar comes as a giant wedge topped with housemade croutons you’ll consider wrapping up in a napkin and saving for later. The cauliflower steak is massive, covered in crispy garlic, and despite its residency on the “sides” section, could be its own entree. And the fresh honeycombs that come with the burrata will make you feel like this is the first time you’ve eaten it.
Do you really need burrata at a steakhouse? No. But that’s what makes APL different. When the time comes for a throw-down meal where the only currency is cholesterol, APL has everything you could want and more. Even a felony knife.
This is one of the best caesars in the city. It’s basically a giant wedge of lettuce, doused in dressing, and covered with huge house-made croutons. This definitely needs to be the first thing that hits the table.
The burrata itself is a tad runny, but this is a good dish. Also, the combination of fresh pear and honeycomb makes the whole thing feel more like a dessert than an appetizer and we’re not complaining.
The house-cured meats are a specialty at APL. Ordering the plate of ham out loud is more empowering than you’d think.
APL is not a steakhouse where you should get a pasta. The sauce on this is flat and the spaghetti itself is undercooked and grainy. Skip this section entirely.
This is one of our favorite dishes at APL. Though it’s located on the “sides” section, this thing is truly massive, and if your doctor told you to lay off the red meat this month, it could definitely work as an entree.
Its $78 sticker price is definitely a tough pill to swallow at first, but know that this, and everything else on the dry-aged section, easily feeds two people. It’s also very good.
The only thing anyone wants to know about a dish that costs $180 is whether it's worth that kind of money. While you have to decide for yourself if you want to spend that kind of money on a piece of meat, we can tell you this is fantastic and easily shareable between two or three people.