Maybe your dad’s in town and he just referred to the place you took him to dinner last night as “newfangled California food.” Maybe you have an important client dinner with the last people in LA who still wear a suit and tie to work every day. Maybe you still like pretending you’re on Mad Men. Or maybe you just want to eat a large piece of meat and wash it down with a martini. If you need a real steakhouse you'll actually enjoy eating in, head for The Arthur J in Manhattan Beach.
This is the rare place that works just as well for a date as it does dinner with those tie-wearing clients, or even dinner with some friends who aren't afraid to throw down for steak. It looks like a Design Within Reach catalog come to life, with mid-century brass light fixtures, dark leather booths, and a big bar ready for you and your Old Fashioned habit. Unlike a lot of steak places, The Arthur J doesn’t feel over the top or like the Ruth’s Chris your aunt always suggests for “special occasions.” It’s actually pretty cool in here.
But it’s still a steakhouse, which means that half the menu is red meat. Once you’ve decided which steak you want, there are sauces, butters, toppings, and sides to round out your complete meat dream. Non-steak eaters will also find something to like - there are plenty of options that aren’t dry chicken breasts. And despite the fact that it’s not 1983, you should definitely order the truly excellent shrimp cocktail no matter what.
You’re probably not going to be at The Arthur J on the regular. It’s pricey, and there’s that thing where your doctor told you to stop eating so much red meat. But when the need for a steakhouse arises, and you want to go for something a little more fun than the rest, this place has you (and your dad's) back.
These rolls are very good, but what you’re really here for is the deviled ham. That’s right, spreadable ham does exist. And it’s obviously delicious.
A fine way to start, but also not mind blowing. An Asian-ish hamachi tartare with some tasty rice chips.
You’re at a steakhouse, so you need to be ordering the shrimp cocktail. We may or may not have spilled shrimp from the awkward dish onto the table, but this is still one of our favorite things here. The jumbo shrimp are indeed jumbo, and also sweet and tasty - and the housemade cocktail sauce is excellent.
It’s a piece of meat. A high-quality, cooked just like you asked for it, piece of meat. This is the reason you’re here. Pick a sauce or a butter to go with it (we’re into the chimichurri) and if you’re ready to not eat for the rest of the week, add foie gras to go on top.
The sauteed mushrooms are pretty bland, but the poached egg-topped asparagus is good, and the vinegary beef fat fries are great.
Way better than the sock of the month club your weird cousin gave you for Christmas. The coconut cake we had on one visit came with an egg beater covered in frosting for the ultimate in regressing back to childhood moments.