Whether you want yours blood rare or barely pink inside, lean and mean or marbled and juicy, there's a steakhouse in Los Angeles that's just waiting to slice you up a just-right piece of meat.
For despite L.A.'s reputation for being the place where skinny actors only eat vegan diets, the steakhouse is a mainstay of Southern California. Perhaps it's all the scientists and engineers that also make up the vibrant landscape of Los Angeles (it really isn't just about Hollywood here) or perhaps it's also those famous actors and musicians that populate the town, for they certainly draw the paparazzi outside of a number of the most popular steakhouses.
Perennial hotspots like Boa Steakhouse, Wolfgang Puck's CUT and Mastro's Steak House are constantly hosting famous faces from every walk of life, while venerable classics like Lawry's The Prime Rib actually holds the Beef Bowl every year, offering a meat-eating extravaganza to the two Rose Bowl college football teams in the days before the game. As of 2014, that steak party has happened for 59 years running!
Newcomers regularly join the steakhouse ranks, too, for Southern California is a very big place and can support many top-notch places specializing in beef. Which means this list of the 10 Best Steakhouses in Los Angeles includes both classic and cutting-edge places, all with one thing in common: their steaks are delicious.
When Chianina Steakhouse burst on the Long Beach dining scene in December 2013, everyone who loves beef in Southern California rejoiced. For the Italian-influenced restaurant began by serving top-grade Piedmontese beef and other prime meats, paired with luscious risottos, classic Caesar salad or iceberg wedges and plenty of other sides and starters. But then in August 2014, Chianina (pronounce it "KEY-a-nina") announced the arrival of its first Chianina beef, the famed Italian-origin white cattle known for their leanness and flavor. Raised organically in Utah specifically for Chianina and used from head to toe at the restaurant (and its two sister places, Michael's on Naples and Michael's Pizzeria), the meat is so delicious that when it arrives each month, it generally sells out within two weeks, at premium prices. So be sure to get there soon after the "Whole Animal" arrives, or you'll have to wait until the following month. (562-434-2333)
L'Assiette Steak Frites
L'Assiette Steak Frites does one thing and they do it very well. Making Steak Frites is an art, and chef/owner Jacques Fiorentino has perfected it, serving up a perfectly cooked, very lean, sliced Coulotte steak smothered in the house's secret sauce. Beside it are the pommes frites, crispy, piping hot, thin-cut French fries that melt in your mouth. To ensure that you have the ultimate experience with this classic French brasserie dish, L'Assiette offers it in two servings. This keeps the fries from getting cold and soggy, and ensures that the steak is eaten at the perfect temperature, too. All that for $25! Add a Black Truffle Sauce for $14 more and you'll be in foodie heaven. And while they actually do serve a Poisson Frites (fish of the day) and a Portobello Frites for those foolish enough to not eat steak, this convivial place is all about the meat. (323-274-2319)
Ruth's Chris Steak House - Pasadena
One of the world's most successful steakhouses since 1965 when Ruth Fertel opened the first one in New Orleans, Ruth's Chris Steak House is known for the "sizzle." That's the sound their quick-seared U.S.D.A. Prime steaks make as they hit the chain's signature 500-degrees-Fahrenheit-heated ceramic serving dish (don't touch that plate!) and are slathered with butter just before they hit your table. You'll feel the New Orleans influence when you taste the appetizers, many of which are served up with a spicy Creole Remoulade sauce. Save room for another taste of NOLA for dessert, for the Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce comes straight from Ruth's original kitchen. (626-583-8122)
Lawry's the Prime Rib
Lawry's opened in 1938 in Beverly Hills, with the standing rib roast as the only featured entree on the menu. Today Lawry's exists worldwide with additional entrees available, yet the menu remains traditionally simple with a focus on beef made to order. Home of the original Lawry's seasoning, the seasoning and sauces are now available for sale at many retailers. Be sure to try the famed prime rib and if you're feeling especially ravenous, try the larger Jim Brady Cut or the Beef Bowl Cut. Served with Yorkshire pudding and horseradish with whipped cream tableside, the prime rib aroma of sizzling red meat pervades the entire restaurant. It's the perfect place for any steak house aficionado looking for a traditionally delicious dinner. (310-652-2827)
Boa Steakhouse - Sunset
Boa Steakhouse in West Hollywood has been a celebrity magnet since the moment it opened in 2009. Be prepared to see paparazzi staked out by the front door, and don't be surprised when Nicki Minaj or Kim Kardashian are seated nearby. Everyone who is anyone goes to Boa, so if it's star watching you want along with an excellent cut of beef, then Boa is the place. Choose a 40-day dry aged New York Strip, a premium Japanese Wagyu cut or spice it up with their signature Cajun Cowboy Rib Eye. There's plenty of "surf" to go with your "turf," too, with a whole Maine lobster on offer most days. Ask for a table on the lovely large patio to spend a perfect night under the stars. (310-278-2050)
Chef Suzanne Tracht (you may know her from "Top Chef Masters") knows just what people in Los Angeles want -- it's meat, cooked up in a variety of ways at Jar. Her Signature Pot Roast will likely be the best you've ever eaten, while choosing one of her various broiled prime-beef offerings (porterhouse, filet, skirt steak, rib eye, etc.) smothered in a lobster Béarnaise sauce will be the best dining decision you've ever made. There's a slight Asian tinge to everything they make at Jar, perhaps influenced by Tracht's stint at the renowned restaurant Jozu and definitely because of Chef de Cusine's Preech Narkthong's guiding hand. (323-655-6566)
Morton's The Steakhouse
Morton's The Steakhouse has been a fixture for so long in Los Angeles that it used to be called Arnie Morton's, in order to differentiate it from another restaurant named Morton's. These days, Morton's The Steakhouse is the only one in town (with this outpost on La Cienega as well as another location downtown), still doing exactly what the Chicago-based company has done since 1978: serving up some of the juiciest steak you've ever tasted. The restaurant's brass and wood decor is distinctly masculine and traditional, but female steak lovers are welcomed with open arms. Expect to be treated well by the friendly waitstaff, who present dinner selections by bringing out a cart of options and telling you stories about each dish. (310-246-1501)
Ocean Prime - Beverly Hills
Ocean Prime Beverly Hills is the eleventh location of the popular Cameron Mitchell seafood and steak restaurants, which opened in November 2014. With its welcoming patio (especially at night when the fire pits are burning brightly), convivial bar, warm main dining room, top-notch staff and deliciously diverse menu, the eatery has quickly become a popular spot for both locals, tourists and Rodeo Drive shoppers hungry for a quick bite or a full meal. Prime steaks are broiled to perfection, and there's an extensive wine list and a knowledgeable sommelier to help you choose the perfect pairing. Don't miss the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes (offered as an appetizer or entree), the Sea Scallops or the Black Truffle Mac & Cheese, which may just be the best you've ever eaten. Chicken, chops, salads, and even a raw bar and sushi bar round out Ocean Prime's excellent offerings. (310-859-4818)
Mastro's Steak House
Mastro's Steak House knows what people want. A classic, leather-and-wood place where power players from every segment of Angeleno society meet to talk business and indulge in top-quality steaks, usually paired with seriously fine red wines. Share a massive, double-cut, 48-ounce porterhouse or their famed New York Pepper Strip; beforehand, indulge in a caviar appetizer, Oysters Rockefeller or an elegant Beef Carpaccio. Don't miss the Lobster Mashed Potatoes on the side and consider making a whole meal out of the incredibly decadent Alaskan King Crab Black Truffle Gnocchi side dish. Mastro's has a complete seafood menu as well as veal, pork and lamb dishes on offer for those who are not in the mood for beef. (310-888-8782)
Located inside the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Wolfgang Puck's CUT has been at the top of the steakhouse heap in Los Angeles since it opened in 2007. The strikingly modern interior, designed by famed architect Richard Meier, welcomes guests to an unparalleled dining experience. There's a steak for every taste here, ranging from U.S.D.A. Prime Beef aged 21 or 35 days; Grass-Fed Angus Beef; American Wagyu from famed grower Snake River Farms; and 100 percent Japanese Wagyu imported from Kyushu. No matter which type of beef or cut you choose, there's one thing certain here: your steak will be perfectly cooked and served with sauces that will make you swoon (be sure to try the Argentinean Chimichurri). Attention to every detail, charming service and -- often -- a chance to say "Hi" to the master chef himself make Puck's CUT a true cut above the rest. (310-276-8500, 310-275-5200)
About Jenny Peters
Jenny Peters – aka Jet Set Jen – is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist, editor and party columnist specializing in travel, entertainment, film, food, wine, fashion and the other good things in life. She is a founding/voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, who present the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards every January. Her favorite places to be are on the beach in Southern California playing volleyball, scuba diving with the sharks in warm tropical waters or strolling the streets and soaking in the atmosphere of one of the world's great cities (New Orleans and Florence are her favorites).
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