People often ask me where to find a good steak dinner in Los Angeles. It’s almost always for a special occasion. A dad’s birthday, friend in town, a special anniversary or occasion. LA isn’t short of choices for steak. There are old school options like Taylor’s or Pacific Dining Car. New school options like Wolfgangs, Cut, or BLT. Besides Taylor’s, you’re gonna pay a pretty penny for any of those options. And even Taylor’s is more about the kitsch than the food.
But why limit yourself to steak on just a special occasion? It doesn’t have to be a spectacle to get a reservation, or break the bank. That’s why we find ourselves often returning to Nick & Stef’s Steakhouse in Downtown LA when we’re craving the beef. It’s priced well, without compromising on service or quality. It’s especially a great choice for wine lovers as they were recently awarded with a recognition from Wine Spectator for their stellar wine selection. They also don’t charge a corkage if you want to bring in your own vino! That alone can save you a big chunk of change.
A wonderful spot, nestled between the towering glass office buildings, local business people, lawyers, and cubicle dwellers converge on their special lunch menu during the day. Then at night the restaurant takes on a quieter, slower pace. A soft glow illuminates the interior as couples, concert goers (from nearby Walt Disney Concert Hall & Dorthy Chandler Pavilion) and locals enjoy salads prepared tableside, prime cuts of aged Black Angus steaks, savory sides, and decadent desserts.
We were recently invited to a media dinner to celebrate the official announcement of the restaurant’s new executive chef, Megan Logan. A native of Thousand Oaks, Logan graduated from Cordon Bleu College in Pasadena. She joined the Patina Group immediately after graduating in 2003. While working at Patina— under Joachim Splichal— she quickly rose through the ranks of the kitchen to the role of sous chef before being promoted to exec chef at Nick & Stef’s just this year. Chef Logan combines her classic French techniques with her love of using fresh ingredients from local farmers markets, where she believes in the tried and true method of using ingredients “less is always more.”
Their prime grade Black Angus steaks are dry aged on premises and cut to order then grilled over oak and apple wood. Served with your choice of bearnaise, creamy blue cheese, red wine bordelaise, sauce au poivre vert, chimichurri, or the classic horseradish. But these steaks don’t need any help. The dry aging process brings out the best flavors of the meat. Then it’s lightly seasoned and perfectly charred. Our favorite cut, the bone-in rib eye, is marbled with just the right amount of fat, and is full of the rich flavor these steaks are so well known for.
We were served a perfect array of sides with the meal— like roasted squash, cabbage & kale fricassee and bacon lardon, creamed Bloomsdale spinach, wild mushroom ragout, and the classic mac ‘n’ cheese. Make sure to try the cheese and beer flight. A wonderful combination, and now just thinking about it, crave the succulent pairing. Our selection included Fiscalini (from Modesto), Hook’s 10 yr Chedder, and Valdeon Blue Cheese, served with New Belgium’s Hoptober Golden Ale, Deschutes Mirror Pond Ale, and Anderson Valley’s Boont Amber Ale.
They also have one of the best happy hours in Downtown LA. Head to their bar Monday to Thursday 3-9:30pm and Friday 3-10:30pm or snuggle up under the heaters on their patio for $5 cocktails, delicious bar bites including braised beef short rib skewers and mini steakhouse burgers. Grab the affordable 3 course chef’s menu for just $39 and add the wine pairing for just $12. Then on November 25th, head over for a $39 turkey dinner. Get hand carved turkey, brioche stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied squash, cranberry and orange marmalade, and turkey gravy along with your choice of dessert.