STK is a hot scene; at least that’s what we’re hearing on the street, and everyone from L.A.’s royalty, the Beckhams to Cindy Crawford to Reese Witherspoon seem to agree. We won’t argue with them but we do take a few exceptions.

We’ll start with the best part and work our way down. The space is magnificent. The main room is composed of white and black booths, flanked by a heavily white painted brick wall which boasts giant “penis like” horns. Okay, so maybe it was the penis-like horns that got us all worked up, but the hanging lights that seemed to float above the tables also set the mood. The room is centered by some burst of branches and flowers that complimented the surroundings. You can’t help but be in awe of the setting.

Next best thing: Andrew, our waiter. He’s only 22, but carries himself like a seasoned professional. He knows what’s good on the menu, and what’s not. He knows about wine. He knows something about everything. He’s cute too. And single, in case there are any like-minded male readers who want to ask for his table.

Going down the priority list, but still on the “pretty darn good” side of the inventory, is the memorable foie gras French toast ($18). Okay, fine, so one half of the Dining Duo gave up foie gras for a nanosecond because of those poor little animals, but let’s face it, it’s back on the menu in Chicago, so it can’t be all that terrible. Just the combination of the names “French Toast” and foie gras” conjures up a taste sensation that truly delivers. It’s their flagship dish, and we understand why. Michael enjoyed his beef Tartar with truffle oil sauce ($16) because of its chunky texture, especially since it was paired with homemade potato chips, proving to be a unique preparation. STK’s tartar is tasty, but hasn’t matured its flavor such as our favorite for this dish, Mistral’s in Sherman Oaks (that review is coming soon).

The side orders were the most eventful part of the dinner. The Mac N’ Cheese with truffles ($8+$20 for the truffles) was amongst the best we have ever tasted; it was creamy and delivered just the right hint of truffle, without overpowering the dish. The Sweet Corn Pudding was exquisite, flavorful and filling but light at the same time; a sensational blend of corn and not overly sweet.

Then we fall to the other side of the equation, which is a cold shower when the costs are so high. The Jumbo Lump Crab ($17) with avocado and greens should be avoided, as it was relatively devoid of flavor and unimaginative. We would suggest that it needs some sort of a sauce to make it edible.

The fish of the day on one occasion was Halibut (very fairly priced at $28) and it was fresh but the chef—or whoever was really cooking it—was so heavy handed with the salt that it burned our tongues for most of the evening. The potato concoction and the asparagus, which accompanied it, were uneventful and uninspired.
We also felt that the meal fell apart at the desert stage. The Peanut Butter Cup was just okay, and the Bread pudding for $10 was unmemorable but tasty.

We’re nearing the bottom of the list now. When are upscale restaurants that charge a fortune going to train their bus-boys not to ask, “are you still WORKING on that”; we are out to dine, not work, so please don’t remind us of what’s waiting for us the next day and teach your staff how to deliver an evening out.

And so what was the worst part of our experiences at STK: their horrific valet parkers. The wait was long, the cost expensive and the reception non-existent (they should take a lesson from the Bastide valet across the street).

While we were waiting for our cars, a couple of people recognized us and asked what we thought of the place. We through the question back at them, and they said, “It was good, but we wouldn’t rush back”. No rushing in for us either.

Posted by The Dining Duo | 8:04 PM | , , , | 0 comments »

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