Saturday, August 18, 2007

steak & sushi

We just got back from Alexander's Steakhouse, and I have to say, outside of French Laundry, it was the best food experience that I've had so far this year. Japanese-inspired appetizers, excellent steak, creative and delicious desserts, what more can a diner ask for?

Since we were celebrating a birthday, the waiter started out by bringing out complimentary Spanish sparkling wine, which was sweet and fizzy, just the way I like it. Next was a lobster, corn, and daikon amuse, followed by the three appetizers that we had ordered. The tuna tataki was fine, but not especially worth mentioning. The other two small plates were amazing; there was a king crab with some kind of chili mustard sauce, and a shrimp "kuruma". My favorite was the shrimp dish, and although the shrimp got top billing, what I really liked was the yuzu, tomato, and cilantro salsa accompaniment.

tuna:


crab:


shrimp:


For my entree, I had a dry-aged New York steak. I normally order filet mignon rather than New York steak, since I like my beef tender, but the waiter convinced me that the dry aging process would make the steak tender regardless. He was right. The meat was done perfectly; real medium rare, with just the right amount of fat, and not hard at all, except maybe a tiny bit around the edges.

steak:


For dessert, the four of us shared a chocolate souffle, as well as a trio of dessert tapas: the "Pink Flamingo" (strawberry mousse, raspberry(?) sauce, and lemon chiffon), Kaffir lime brulee, and homemade "S'mores". At first, the waiter made a mistake and accidentally brought us a "Yin-Yang" instead of the S'mores (white and dark chocolate cheesecake with raspberry coulis) so he gave us that one on the house. Ironically, I liked the cheesecake best of all the desserts, except maybe the souffle. We were also treated to green apple cotton candy for everyone, and a small chocolate cake for the birthday boy, on the house.

souffle:


trio of desserts:


S'mores & cotton candy:


It was a very satisfying meal; the service was friendly and unobtrusive, the appetizers and desserts were creative and generally well-executed, and the steak was the best I've had in a long time. Although I usually prefer to try new restaurants rather than going to the same ones again, I will definitely returning to Alexander's. Maybe I'll bring my parents; I have a feeling they'd love it.

steak display cases:

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