STAKIN’ OUT THE STEAKHOUSE
NICK & STEF’S STEAKHOUSE
The Joachim Splichal empire of restaurants added Nick and Stef’s Steakhouse to their list some eight years ago. Located in the Wells Fargo Center at Hope and Third Streets, this lovely, modern steakhouse has been thriving because of a most eager, never-ending crowd. Last Sunday, they added two additional fans, as my lady and I sojourned into their midst for the first time.
You park your car at the P1 or P2 level, go up to the first floor, and find yourself in a courtyard with towering buildings all around you: Jamba Juice dead ahead, the California Pizza Kitchen on the left, and Nick and Stef’s straight ahead of you. It’s a huge place with dining inside or al fresco offered. The dining room is done in brown and beige, twists and curves in several directions, and offers tables, booths, and banquettes. You’re seated, a basket of bread and breadsticks arrives, and your water glasses are filled instantly.
Our server, named Light, appeared to take our order. It needs to be noted that there is a special Sunday “Local’s Night” menu, consisting of three courses: Salad or Wedge, Prime Rib or Chicken, and Kit Kat bar or Lemon Meringue Pie for $38. We elected to stay with the regular menu, for there were “Starters” and “Soups and Salads” that spoke to us, saying, “Order me, order me!”.
Our dinner began with a shared Maine Crab Cake with jumbo lump crabmeat, and a micro arugula salad in a sweet ginger remoulade on the side. It was crispy on the outside and most tender and chewy inside…one of the best around. The grilled shrimp cocktail that we also shared was cooked to absolute perfection. Both the crab and shrimp are on the more spicy side, so take that into consideration before ordering.
Nick and Stef’s pride themselves on an “original” Caesar Salad, done from scratch. It was a bountiful array of lettuce, croutons, and parmesan cheese in a marvelous sauce that I would highly recommend. Watching the preparation took me back a few thousand years when this sort of service was most usual in higher-priced restaurants. Fran selected the wedge: a huge cut of iceberg lettuce with blue cheese crumbles and a dressing “on the side”. Her report was quite glowing.
All things being equal, you come here for the steak. There are eight different kinds from which to choose. In addition, you can select chicken, lamb chops, buffalo, pork chop, duckling, short ribs, or fish. It didn’t take me long to select the Bone-In New York: 20 ounces of thick, juicy, deliciously flavorful meat. It’s served with any of seven sauces; I selected the whole grain mustard sauce that complemented my steak beautifully. My lady, ever mindful of her gorgeous figure, requested the Petrale Sole: Two large filets that received two thumbs way high!
Of the sixteen sundry “Sides,” we ordered four: The sweet fries, the garlic French fries, the caramelized wild mushrooms, and the glazed yams with raisons and pecans: Gave an A++ to each of the four. Enough for the next night’s dinner is assured, I promise! Portions of everything are huge, and sharing could be done easily, including the 20-ounce New York. And I guarantee smiles of approval and contentment, owing to the quality and masterful techniques used by their chef.
All 13 desserts are prepared there, and you will not go wrong sharing a piece of their exquisite lemon meringue pie. It reminded me of the pies I used to eat at the Floridian, Californian, or Virginian in good old downtown New York: overwhelming and yummy.
A few nice memories, a heaping portion of satisfying comfort food, dining in relatively quiet surroundings, some excellent service, and good timing by an efficient server all added up to one “powerful” dinner. And the only thing you need to remember is to tell ‘em Joseph sent you!
Nick & Stef’s Steakhouse 330 S. Hope Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071 Tel. 213-680-0330
Open for lunch and dinner every day. Complimentary shuttle available evenings to Staples Center and Theatres. Dinner for two – Approximately $100 w/o alcohol. Sharing recommended!