E3rd Steakhouse & Lounge
Four of us found our way to the e3rd Steakhouse & Lounge on a quiet Sunday evening. Located in the heart of the Arts District, it is on a triangular block at 3rd and Alameda in the middle of criss-crossing one-way streets. But I will ignore no place calling itself a “Steakhouse”, especially one that offers practically priced Asian marinated beef or pork steaks and ribs!
This one-year-old Korean Asian-fusion establishment fills 5000 sq. feet of an updated, historic 1920’s building. Organic and woodsy, it has a long, narrow entrance with a row of private banquettes, a sleek center bar and dining area, and an enclosed outside patio, if that is your pleasure. Because it was Sunday and 5:30 p.m., we literally had the place to ourselves. We examined the menu to the strains of Sinatra by candlelight and flashlight until the lights were turned up from the club atmosphere of the Saturday night before.
Like many other new restaurants, appetizers and salads are profuse with 14 starter plates. The restaurant offers Three "Classic Steaks", seven "Signature Entrees" (3 beef, 3 pork, 1 chicken) and three sandwiches, generous enough in size for lunch or dinner or to share.
We ordered the Alba-Cado of seared, seasoned albacore tuna wrapped in avocado and drizzled with their house Oonagi Sauce. This dish is a showstopper, and an even better tasting avocado wrap with a hefty portion of albacore tuna. The sauce adds extra spice, which is delicious. (11.95)The Ahi Tuna features Sushi grade seared pepper ahi tuna topped with orange miso vinaigrette. If you like Ahi, you'll love this quite spicy dish…I promise! (9.95)
Kimchi Fillet Mignon presents a mini filet entrée without filling you up. A fan of eight thinly-sliced pieces of tender and tasty fillet are served with a generous portion of Kimchi mashed potato in a house steak sauce. Next to it is a pretty mound of mixed greens with tomatoes. Chef Steven Choi’s artistic presentation makes it as beautiful to look at, as it is to eat. (14.95)
The double crunch Shrimp Tempura is one of the most popular dishes at sister restaurant, Zip Fusion, down the block. : Four jumbo-tiger shrimp, jacketed in an extra-crunchy, “lighter-than-air batter.” They fibbed a bit here for the batter may have been the thickest coating I've tasted though they told the truth about the shrimp, which are quite good. (9.95)
Each of us selected a different entree and the reports from all four indicated excellence in every detail. Chef An's Imperial Ribs are two of the largest, most succulent braised short ribs we’ve ever eaten, served on the bone in an exquisite, sauce. With an addictive fruit marinade, the dish was the inspiration that led owner Jason Ha to create e3rd Steakhouse: Please don't miss this one! (22.95)
Asian pear and honey marinated Pork Lover's Steak is one of the Signature entrees: A huge slice of tender pork steak. This was the piece d'resistance. Everyone had to have a taste.- Magnifique – We all liked it! (22.95)
Prime Grade Rib Eye (29.95) and the New York Strip (24.95) are two of the excellent classic cuts of beef. Two sides are served with each entree and we chose their French Fries (A++), onion rings (A++), rice (A), string beans (A+) and Kimchi Mashed Potato (what's the use to talk?)
Our chef's designed a platter of assorted esserts that wrapped up one sensational meal.
Steakhouse & Lounge is a hard place to find. But once you're there, you've discovered one very excellent restaurant where the memory of the food will linger long after you leave. Do tell 'em Joseph-San sent you. As you leave, you'll be joining Sinatra as he sings, "Heaven! I'm in Heaven!"
3rd Steakhouse & Lounge, 734 East 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013, Tel. 213-680-3003 Open for lunch and dinner Approx. $100 for two w/o alcohol. For more information, visit www.eastthird.com