There's No Place Like Flemings
Dining at Fleming's starts when the waiter serves a complimentary platter of vegetables and dip-spreads, and ends when he packs all your leftovers in a pretty black box with aluminum foil, and a bag to carry them in.
The restaurant is slick looking, sophisticated, and handsomely endowed with spacey leather booths, a sensational “full” bar, glass enclosed wine walls, and more glamour than one expects from a steak house. The extra large dining room spaciously sparkles from highly polished woods under huge salad-bowl chandeliers that spread amber hues of light. And there are two private dining rooms adjoining the main area that could accommodate up to 60 people; great for private parties or business meetings. But it's the open brass-stainless steel kitchen with six to eight chefs and cooks that keep the restaurant running like a flawless flexible erector set. And the energy in the room is enthusiastically happy.
It was surprising to find that they have 100 renowned varieties of wine by the glass, with a Reserve List of 80 award-winning wines by the bottle. And you can call for a schedule if you would like to participate in one of their special five course wine dinners.
I can't say enough about the professional help at our beckon call. It wouldn't matter what we asked for. It arrived in minutes.
After years of dietary fads and "spa foods," the Americans got back to basics that embrace hearty portions of meat and potatoes. So it was impressive to know that Fleming's serves the finest USDA prime beef; corn-fed, aged up to four weeks for flavor, then hand-cut daily and broiled at 1600 degrees to seal in the juices. Moreover, the waiter is sure to ask you if you wish your order rare-red, cool center medium rare-red, warm center, medium-pink center, medium-well with slightly pink center, or well-cooked. After a bit of thoughtful thinking we were ready for dinner, and ordered fish!
Our booth was formally set with candlelight and crystal over fine linens, and we were served wine by the glass in small attractive carafes.
This was not my first visit to Fleming's and getting reservations is a "must." Everything is a'la Carte with side orders large enough for sharing. On another occasion we began with a chilled Seafood Tower for two featuring lobster, shrimp, crab, calamari, and other fish in season; it was magnificently dressed and decorated to impress.
This time we enjoyed their creamy tomato basil soup and fabulous French onion soup, baked with Gruyere, Swiss and Parmesan cheeses. I won't go into raptures over each dish because the entire meal was extraordinary. Our huge baked potato came with sour cream, butter, chives, bacon and cheddar cheese. We also shared sauteed mushrooms mixing buttons and Portobello's in garlic.
My entrée was King Crab & Shrimp Scampi. It was all out of the shell, sauced in garlic shallots, and chives. In addition, there was a white wine butter sauce that I had on the side.
Our other entrees were baked California Seabass; also a magnificent Lobster Tail. We ended with their famous chocolate Lava Cake for dessert, made with a molten chocolate center, ice cream and chopped pistachios. At another time I had their spectacular Peach Cobbler; no one does it better, prepared with marinated peach Schnapps, cinnamon and nutmeg, with ice cream and whipped cream.
I was intrigued with their menu of meats, such as the Petite Filet Mignon, (8oz) as well as a 12oz; along with Bone-in Ribeye's from 16oz to 22oz; also Prime New York Strip, 16oz to 20oz. A popular special by the well known Chef Humphrey Lansiquot, (previously of Morton's) is the Beef Flemington, a filet wrapped in puff pastry with mushroom duxelle, (finely chopped mushrooms & spices) also Madeira sauce, "Wow."
Other dishes that made Fleming's popular is their veal and Australian lamb chops; also the double thick 14oz Pork Rib Chop baked with apple cider, Creole mustard, Julienne of apples and celery root. And yes, of course there's a mixed grill.
On other occasions, we enjoyed their Prime Rib Dinner available on Sundays. It's 12-ounces, served with a trio of sauces and choice of salad, (including Caesar) along with a "side" dish and dessert, ($35.95).
It's nice to capture the rapture of a good old-fashioned dinner again! Try one of their romantic Martini's.
Appetizers & Salads; $8.95-26.95 Sides, $6.95-$17.95; Entrees, $25.50-$42.95 for the 22oz.
There are 11-Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bars throughout California. Open 7 days from 5:00pm. We dined at 2301 Rosecrans Ave, El Segundo; (310) 643-6911. Major credit cards accepted; banquets; valet & free self-parking. I especially want to thank the dining room managers for their exceptional help. Thank You Kenyon Paar, Operating Partner!