Rating: 4.25 cows
Attached to one of Los Angeles' more monolithic shopping malls is the location of Steakout XXX: The Capital Grille. The interior is befitting of an upscale steakhouse with a dark, yet comfortable bar area and personalized wine cubbies for those who just can't afford to store their Veuve Clicquot at home. The dining area is a bit brighter, with white tablecloths and visibility into a part of the kitchen on one side.
We arrived on a Tuesday night with a smaller party than usual — just four of us — and the place was modestly occupied. The service was quite good, with a single knowledgeable waiter attending to us. We began with the Caesar salad and a spinach green salad. The Caesar was excellent, with a tangy homemade dressing complimenting the fresh lettuce, cheese shavings and croutons. The spinach salad was also tasty, though it arrived with ample mushrooms which were not on the description. It was sent back and the replacement was much improved.
We each ordered a different steak: the Delmonico Rib Eye, Filet, Porterhouse, and the Wagyu Filet. All steaks were cooked expertly and plated while still hot. Let's get right down to it though: the Wagyu was in a world unto itself, with uncompromising flavor and texture. It was easily the star of the night, especially with its price compared to similar offerings at CUT, Mastro's, or Larsen's. The Rib Eye (bone-in) showed exceptional marbling and was cooked to perfection, juicy and with lots of flavor. Both the traditional filet and the porterhouse were also excellent.
The side dishes were all good, but as usual there was nothing spectacular. Standards like truffle fries, creamed corn (with bacon, naturally), and sautéed spinach were all pretty much what you'd expect. The scalloped potatoes were done a bit differently with a crumble on top, but otherwise it's your typical dish.
For dessert we were craving some ice cream and chocolate, and asked our waiter if we could order a hot fudge sundae even though it wasn't on the menu. He returned to tell us they did not have any fudge, but they were able to put together a respectable showing (though the off-menu sundae ordered from Larsen's remains our favorite).
During our meal we asked our waiter if we would be able to visit the area where the steaks are aged. At first we were told we wouldn't be able to view the aging room, but that we might be able to see the kitchen. By the time we had finished our food it was late and most of the guests had left, and we were allowed behind the curtain to meet chef Brent Jaeger and get a tour of his domain. Lots of delicious steaks-to-be were stored under refrigeration, waiting 21-28 days for their time to be cut, cooked, and served. No photos allowed, but you can take our word for it that these guys know how to prepare their meat.
Overall, The Capital Grille delivered a great experience with some very worthy cuts of steak. It's not going to be an inexpensive meal when you dine there, but that is often the case with great food. And if you've still yet to try your first Wagyu-style steak, this is probably the best deal you're going to find anywhere. Bon appetit!