Wednesday, February 1, 2012

dineLA 2012: The Capital Grille

I never really crave steak.  It's one of those foods that I don't constantly think about having, but when I have a great one I would truly enjoy it and think about why I never think of having things like that.

For dineLA my friend 'Lindyhopper' - an uber carnivore - sold me on the amazing deal at The Capital Grille (which she goes to every time dineLA rolls around) which offers for $34, a 3-course meal that features a cut of steak that is normally $45 on its own on the regular menu! (The total estimated savings for everything is about $39!!!!!)
We had been at The Capital Grille just before the holidays for an event, which left us with two learnings: (1) we needed to go back for steak asap (their steak sliders were almost life-changing) (2) events like the one we went to were good for takeaway gifts - we paid $10 and each got a $50 gift card to The Capital Grille!  The dining room was wonderfully old school steakhouse - dark woods, dark booths, white linens...
As for the food - we weren't about to waste a course on salads, so we both went for the Clam Chowder.  This soup really highlighted how different Lindyhopper and I are (and still able to be friends for this long - love it!) - we both noted how there were "so many clams" in the soup, but for Lindyhopper this really meant "too many clams" while for me that's what made the soup wonderful (are you crazy Lindyhopper?  You can never have too many clams!)
For our main, we both went for the big ticket item, Bone-in Kona-Crusted Dry Aged Sirloin with Shallots and Butter ($45 on regular menu). Was this the best cut of beef I've ever had in my life?  No - and it was no Kobe nor Wagyu beef either.  But, I had mine cooked medium rare, and when the plate arrived I think it was nearly the size of our heads!  Aside from size, we were also impressed with the flavors of this dish - the shallots and creamy butter sauce was instantly addictive - I wanted to pick up my plate and lick it.
With the meal you get to choose one side each - but they do not skimp on the portion size - we had enough of the mashed potatoes and creamed spinach to get stuffed and then to take the remainder home! 
For dessert, they didn't have the flourless chocolate espresso cake that night, so offered a gigantic slice of Chocolate Hazelnut Cake instead.  The cake and cream were both lovely - tasted like nutella with cake, perfectly paired with the calmly flavorful creme anglaise. Fun to see a Pirouette stick for decor.

Lindyhopper got the creme brulee. The picture doesn't do it justice, but it was a relatively large custard with perfect and delicate sugar crusting that tasted freshly torched.
All in all, a nice meal in a classic joint, with a fab deal that we wouldn't have been able to afford outside of dineLA.

It was also fun checking out the towering wine lockers at the lobby as well - for a moment we imagined what it would be like to visit a place like The Capital Grille so much that you would pay for your own space to store your own wines - so highroller that you get a bronze plaque with your name on it.

Then we came back to reality and were grateful that we had such a great deal on dinner, and were able to not only use one of our gift cards to knock $50 off the bill, but to stack the $5 Amex statement credit, hotel points on my credit card, and points toward an OpenTable certificate.  All that AND FREE valet parking!!! 

I'm not sure I would crave this, but enjoyed it very much while I was there - overall the 3 courses were fantastic and at a great deal!

[For more of my dineLA picks and deal breakdowns, see my post here.]

On a 7 point scale:
Flavor - 6 bites
Presentation - 5.5 bites
Originality - 5.5 bites
Ambience - 6 stars
Service - 6 stars
Overall experience - 6 bites
Price - $$$$ (4 bite marks)
Probability of return visit - 90% (for next dineLA)

The Capital Grille
8614 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048
Ph: 310.358.0650

Parking: Complimentary valet parking next to restaurant

OpenTable: Look for reservations

The Capital Grille on Urbanspoon 

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