But let's start with the dineLA dinner - as this is the last day of the Summer rotation of dineLA, and you still have a chance to experience Alexander's fantastic six-course prix fixe! (It was so epic that I've already repeated a visit within two weeks.)
The fine dining experience kicks in right from the start with an amuse bouche of uni dashi panna cotta topped with negi (a Welsh onion).
In this bowl: hokkaido brioche, squid ink bread, caramelized onion and garlic cheese rolls. The hokkaido brioche was a warm fluffy cloud of deliciousness that brings me back to my childhood fav (Hong Kong natives may get the reference to Panash's hokkaido bread). The rolls had just the right amount of cheese, at just the right balance of chewy and crisp.
Then there were the butters, in order of our unanimous favorites: Italian beef fat whipped butter with pieces of dried beef mixed in; honey butter served in a bone segment; Straus butter with sea salt. I wish they would sell the whipped beef butter to us by the tub because I would just spoon it all day.
For me, it was wagyu or nothing. With all the preceding courses and dessert still to come, I didn't need to go for quantity as steak doesn't taste good the next day anyway - and the last time I had been to Alexander's, their Miyazaki A5 was the best steak I had ever tasted in my life.
Plus, the same size of Kagoshima on the regular menu runs for $98 - so getting this same dish for dineLA ($115 for 6 courses total including the steak) is an incredible deal. This was perfectly marbled, exquisitely flavorful steak and one no foodie should miss especially during dineLA.
Also, I should mention that Alexander's is one of few steakhouses in LA that has an incredible craft cocktail program, headed by Erik Lund at the attached Bull and Barrel bar. Celery is my favorite so far, made with tequila, celery, lime, serrano, with a salt rim: a refreshing savory / spicy drink that exemplifies the creativity that runs through every plate but through every glass. Arrive early for dinner, and hang out at the bar if you are into whisky - Erik will likely have a bottle or three of hard to find whiskeys for you to taste. As in, he actually goes to invite only whisky barrel auctions to score spirits you may have never even heard of.
All in all, an amazing experience and deal, and I would definitely return again soon, for dineLA or any other special occasion!
On a 7 point scale:Flavor - 6.5 bites
Presentation - 6.5 bites
Originality - 6 bites
Ambience - 6 stars
Service - 6 stars
Overall experience - 6 bites
Price - $$$ (4 bite marks)
Probability of return visit - 100%
111N Los Robles Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101