Beverly Hills Home For The Perfect Steak
If you want the perfect porterhouse steak, Porterhouse Bistro in Beverly Hills will show you how it's done! The former space of Bistro Italia on Wilshire Boulevard was taken over two and a half years ago by CEO, Alvin Cheng and Director of Operations & Management, Bobby Burton. Cheng adapted the idea of the prix fixe menu from a popular overseas steakhouse chain and decided to test this popular dining craze in the United States. Burton, who has worked with some of L.A.'s top chefs, like Joaquim Splichal of Patina, created the daring menu to ensure best value for the quality. Being relatively new, Porterhouse Bistro's "prix fixe" menu has done extremely well in terms of introducing themselves into the mainstream culture and is looking to expand nationwide.
The interior design of Porterhouse Bistro is simple, yet refined. Unlike most steakhouses catering to the dark, Godfather-like settings, this restaurant is well lit, warm, and very relaxed. White linen tablecloths draped over the rich chestnut brown tables and booths are all graced with illuminating candles. Small abstract art paintings sitting over the milky yellow walls are balanced by numerous eye catching and crisp white floral arrangements scattered throughout. The large French windows give diners an opportunity to relax as they watch the comings and goings of busy Wilshire Boulevard. The casual and relaxed ambiance is received well by patrons of the restaurant, as one can see from the convivial atmosphere of each table.
Our waitress was exceptionally accommodating and helpful in explaining the menu. All items are offered a la carte, but the infamous prix fixe menu is the star of the show. The prix fixe menu is what sets Porterhouse Bistro apart from the other numerous steakhouses because it offers an exceptionally great four-course meal, complete with a soup or salad, entrée, 2 drinks (yes, that includes alcohol - cocktails and house wines), and dessert, for an unbeatable price. For $29.50 per person, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and the weekends for $39.50 per person, you cannot find a more delectable deal elsewhere.
Our drinks were ordered and delivered promptly. A good selection of house wines such as Pepperwood Grove Zinfandel, Blake Wesley Merlot, and Lapis Luna Cabernet are available. The wine list itself has a variety of reds and whites to please, and some excellent bottles to choose from, ranging from EOS Cabernet to high-end winners like Stag's Leap or Caymus.
Traditional French baguette from La Brea Bakery arrives in a basket accompanied with dipping sides. The fresh checca with roma tomatoes, basil and olive oil was light and summery while the dark, rich olive tapenade made for a good spread. Our favorite was the whole roasted garlic, when peeled from its papery shell, were golden cloves that melted softly in your mouth, without being overly pungent or striking to the palate.
For starters, we chose their signature Porterhouse Salad and Onion Soup. The Porterhouse Salad consisted of fresh mixed baby greens tossed with cherry tomatoes in a light balsamic vinaigrette, sprinkled with bleu cheese. I enjoyed the light dressing as it held just enough flavor without being too tart as some are. Simple, yet satisfying. Another favorite is the Porterhouse Onion Soup, sealed with a parmesan puff pastry that is crisped to a golden hue, capturing the sharp nuttiness of parmesan within the pastry layers. Underneath, the steaming beef broth is robust and richly flavored with a heap of soft sautéed onions.
Recommended by our attentive waitress, we ordered the ever so popular prix fixe 26 oz. Porterhouse Steak for two. Bobby Burton, who occasionally greets patrons of the restaurant while dining, offered us his two cents, "We do the porterhouse steak right. You won't find a better porterhouse elsewhere." The large porterhouse is presented on a large sizzling 500-degree platter slightly tilted, displaying the New York strip neatly and even sliced off the bone (to prevent squabbling they say) with the Filet Mignon still attached. The popular routine of distinctly grilling and broiling their steaks, and then serving them with garlic and shallot infused natural oils is one of their culinary secrets.
The award of the night most definitely goes to the Porterhouse Steak. The cracked black pepper crust on each slice accentuates the tasting experience by bringing out the full, juicy flavor of this wet aged steak. As my carnivorous instincts inhaled the aroma of the steak and savored each piece, I was impressed that the pre-sliced steak remained moist and juicy without any portion being tough or going dry throughout the meal. Personally, I find steak at its best when rare, and here it was done exactly to my liking; tender to the bite with just a slightly cool center. Moving onto the filet mignon, we cut apart the filet and were immediately awed by how extremely tender and rich the meat was throughout with a consistent beefy flavor.
Accompanying our dinner party are the popular sides of Sautéed Mushrooms and Porterhouse Fries. The halved brown Italian mushroom caps sautéed with olive oil, parsley, and garlic captured just enough of its plump earthy flavor and juices without being limp and soft. The golden orange thick steak fries arrives in an edible crisp "fry" basket held by skinny fries batched together. These Porterhouse Fries are by far the best I have tasted anywhere, prepared with their special batter mix, they are perfectly crispy on the outside, and utterly soft and fresh on the inside. To my liking, they are not overly salted or thickly seasoned, but just right with a hint of salt and parsley.
Clearing away the feast of the Gods, we ordered their signature desserts, the Chocolate Lava Cake and the Crispy Apple Tart with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, not forgetting the coffee of course. If your sweet tooth is aching to be soothed, try the Chocolate Lava Cake, which oozes out a warm and creamy chocolate sauce that is beyond rich. The Crispy Apple Tart consisting of phyllo dough and warm apple slices with a hint of cinnamon is not excessively sweet. Compliments of the manager, we received an order of crème brulee, soft, creamy, fluffy vanilla crème flambéed for a light caramelized sugar crust. To top the night off, a large blue cotton candy concoction with a candle was set on our table. Apparently this is a tradition for kids and special occasions that puts a bit of fun back into dessert. While creating the menu, Burton wanted to break the pretentious mold of the Beverly Hills dining atmosphere by introducing cotton candy to get patrons to loosen up and have a good time. Good move!
Taking my final sip of coffee, I felt content, serene, and already looking forward to my next visit. Where else can you find a relaxing atmosphere, great service, and an unbelievable top quality prix fixe steak menu that leaves you watering for more? Come here and find out for yourself! Porterhouse Bistro is open daily for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. For more information, visit their web site at www.porterhousebistro.com.
8635 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90211