Summer is birthday time. Most of the people I know, including myself have their birthdays in and around summer time. My birthday dinner? Mine was at L.A. Prime. After much debating and planning on where to go for my birthday, L.A. Prime was a nice fit. It was a steak house, and a carnivore like me would be happy here. It wasn’t one of those steak houses of all steak houses houses (STK, Mastros, Mortons). It was inside the Westin Bonaventure on the 35th floor, which meant the views were spectacular. Just the elevator ride alone to the 35th floor was memorable. I drive by this building almost every single day, and not once have I stepped foot inside. It was cool to see Figueroa from atop and realize, that is where I make a right turn. You notice a lot when you are up this high. I realized I am so blessed and lucky to live in a great city and to be able to eat great food.
We started off with their complimentary bread. The bread was plenty (they refilled it for us) and had a variety. They had a regular french bread, pretzel type bread, herb crisp, cheese bread, and a fruit and nut bread. On the side was butter an an olive tapenade. The bread was a nice start of the meal. My favorite was the pretzel type bread. It was soft and chewy, kind of like a bagel. It was nice to eat some fine bread and butter with a nice cup of sparkling mineral water, overlooking the city.
To go with our bread, we ordered the lobster bisque. Hearing that LA Prime had some awesome lobster bisque, it was a no brainer to order it. The seafood essence was totally overwhelming. The chunks of lobster were plenty, though the lobster flavor was a bit lacking. It looked and felt like lobster, but I couldn’t quite taste it. The creaminess helped a lot with the overall balance of the dish. More spices would have helped with the single noted flavor profile.
We were ready for the main course. The steak! I had my share of steaks, from all cuts of the bull. I am very particular about my steak. It has to be the right texture and have a nice flavor. We opted for the 22 oz. Bone in rib-eye. The steak itself was a nice cut of beef, but I did not like it. The steak was cooked to my liking, medium rare, but there was one huge factor that made me dislike this steak. It wasn’t necessarily burnt, but the steak’s outer crust had a char that was way too overpowering. It had a layer of soot and char, the whole steak didn’t taste like beef at all. It felt like steak, I bit and chewed it like steak, but the char on the outside made it taste very bitter and carbon like. I mean, good barbecue has a nice char-coaled, almost burnt to a crisp outside, but that gives flavor. This was was just all char without the flavor.
The sides were a different story. I am a sucker for mac and cheese, and theirs was decent. Though a bit watery, the noodles were cooked perfectly. It could have been more cheesy, but I can’t complain.
Their creamed corn was different than most, but still amazing. Other places, the creamed corn is more creamy, cheesy, and sweet. This was was more on the corn side as it had a nice crunch. It wasn’t quite creamy nor sweet — more like creamy corn than creamed corn. The creamy corn was a good condiment to the steak.
It was my birthday after all, so the restaurant treated me to a small dessert. This was an amazing treat. The chocolate moose was rich and fluffy, I almost thought it was a really moist cake. The chocolate decor was good to look at and delicious. I really felt special that night.
LA Prime at the Westin Bonaventure is a nice steakhouse. Though their food needs a little bit of a reform, the people who eat here aren’t here the “to die for” steaks and sides — they are here for the view. Yeah, I could have paid almost the same amount at a proper steakhouse, but I would have forgotten about it the next day. Everyone comes here for the amazing view of the city. Taking that elevator ride up, sitting down, looking at the city in the city during sunset, that is what we come here for. That is what I remember. It was a beautiful night, and a wonderful birthday.