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Home CA Places CA Meet & Eat Sublime Steakhouses are Plush Spots to Gather a Group

Sublime Steakhouses are Plush Spots to Gather a Group

By Karin E. Baker

Trends may come and go, but the appeal of a perfectly cooked steak endures. These eight steakhouses all offer beautiful, spacious dining rooms perfect for sharing a timeless porterhouse or filet mignon with a group of friends or colleagues. And those who aren’t meat lovers will find options aplenty at each of these spots.

APL Restaurant; Hollywood

Adam Perry Lang’s APL Restaurant has redefined the rules of a steak joint. Lang’s reinterpretation offers sustainably sourced seafood from Dock to Dish LA while paying homage to steakhouse classics from the turn of the 20th century, capping it all off with a French air. Lang dry ages his cuts in a 1,000-squarefoot dry aging environmental chamber, and he even custom forges his own cutlery to ensure that diners slice into his steaks using the best possible knives. Located in the historic Taft Building at Hollywood and Vine, APL seats 143 guests. The loft-like Atrium can be rented for private events, seating up to 70 diners or 120 for receptions. “We love to create menus and beverage packages that are completely customized to elevate the experience,” says Sarah Kim, general manager and director of operations.

Alexander’s Steakhouse; San Francisco

One of San Francisco’s finest beef palaces, Alexander’s Steakhouse is known for its elegance and hand-cut wagyu served with a tasting of salts, and creative cocktails. The newly hired executive chef Eric Upper boasts impressive credentials: after attending culinary school in Italy, he continued to learn his craft at two Michelinstarred restaurants. Herbs, flowers, and, yes, beef fat are elements of the lavish cocktails. World-class wines and rare whiskeys add to the allure of this high-end eatery. Tracey Rice, director of special events, says, “The tri-level space filled with glass, steel and brick gives Alexander’s a modern and contemporary feel, and the hospitality is some of the best in the city.” Alexander’s opulence is perhaps best encapsulated in its glass-enclosed aging room, where cuts of meat hang like fine art in a gallery. Groups can rent out the large dining room, the Wine Library, the 25-seat Board Room or the semi-private mezzanine.

Baltaire; Los Angeles

Brentwood’s Baltaire captures a modern California vibe with its naturally lit indoor/outdoor space while maintaining all the trimmings you’ve come to expect: cushy leather chairs and banquettes, a mirror-backed two-sided bar and even a fireplace. Baltaire is renowned for its Miyazaki A5 wagyu strip loin, but don’t overlook the Snake River Farm rib eye filet and the 35-day dry-aged côte de boeuf. To get things started, savor the tableside Greek salad tossed before your eyes. Sommelier Melanie Kaman has curated a wine list featuring 25 by-the-glass selections from both New and Old World labels. Designed with groups in mind, Baltaire can handle as many as 48 guests in the private Sequoia Room, which sits next to the 3,000-bottle wine cellar, and up to 90 guests on the patio.

Born & Raised; San Diego

Located in San Diego’s superhot Little Italy neighborhood, the two-story Born & Raised delivers style with a Great Gatsby hipster vibe. The décor here is influenced by both art deco and midcentury modern themes. Enjoy the old school tableside service with martinis, Caesar salad and Steak Diane prepared in front of you. Other offerings include the Japanese wagyu, buttery porterhouse, Robuchon mashed potatoes and mushroom fricassee. The open rooftop second story offers great views and accommodates up to 60 people, while the main dining room downstairs can be bought out for groups of up to 100.

Mastro’s Steakhouse and Mastro’s Ocean Club; Beverly Hills and Malibu

The Mastro’s collection of restaurants is well known for delivering a sumptuous dining experience. From the food and cocktails to the décor and service, everything is polished and near impeccable. At Mastro’s Ocean Club in Malibu, feast on dishes like the bone-in Kansas City steak, a rack of lamb or twin lobster tails. The Piano Bar lounge sets a swanky atmosphere nightly, offering a breathtaking ocean view and spectacular sunsets. Private dining rooms are available and the entire space can be reserved exclusively for an event of up to 190 people. In Beverly Hills, Mastro’s Steakhouse offers a posh supper club setting, and private event options for 25-500 guests.

Mr. Lyons; Palm Springs

As is fitting for its location, Mr. Lyons Steakhouse embodies desert glamour. The restaurant began in 1945 as Lyons English Grill. New ownership, a 2015 face lift and a tweaked name have made it enticing to a younger crowd while still welcoming longtime customers with enduring dishes like prime rib, shrimp cocktail and Beef Wellington. During its remodel, owner Tara Lazar created a new hidden bar, Seymour’s, “named for my father, who was very bohemian.” Still retaining some Rat Pack vibes, the décor of Mr. Lyons features green velvet booths, black and white chevron-patterned marble floors and burnished wood aplenty. Two private dining rooms are available to rent for groups.

Nick + Stef’s; DTLA

One hallmark of a great American city is a beloved downtown steakhouse. In Los Angeles, that place is Nick & Stef’s. Executive chef Megan Logan helms a kitchen that excels with various grass-fed cuts, as well as dry-aging techniques and Certified Angus beef. The hits at this luxe steakhouse include a 28-day dry-aged Tomahawk rib chop and an A5 Japanese wagyu, regarded by many as the world’s finest beef. The wine list celebrates more than 500 labels. Nick + Stef’s private dining rooms, one of which includes a sweeping patio, are as modern as the art in the museums of this Bunker Hill neighborhood, and accommodate 12-100 guests.

Selanne Steak Tavern; Laguna Beach

There’s something very special about dining in a historic house. One noteworthy example is Selanne Steak Tavern, occupying a reimagined 1934 coastal mansion on South Coast Highway. Named for co-owner and Hall of Fame hockey player Teemu Selanne, this steakhouse supports local farms and fisheries that engage in sustainable and humane practices. Chef Joshua Severson puts his own distinctive twist on contemporary American steakhouse favorites, including aged prime meats cut to order. Herbs picked directly from the garden are blended into sauces and enhance the signature craft cocktails. The wine list, which has won two Best of Awards of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine, showcases the breadth and depth of California’s wine regions, along with the wines of Burgundy and numerous other regions. Says coowner Kevin Pratt, “Our historic Laguna Beach cottage lends charm to any event and allows meeting planners to select from a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces, including the elegant upstairs dining room, an outdoor veranda, wine room and the handsome tavern bar area.”