Los Angeles is experiencing a steakhouse renaissance, and one of the most luxurious new entries is Alexander’s Steakhouse, a Bay Area import that strives for an elevated experience. A bull logo greets diners at Pasadena’s Plaza Las Fuentes, in the shadow of a handsome stone church. The contemporary space features an open kitchen fronted by shimmering silver tiles, hockey puck shaped chandeliers hanging from a peaked ceiling, and a glass-fronted wine closet. Chef Matt Bata serves legitimate Wagyu beef from several Japanese prefectures, and another differentiator from most L.A. steakhouses is bar manager Erik Lund‘s cocktail program, which is probably the best bar program at any L.A. steakhouse.
The bound Alexander’s Steakhouse cocktail menu includes Citrus and Aromatic drinks, plus a choice to submit to omakase (“allow us to craft something for you”). I opted for an existing prescription. Summer Smoke ($13), named for the smoky nature of agave-based mezcal, joined a savory, refreshing blend of heirloom tomato juice, watermelon, and Fresno chile. Lund served this summery drink in a rocks glass with a large rock and salt rim that had me dip my beak repeatedly in the cocktail to quench my thirst, like a Drinking Bird.