BLT Steak takes over a legendary Sunset Strip address from Le Dome.
Since 2004, Manhattan-based chef Laurent Tourondel has built a culinary empire under his BLT (Bistro Laurent Tourondel) brand. The classically trained Frenchman now has over 10 restaurants in cities as far afield as San Juan, Puerto, including BLT Steak, BLT Fish, BLT Prime, BLT Market and BLT Burger. Last year, Tourondel transformed Le Dome – a stuffy Sunset Plaza temple of haute cuisine – into a contemporary steakhouse. Due to the trendier-than-thou location, BLT Steak was off my radar, but after seeing the enticing $44 menu on the dineLA Restaurant Week website, dinner there made much more sense. BLT Steak ended up delivering one of the best meals of Restaurant Week.
We were seated at a banquette in a dining room designed for people watching. The paper BLT Steak menu put us at ease, featuring a cow-cutting diagram of cows, which was both original and educational. At the hostess stand, they stock a smaller version, which lists the percentage yield from each cut of beef.
BLT Steak certainly delivered some of the best freebies in recently memory, beginning with a rich chicken liver pate, which we all slathered on crisp toast.
Better yet, BLT Steak features one of the best bread courses in restaurant history: pull-apart Gruyere popovers arrived hot, eggy and crusty. The popovers were so good that it was painful to see one sit dormant at an adjacent table. We were also tempted to hijack a server’s steaming tray as he walked by. Turns out there was no need; Tourondel generously provided the recipe. 8 eggs? No wonder they tasted so good.
The knockout Restaurant Week starter was definitely Wild Mushroom Risotto. The grains featured just the right bite and arrived bathed with Mushroom Cappuccino and plumed with a chewy Gruyere tuile.
Hanger steak was broiled at high heat until perfectly charred, served in a skillet with intensely flavored shallot marmalade, a roasted garlic bulb and Pommes Lyonnaise made with fingerling potatoes. We received a choice of sauces from the regular menu. I opted for a pitcher of Argentine-style chimichurri, olive oil loaded with parsley and garlic.
Nothing says celebration like warm, sugar-coated donuts.
Tangy Lemon Vanilla Panna Cotta was layered with grapefruit segments and ringed with pomegranate seeds.
Espresso brownies came with the check and reinforced my belief that sweet chocolate and bitter coffee are a great match.
This meal definitely exceeded expectations. It’s hard to remember a better steak in the past few years. Sunset Plaza is still a turnoff, considering all the vamping and shameless displays of self-importance, but thanks to BLT Steak, the strip finally has a substantial draw. My only complaint: that stellar hanger steak isn’t on the regular menu.
February 13, 2009 at 2:15 PM
Hey Josh, thanks for the heads up! Maybe I will BLT instead now. Thanks!
February 12, 2009 at 10:56 PM
Hey Josh, it was great to meet you last night! Great time!
As in for the other restaurant to try out, I was hoping to hit up another steakhouse in Pico Rivera, Del Rae. I have heard good things about this Old school steak place. I figure if filet mignon was my option, then this place would be trying. I’ll see if I can take advantage of DineLA for BLT and Del Rae. Nick and Stef’s is on the radar too for me.
Yes I know, steak is on my mind. LOL
February 13, 2009 at 10:23 AM
I actually went to Dal Rae for Restaurant Week and had a negative experience, which is why you won’t find a review on Food GPS. Their pepper steak is good when it’s right, but BLT Steak is clearly better.
February 8, 2009 at 4:12 PM
Thanks for writing this review. I told the Gourmet Pig that this place was one of the other steak place I want to hit after our meal at Wolfgang’s. The Hanger Steak looked good. This place is definitely on my list to try out.
February 8, 2009 at 9:01 PM
Glad you like the review. BLT Steak’s hanger steak is one of the best steaks I’ve eaten, but it’s not on the regular menu, so if you’re interested in trying it, Restaurant Week is the time. What other restaurants are on your to-try list?
February 6, 2009 at 5:31 PM
oh those popovers are heaven! I have to get back and just eat a plate of those with the chicken liver. : )
February 6, 2009 at 5:05 PM
I was trying to make those popovers last night. The recipe isn’t too complicated…also I regret getting the donuts…that panna cotta was actually really good.
February 6, 2009 at 5:10 PM
Other options that people ordered weren’t as remarkable, but my choices all paid off in a big way.
February 6, 2009 at 4:59 PM
Definitely an excellent steak. I would love to return for a celebratory evening. Great dining with you…my review coming…soon….as usual.
February 6, 2009 at 5:02 PM
Thanks. Looking forward to reading your review. Part of the fun was definitely who I was with.