At Bouchon Beverly Hills, the sole Los Angeles outpost from Thomas Keller, the Napa Valley Vintners hosted lunch with winemakers from their region, along with assorted wine-fueled media types. A prix fixe menu led to some tough decisions, but not for my entrée, where one of the options starred steak. Better yet, my server was willing to sub in crispy, skin-on frites for the prescribed pommes puree, which resulted in delectable Steak Frites.
In their modern kitchen, a Bouchon chef seared a beautiful nine-ounce flat iron steak, layered on caramelized shallots and a thick round of maître d’hotel butter. This compound butter, a rich, creamy butter that classically incorporates parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper, was something the increasingly bygone maître d’hotel would prepare tableside. Not at Bouchon, but regardless, jus from the lean, rosy, medium rare steak melded beautifully with the sweet shallots and increasingly molten butter. Better yet, I was able to run the crispy fries through the resulting sauce, creating a kind of meaty euphoria.