It should be a given that a steakhouse serves high quality meat, and cuts that you can’t typically buy at your local supermarket, big box store, or butcher shop. What separates steakhouses for me is their sides, which should transcend staid options like the baked potato, creamed spinach, or sauteed vegetables. At The Royce Wood-Fired Steakhouse, situated inside The Langham, Pasadena, chef Perry Pollaci doesn’t settle for simple sides.
One of the sides that impressed me most was one I didn’t even order. It was a side that Pollaci sent to the table: Potato Puree ($9). He started with a huge container of creamy potatoes folded with what was an almost equal amount of brown butter. That meant that the potatoes slid right off my serving spoon and onto the plate. Up top, Pollaci features a crispy thatch of matchstick fries, which bring great textural contrast to the bowl. He garnishes the side with chives, fresh horseradish, and nutmeg. This was a devastating potato preparation, which paired wonderfully with the white oak-grilled Brandt ribeye from Brawley, near the Salton Sea, and would no doubt frighten your cardiologist.