A Stylish Tasty (k)Night at STK Los Angeles on La Cienega Blvd.
STK on La Cienega near Melrose is the kind of place one of the stars from The Hills would hang out: there's music pumping, low lights, chic, white pleather booths. The restaurant/bar is styled to the nines like the clientele. You go here to be seen or impress someone who actually cares about a scene. Out-of-towners who want a "very LA" restaurant would appreciate STK, even though there's one in New York, Miami and Las Vegas. It's also a great restaurant for large groups of people who don't know one another. The music is so loud you don't need to talk much, just smile and look pretty.
Most surprising about the restaurant were a few star dishes. We started off with homemade bread served in mini cast-iron pans. Then the chef flexed his culinary muscles with Tomato 4 Ways: a tomato salad using tomatoes prepared 4 different ways (marinated, flash fried, dried and tartare). I was impressed with the layers of flavors and beautiful presentation. Too bad that dish is not on STK's menu. Perhaps STK will make it on request. Tip: call ahead and ask.
The Lil' Big Macs, Japanese Wagyu with special sauce (similar to thousand island dressing) served on sesame buns were scrumptious. I was particularly impressed with the black sesame seeds on the bun, not the run of the mill ones you see everywhere else.
The Fillet at STK was better than the one I had at Maestro's in Beverly Hills a couple days before. There were 8 sauces to choose from: Creamy Horseradish, Herb Bearnaise, Red Wine, STK, Lemon Mustard, Bold STK, and Toasted Peppercorn. I didn't taste any of them since the beef was great on its own. The Parmesan Truffle Fries were decadent, crunchy with a dash of truffle flavor, thankfully not overwhelming. I was less impressed with the Jumbo Lump Crab and Organic Arugula salads, both made with a heavy hand on the dressing. The Sweet Corn Pudding was one of the group's faves. Oops, one of the few things I neglected to try (there was a ton of food).
Cocktails were fun and creative. Market-fresh ingredients being the trend in cocktails nowadays, I loved the slice of yellow pepper that lay on the rim of the Capsicum Mojito (Bacardi, lime juice, and mint leaves).
Full disclosure: Usually I go incognito to restaurants and pay for my meals. This time, I was there for a dinner that STK was hosting. We feasted on many menu items as well as fresh cocktails. Thanks to Abby for coordinating the event.
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STK - LA
755 N La Cienega Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069