“Every day we challenge ourselves to be better than yesterday, it is our job to surprise and delight our guests — to give you what you never knew you always wanted,” Executive Chef Michael Mina states on his website, and dinner at Bourbon Steak does just that.
Mina’s new prime rib roast dinner on Sundays is a wonderful surprise, arriving at your table piping hot on a wood and cast-iron platter. A deep brown crust of Za’atar spices coats the outside, and the inside reveals a juicy, pink center, served with a spiced creme fraiche and shaved horseradish. A faint dry-aged aroma permeates the air. On some evenings the roast is served with Wagyu fat potatoes. However, the night we dined, a plump, warm baked potato with all the fixings was a comforting side dish.
Chef Mina is a celebrity chef who became a restaurateur and cookbook author. As the founder of the Mina Group, his restaurant management company operates more than 40 restaurants worldwide including in Seattle, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami, Scottsdale and Washington D.C.
The luxurious dining room is filled with tables and roomy booths, and a black baby grand piano, which gets played every Wednesday through Saturday, sits near the large bar. The well-trained servers delivered martinis with olives and glasses of red wine to diners enjoying their prime rib.
Mina’s quote again rang true when a complimentary amuse bouche served on a beautiful wood tray arrived. French fries were double fried in duck fat and served with three dipping sauces — chipotle barbecue, garlic aioli and pickle-flavored ketchup. The fries were piping hot, crisp on the outside and soft in the center. The pickle ketchup was my favorite, offering a slightly sweet and sour profile.
When our appetizer of a kale and quinoa salad arrived, I was amazed by how colorful it was with bright red cherry tomatoes, a generous handful on sunflower seeds, sliced radishes, sweet red peppers and avocado adorning the top. A light ginger vinaigrette glistened in the candlelight.
Our server brought one of the restaurant’s new autumn dishes — a savory and rich gnocchi, topped with a bolognese made with the fatty and flavorful cuts of Wagyu beef.
“The gnocchi is not a traditional one made with potatoes, but with flour, and it is very addictive,” the server said. Indeed, it was.
Bourbon Steak offers a variety of Wagyu beef, including a 6-ounce Wagyu rib cap from Japan, an A5 45-ounce Wagyu strip loin from Kentucky and a Black Hawk Farms boneless New York Strip from Australia.
Bourbon Steak also offers high-quality shellfish and seafood. The West Coast oysters arrive with mignonette, and jumbo tiger prawns are served with a gin-spiked cocktail sauce. The half Maine lobster is accompanied with a tongue-tingling dijonnaise.
Mina is known for his ahi tartare with Asian pear, earthy pine nuts and peppers.
Three types of fresh fish are on the menu. I ordered the miso-glazed halibut on a bed of crunchy black forbidden rice, with button-size mushroom caps, Chinese long beans tied in a knot and steamed bok choy. Other fish dishes include a Mediterranean Brandon and a premium Verlasso salmon that is mild and firm in texture, which offers a pleasing, buttery mouthfeel.
Duck lovers will enjoy the spring rolls filled with duck, ginger, chili, shiitake mushrooms, shiso peppers, scallions and cilantro.
Guests looking to end on a sweet note can indulge in a molten chocolate cake sundae with Luxardo cherries or a classic creme brûlée. We opted for a lighter peach and honey almond tart with creme fraiche.
Bourbon Steak L.A.’s prime rib roast platter is $89 on Sundays from 5-9 p.m. $$$ 237 S. Brand Blvd,. (818)839-4130.