I'm usually not a big steak person. In fact, at any given time, I'm on a low-fat, low-calorie, low-carb, low-salt, low-sugar "diet." But a gal's gotta splurge sometimes, right?
Tony's Italian Steakhouse is a brand new restaurant that opened officially this past Friday. I generally don't like going to restaurants as soon as they open since they have a lot of kinks that they haven't completely worked out, but the price and location were right so I figured I'd give it a shot.
The Parking Situation
It's situated on the "cool" part of the Sunset strip near Ketchup and Whiskey A Go Go. It can be easy to miss if you're not paying attention, but there's a vertical sign visible from Sunset Bl that says "Tony's" and a small area to receive valet parking ($5).
Entering, I was pleasantly surprised by the upscale ambiance. It was illuminated with 100s of candles adorning the walls and the tables. The decor was modern with clean lines, but also had that woodsy feel that people expect from a steakhouse. The "bar" area is quite spacious and you don't feel like a second class citizen hanging out there as you can at some restaurants. There's also a baby grand piano near the entryway and a guy was playing lots of soothing covers of The Beatles, Billy Joel, etc. Live music is always a nice touch, especially when it doesn't drown out your conversations. There is a large open kitchen and in front of in front of which was a communal dining area that could easily become a private party space which is surrounded by "open" windows.
Their main schtick that was touted in the press was the fact that you can get a 6oz cut of prime steak (filet mignon, ribeye, sirloin, etc) with 1 starch and a choice of 2 sides for $25. Our meal started off with warm crusty bread with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and sea salt for dipping. I liked that it came in those compartmentalized little plate so the oil and vinegar didn't mix (unless you wanted it to).
The cut I selected was flatiron (aka skirt steak) with glazed carrots, broccolini (aka broccoli rabe) and truffled mashed potatoes. Truffle mash.....aaarrrggghhhh......*drool*. FYI - the mushroom polenta and one other side (can't remember name) is an extra $5, so ask if that matters to you. It was a simple steak and simply dressed which is really the best way since you can actually taste what you're eating instead of having it drowned out in butters and sauces. Med rare was perfectly cooked with just the right amount of the pinkish red center and a salty char to the outside. They also offer a small but well thought out pasta section, because how can they call themselves Italian without pasta, right? I didn't get to try this (though very tempting). Definitely something to look forward to for my next visit :d
They do have a cocktail list, but nothing particularly inspiring - think snoozers like chocolate martinis - BUT you can get any martini of your choice for only $5! And it was a good sized martini... probably around 3-4oz, not those cheap baby kind. I had mine straight up with a twist, a particularly soothing way to melt away the stress that can easily build up foraging through traffic trying to get to this part of town.
We tried 3 different desserts - a grand marnier souffle, a lemon tart, but the standout for us was definitely the molten chocolate cake with olive oil gelato. The gelato tasted like regular old vanilla on the tongue, but it had the nose and finish of olive oil. I know it sounds weird, but it somehow works, trust me :) They also have a butterscotch pudding that I'd like to try out next time. All the desserts range from $5-7.
The damage for this awesome meal of a perfect steak, a strong martini, and several shared desserts was only $40pp(!) after tax and tip. I'm definitely coming back here next time I'm craving a good affordable steak at an upscale spot.
Tony's Italian Steakhouse
8570 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood CA 90069