May 2009

STK – Los Angeles (West Hollywood)

STK is SXY. Really SXY. It’s the kind of place where scenesters get papped on their way into the restaurant, wheel and deal while they dine, and then leave in vehicles with tinted windows. The Astronomer and I rarely frequent establishments that are plastered on the gossipy pages of Us Weekly (my favorite tabloid), but when a special invitation is extended, we’ll gladly accept. Let it be known that we are PR-friendly whores.

Our invites to a private blogger dinner came courtesy of Abby of Pleasure Palate on behalf of the One Group. Even though my college economics professors emphasized on more than one occasion that there’s “no such thing as a free lunch,” they never did mention anything about dinner.

The Los Angeles blogging community showed up in full force for the STK event—let it be known that we are all PR-friendly whores. [For a full list of attendees, see below.]

When The Astronomer and I arrived on the scene, we thanked Abby for the generous invite and then joined the crowd of cocktail sipping bloggers mingling at the bar. We were pleased as pie to see some familiar faces in the crowd, including Tony C. and Wandering Chopsticks.

Created by mixologist Pablo Moix, the cocktails at STK are innovative, moreish, and most importantly, stiff as heck. I started the evening off with an Uva Caipirinha (left) with Leblon cachaca, red grapes, lime, and clover honey. The Astronomer sipped an ultra-manly Green Intensity (center) with Aviation gin, lime juice, Serrano chili slices, and basil leaves. Both were potent and tasty.

From the bar area, we made our way into the main dining room. As soon as our lovely waitress Bambi introduced herself and described the night’s offerings, we were presented with STK’s signature bread served in cast iron skillets (left). My first mound of bread was cold, so it was left untouched on my plate. The second hunk was much warmer and tasted even better dipped in the ground chives and olive oil sauce served alongside.

The first appetizer of the evening was a special off-the-menu creation by Executive Chef Todd Mark Miller. It consisted of tomatoes prepared four-ways (right)—dried, marinated, tartare, and plain. Inspired by the BLT sandwich, the plate was also strewn with bacon bits, avocado, basil, and radishes.

The appetizer was presented with a cocktail pairing, La Cienega (top, right), which consisted of Corzo silver, lime juice, cucumber slices, and mint leaves.

The most enjoyable (and memorable) courses of the evening were the ones that arrived early on, before I got smashed. Clockwise from top left: roasted beets (coriander, micro mint, yogurt, curry), tuna tartare (citrus yogurt, jalapeno, orange and plantain chips), arugula salad with apples, and jumbo lump crab salad (green melon, avocado, mache greens and kaffir lime). Everyone at our tabled adored the crab salad. I had seconds of the sweet golden beets.

The cold appetizers were followed up by some really amazing sliders. These Lil’ Big Macs (pardon the silly name) were comprised of tender patties of Japanese wagyu topped with special sauce, oozy cheese, and a slice of tomato, all on a toasted and buttered black sesame seed bun. This was hands down the best item I ate all evening.

And this is where the evening starts getting loud, blurry, and ridiculously fun. Some time after I polished off my Lil’ Big Mac, I started feeling the libations and as a result, forgot how to properly taste food. The evening’s cocktail pairings, which included a Capsicum Mojito (left – Bacardi, lime juice, mint leaves, bell pepper rings), a Great Gatsby (center – Hennessy, Cointreau, lemon juice, orange juice), and an STK’s Delicious (right – Patron XO, raspberries, mint leaves, lime juice), arrived at the table at a faster clip than I could down ’em.

I’d forgotten how much fun binge drinking could be—Thanks for reminding me, Pablo!

Next, we were served something called Cowboy Steak—dry-aged bone-in rib-eye (left)—and wet-aged filet with foie gras butter (right, top). The duo of steaks were served with a selection of sauces, including creamy horseradish, herb Bearnaise, red wine sauce, blue butter, STK, lemon mustard, bold STK, and toasted peppercorn.

As if that weren’t more than enough goodness, we also received platters of organic roasted chicken with turmeric, baby carrots, and chives (left) and red snapper with ponzu and shitake brown butter (right).

To accompany the heaps of meat, we were served sweet corn pudding (left, top), macaroni and cheese (left, bottom), asparagus (center), and Parmesan truffle fries (right).

The final bite of the evening was a hazelnut Pop Tart served with hazelnut ice cream. At nearly midnight, The Astronomer and I stumbled out of STK buzzed and happy.

A special thanks to Abby and the One Group for coordinating this delightful affair.

755 N La Cienega Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90046
Phone: 310-659-3535

STK on Urbanspoon

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13 thoughts on “STK – Los Angeles (West Hollywood)

  1. I don’t know where you’re storing your pictures, but now my company doesn’t allow me to see them….. ::sigh:: where are they stored? Is there a way around it? your blog looks exactly like what I was looking for for a good Vietnamese culinary education. (So far I’m a rudimentary Pho & bun freak). Let us know?

  2. I know I’m late to this party, but I just want to register amusement at your drunkenness. Sounds like too much fun.

  3. Xibee – What a travesty! My photos are on Xanga. Will email you shortly.

    Fiona – WAY too much fun. Work the following day, however, was dramatically less amusing.

  4. James – If you wanna roll with us, you gotta start a food blog and start taking pictures of everything you eat. Or you can take the easy route like The Astronomer did and just date a food blogger 😉

  5. good lord, my mouth is salivating from reading this massive food pornapalooza filled post. i would love to try one of those drinks right now in this hot weather!

  6. Hi all.

    I’ve been trying to decide when to come out…. As a food blogger…Silly people… 😉

    I’ve traveled the world a bit thanks to the military, and my international student friends after the military. Fast forward a few years, my wife and I live for global eating adventures among the locals.

    Last year, after our “religious” family visits around Thailand, I spent several months of searching for an outlet to my travel, food, and culture passion (along with all the pictures of Thailand and the incredible food we eat)…wait I’m hyperventilating again from the excitement of just thinking about it………. I’m okay now.

    My wife gives me that typical look of “I don’t believe you.” Guys, you know what I mean. Then she says, “You’re an IT business guy, why don’t you start a website, be like your heroes, Bourdain and Zimmern, but in a website.” I wish my wife would have taken a picture of my dumbfounded look.

    After our Christmas 08 trip to Southern Japan I decided to start a blog. I completed multiple self taught crash courses on blogging I rolled out my blog I only have two postings so far and much more is coming.

    I was planning to put a few more posts on my blog before telling the world, but the posts on this page (gastronomy) has inspired me to come out, here and now. Gastronomer, you and have been inspirational in developing my passion’s outlet. For this I thank you from the bottom of my gastronomically touring heart.


    P.S. My wife and I eat in Mira Mesa and Convoy Street quite often. You and the Astronomer should try the Food Court in Zion Market (Korean). The Noodles in the black onion sauce are surprisingly good (as shown in the first episode of the Korean Mini Series that is world famous The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince). Another awesome foodie movie I recommend Le Grand Chef. Just click on the title and you can watch it online. Enjoy!

  7. what a gorgeous meal!!! thx for sharing the pics. i’ll add it to my MUST EAT IN LA list that is getting longer by the minute! thanks!

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