From the bustling streets of Times Square to the equally vivacious streets of Hong Kong, people walk around with smiles after enjoying the japanese barbecue cuisine at Gyu-Kaku. The restaurant has more than 700 locations worldwide, each rooted in the belief that some of the strongest bonds between friends are forged at the dinner table. Groups dine on a huge variety of Japanese dishes, from popular meat and veggie dishes such as Harami Skirt Steak, Kalbi Short Rib, and Mushroom Medley - to unique Japanese-American appetizers such as the Spicy Tuna Volcano, Pork Gyoza Dumplings, and Chicken Karaage. The real excitement takes place around individual grills, however, where diners can barbecue their own slabs of filet mignon, grilled ahi tuna, or chicken with basil sauce until they are ideally tender or encircled by on-duty firemen.
Servers hoisting skewers circulate continuously through Samba Brazilian Steakhouse, pausing tableside to carve mesquite-grilled morsels of brazilian sausage, bacon-wrapped chicken, and sirloin steak. Clusters of mod white couches stand out against glowing orange walls, which contain plenty of nooks for groups to squeeze into. Brunch hours offer a consortium of all-you-can-eat meats such as marinated beef and pork. The main course is complemented by unlimited trips to the salad- and Brazilian side dish-buffet, as well as your choice of mimosa, champagne, and sangria. At night, a chorus of smooth-limbed showgirls catalyzes the party with a slight assist from the caipirinha bar's more than 20 versions of Brazil's national cocktail.
The Grill on the Alley recaptures a bygone era; one of crisp white linens, impeccable service, and steaks as big as your head. Inspired by the steakhouses of San Francisco and New York, The Grill’s founders replicated the American tradition in L.A. The first location, which opened in Beverly Hills in 1984, still sits mere steps from Rodeo Drive (four Californian branches now exist, along with ones in Chicago, Dallas, and Aventura, Florida). Though its menu might match Rodeo in sophistication—order the 8-ounce filet mignon, ahi tuna, or a sip of spirits for proof—the staff works hard to maintain a distinctly welcoming, unpretentious atmosphere. And if a constant stream of good press is any indication, they succeed.
Ease into dinner with the smoked-salmon quesadillas ($10) or a jumbo-shrimp cocktail served with spicy diablo sauce ($14). Signature steaks include everything from 12-ounce marbled rib eye ($29) to the lighter 10-ounce filets ($29) for those who accidentally already ate. There are also fish, chicken, lamb, and vegetarian options (from $16). Supplement your protein-packed dishes with sides, including Porterhouse’s infamous fries ($9), broccoli ($6), mushrooms ($9), or grilled onions ($5); or have another steak laid neatly atop your first. You’ll also find a well-edited list of affordable wines priced by the glass and bottle.
Some might say Mastro’s Steakhouse has multiple personalities. On the first floor, dimly lit leather banquettes exude a traditional chophouse vibe. But upstairs, similar décor seems somehow fresh thanks to abundant natural light from panoramic windows. Regardless of setting, the steaks will impress—the largest weighs in at 48 ounces.
Famed chef Wolfgang Puck only backs exceptional restaurants, and CUT continuously proves it deserves the honor. It does so by cutting colossal steaks—which age up to 35 days, then cook over hardwood and charcoal before finishing under a 1,200-degree broiler––and earning high ranks from the likes of Eater and Gayot.