A raw steak can reduce the swelling of a black eye just as easily as the charcoal markings of a well-cooked steak can draw it back on. Make artful use of cuisine with today’s Groupon to Cafe La Maze in National City. Choose between the following options:
- For $20, you get $40 worth of steak house fare during dinner.
- For $10, you get $20 worth of steak house fare during lunch.<p>
Cafe La Maze’s history of hosting Hollywood’s finest movie stars since the 1940s lets diners revel in yesteryear’s elegance as they feast on a menu of upscale steak house eats beneath relics of classic cinema. Sidle up to a half-moon booth upholstered in crimson leather as eyes wander across a grill-kissed parade of steaks, including the 14-ounce rib eye ($24.95). Prime rib in constructions such as the 24-ounce grand cut ($34.95) weigh down plates and busies utensils like a finishing school for octopi. While prime ribs arrive beneath a cloak of creamy horseradish or au jus sauce, steaks beg for with a crown of sautéed mushrooms, onion rings, or blue cheese ($2.45 each). Teeth sink into a golden-fried calamari sandwich ($12.95), bookended by a french roll, or dive into a fillet of Icelandic cod ($14.95), which tucks tightly into a sleeping bag of panko breading or Cajun-style spices.
Cafe La Maze’s chandeliers sprinkle gentle pinches of light across a homage to the Golden Era of films and red and gold baroque wallpaper lined with monochromatic photos of midcentury stars. Candles flicker across each glass-topped table as live entertainment, ranging from jazz to karaoke, perks up ears more effectively than Pavlov’s ringtone.
Cafe La Maze
Though at least 130 miles and 80 years of history separate golden-age Hollywood from modern-day National City, Cafe La Maze bridges the gap. During the 1940s, this steakhouse served as a playground for movie stars headed to Tijuana, Mexico. Here, they could tuck in to prime rib and lobster on the lower level, or gamble the night away with card sharks such as the Marx Brothers and eponymous restaurateur Marcel Lamaze in a hidden room upstairs.
Today, diners soak up auras of these legends in the same tufted booths where Bing Crosby and Clark Gable most likely lingered at the eatery's grand opening. Candles, chandeliers, and a golden ceiling cast a warm glow across tables as groups savor shrimp cocktails and slice into juicy cuts of top sirloin, new york strip, and filet mignon. Some evenings live music scores meals, and on karaoke nights guests can harmonize with friends as the portraits that line the damask-print walls try to remember the words. Those seeking a more low-key gathering can book the banquet room, which teems with enough red-vinyl seats for up to 70 close friends or cardboard cutouts of their likenesses.