Though meals tend to bring friends together, meals peppered with magnets can push them apart. Enjoy an attractive repast with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of seafood, steak, and oyster-bar cuisine at Culture 22 in Pasadena.
Executive Chef Rahm Fama, a lauded restaurant veteran and star on the Food Network's Meat & Potatoes, mans the helm at Culture 22, crafting a menu of gourmet steaks, burgers, and seafood alongside a fresh oyster bar. The flavorcade begins with a dozen oysters from the bar ($24) paired with bone-in french onion soup enhanced by braised short rib ($9). Moseying onto mains of meaty pastures, diners can indulge in the brown-sugar-marinated pastrami-style flank steak ($18) or the coffee-crusted 12-ounce rib eye rubbed up with New Mexico red chili ($24) and add a crustacean accompaniment of whole Maine lobster ($21) or a half-pound of Alaskan king-crab legs ($15). Diners preferring to ebb their hunger solely via surf may choose an entree of pan-seared salmon chaperoned by clam-chowder linguine ($22). Foodies can pop in during lunch to taste the succulent embrace of one of eight gourmet burgers, including the half-pound brie burger adorned with a yin and yang of strawberry and jalapeño relish ($12).
Culture 22 stocks its carnivore-pleasing menu with porterhouses, bacon-topped burgers, and seafood. Peppercorn-crusted 12-ounce new york steak au poivre bathes in a cognac sauce, and a dozen oysters paired with inventive dipping sauces from the raw bar set taste buds out to sea. The signature New Mexican–style green-chile burger imbues a half-pound of beef with piquant Southwestern flavors, accompanied by french fries that, like wooden boards in a martial-arts studio, are hand-cut. As diners divvy up jumbo cocktail shrimp, servers ferry cocktails and beer to ebony four-top tables set aglow by chandelier and candle lighting.