Saturday, May 18, 2024

Restaurant First Look: Catch Steak

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Traditional steak houses are where deals get done. There are also those raucous family restaurants. Then there’s Catch Steak, which comes with a soupcon of sex appeal, already attracting a glamorous crowd to see and be seen. The food is at the center but the high-energy crowd makes the place hum. This is a destination restaurant—dressy and at the same time, high-spirited.

At the entrance to the 10,000-square-foot space is a glitzy bar with couples nuzzling and singles mingling. The large dining room is rimmed with banquettes and tables in the center. The garden room beyond has green banquettes and lush plantings. Even on a Wednesday night, the buzz goes up a notch at 8 p.m; every seat is filled, drinks are poured and orders are brought as waiters rush plates of beef and creative sides to a hungry crowd. 

The music is hip, just loud enough, and the clientele tends to include dressed-to-the-nines ladies and their beaus. There’s s a table of single women looking like a night of clubbing will follow. In a cozy corner, a well-known plastic surgeon whispers to his much younger date. You can’t miss “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” himself, Rod Stewart at a table up front. And the manager is everywhere, greeting old friends and new ones along with his second in command.

Start with a lively cocktail ($20) and move onto the 500-item wine list with many of their best bottles on display up front. We chose single glasses from a thoughtful selection of domestic and European options ($18-$36) and settled into the menu. Many appetizers are from their original restaurant, Catch, a seafood house around the corner. Seafood starters are too often passed over at steak houses but our selections of Sizzling Shrimp ($32) and the Catch roll ($24) were a tasty beginning. 

There are some vegan options including a Vegetarian or Vegan Chicken Parm with Old School Red Sauce ($34) but cow meat is the undisputed king here. With a preference for dry aging, our waiter, Austen, helped us choose Bone-In Cowgirl Rib Eye ($63). As promised, we found it to be a bit leaner than most rib eyes and a perfect medium rare. We went classic with Béarnaise sauce ($7) and a twice-baked potato ($15) for a side. If you wanted to share with a group, the 32-ounce Porterhouse ($155) might be just the thing, or go smaller with a filet ($68) for one.

Looking around the room, it’s apparent that customers here are accustomed to the best. Their expectations are being met with polished service and unbeatable food. Even the smallest steak is presented with a flourish along with perfectly cooked sides. You’ll not find a lot of plates sent back; more likely, they’ll go back clean. 

Like all intriguing restaurants, there are a few secrets. Austen told us about the Ricotta Tortellini ($25), a house gem that’s often overlooked. And the manager invited us up to a private room above the dining room with a view of the entire floor. Drenched in scarlet, this upstairs space is ideal for a party or special cocktail gathering. Lined with portraits of beloved dogs, it has a sense of humor and exclusivity added to the promise of fun. Yes, there’s a secret entrance for celebs (we’re not telling) and plenty of celebs are using it (they’re not telling.) 

If you’re looking for dinner that promises unbeatable people-watching with outstanding food, the glam Catch Steak is the place. 

Catch Steak, 650 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood 

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