Manhattan Beach: Steak at The Arthur J.
I’ve been dying to go to The Arthur J. in Manhattan Beach since it opened earlier this year. I just don’t get down to the South Bay much. Still, knowing how much I love MB Post and Fishing with Dynamite, I had to check out Chef David LeFevre’s latest baby, his steakhouse The Arthur J.
And like MB Post and Fishing with Dynamite, the drinks seem immediately familiar. Like the Dia de los Muertos which calls itself a mezcal margarita. If you like twists on drinks, any of these three restaurants are a good place to check out.
Dia de los Muertos – Fidencio mezcal, barbacoa pineapple, habanero, cinnamon
Normally I don’t eat much bread before a meal but the Parker house rolls are a must order with deviled hams. These rolls were pillow-y soft and I had a lot of fun making little deviled ham sandwiches.
If you’re a steakhouse and don’t order a martini, did you really go to a steakhouse? Try the Cone of Silence, The Arthur J.’s take on a Vesper martini.
Cone of Silence – Chopin vodka, No 3 London dry gin, Lillet blanc, cucumber, sage
Admittedly sometimes I order bone marrow because bone luging is so much fun. Keep it classy at Arthur J., however and order the bone marrow toast which comes pre-scooped on toast points. No need to shock the South Bay after all.
A swizzle is a type of mixed drink where it’s been mixed by either swizzling ingredients and ice with a bar spoon to blend or a swizzle stick, a natural piece of wood with starfish like pointed ends. I’ve had plenty of rum based swizzles (The Queen’s Park Swizzle is still one of my all-time favorite drinks) but I appreciate variations so this bourbon one was great.
Drunken Boy Scouts – Eagle Rare 10-Year-Old bourbon, lime, mint, rosemary
When I suggested salad to my dining companion, I was afraid I’d get rejected. However, this grilled treviso turned out to be one of our favorite dishes. We just couldn’t get enough. Wonderful dressing.
And to go with salad, we had the roasted tomato soup which came with a mini grilled cheese on the side. I really liked the not-quite thick soup with a bit of a piquant edge.
The Unveiling Daphne is a tiki-style drink. I’ve been super into tiki lately and I found this drink very refreshing. It feels right at home in the South Bay where palm trees line the boulevards.
Unveiling Daphne – Plantation XO rum, amaretto, pineapple, coconut, nutmeg
We also enjoyed the milk-braised heritage pork cannelloni filled with tender pork. The pasta was nicely al dente and it had a great sauce. I’d order this over and over again.
This Hanky Panky variation is called a Triple Crown. I loved it immediately as I love bitter drinks.
Triple Crown – Nolet’s silver gin, Fernet Leopold, Rabarbaro Zucca, hibiscus
My dining companion and I decided to split the Kansas City strip which was a special cut offered that evening. We also decided to get a couple of toppings including caramelized onions and lump crab. Plus we couldn’t resist sides.
The steak was extremely flavorful and you can appreciate the nice contrast the smooth crab gave to the hearty beef.
We asked for a variety of sauces and my favorite the house Arthur J. steak sauce but it really didn’t need any sauce. Still, it’s hard to pass up exotic sauces like yuzu koshu butter or foie maple butter.
We couldn’t pass up the self-proclaimed butter laden mashed potatoes. I expected it to be rich and got my wish granted but it’s not so overwhelming that you need lipitor.
However, the creamed corn can easily be the most caloric thing we ate that night. And yet I wanted more. When corn is in season, it’s really the best thing to order on a menu… well, besides the Parker rolls, treviso salad and steak!
I don’t think I ever had a prettier pisco sour! Arthur J’s Peruvian Contraband takes the sour up a notch with the addition of grappa. There were also subtle hints of stone fruit which kept it from being too heavy.
Peruvian Contraband – Macchu pisco, Suprema grappa tocai, brown sugar, egg, nectarine
When our meal ended, I really wanted to begin again. It was a wonderful experience and I love that steakhouses are trending again.