For attentive, efficient and confident service, along with delightfully tasteful live music, an elegantly stunning bar display, and one of the most scrumptious filet mignons in town, Mastro’s Steakhouse is always a winner. Ambiance, tone and overall presentation remained unmatched in my book, not to mention the large martini shaker remains on the table for your own copious second pour! While I’ve yet to be hit with a less-than-thoroughly satisfying experience at Mastro’s, it’s a safe bet to say I never will, thankfully enough.
Tag Archives: large martinis
I’ve been meaning to mention yet another dining establishment that’s, well, worth a mention. “If you happen to find yourself anywhere near Westlake Village” is what I was about to say, until to my surprise at not already knowing, The Grill On The Alley is happy to welcome us to multiple locations.
A modern-day upscale American grill is how I myself might choose to describe it. It’s as if large seating areas, contemporary espresso-colored woodwork and elaborate bar displays have propelled my much-revered Musso’s or Tadich well into the 21st century, while maintaining a classic Chicago-style menu. This means, naturally, that the selections are vast and the portions more than ample. Simply put, you WILL be fed, and in style to boot!
The proper balance of modern and classic is always important. At The Grill, “modern” means the martini glasses are at least 10 ounces and filled to the top, versus those irksome 7-ounce glasses at the old-school establishments. Then, “classic” means The Grill offers a delicious calf’s liver entrée. Any guess at what I ordered?
The Grill On The Alley clearly succeeds in this balance. While looking forward to my next visit, I won’t have to return to Ventura County, as San Jose is much closer. Then of course, I’m confident that any location is just as “famously American” as the next.
And that’s my own balanced opinion.
Less for More?
It’s what happens when I’m away from West Hollywood for an extended period: The Abbey remodels, expands, and changes its menu, again.
I don’t recall exactly the last time I visited the Abbey before my lunch yesterday. Even when I still lived in L.A., my visits grew rare. As such, it had been quite a while for me, as I arrived yesterday to multiple changes in progress.
The bathroom area expansion appears sensible and well designed. The new VIP “peninsulas” may be the preferred place to sit, if you don’t need much table space. I miss the island bar, though not nearly as much as I do the cozy lounging cabanas. The latter have been replaced by large tables and bench seating, sans curtains. It’s just not the same.
Also not the same is the menu, as it’s undergone yet another reinvention. While the BLT and burgers remain ample in portion, the famous heaping pile of nachos has been cut down in size by almost half, now with a higher price to boot. Don’t you just love getting less for more? Thankfully, the martinis have not been scaled back, while holding steady at a barely-palatable $12. I recommend the cucumber.
Perhaps I’ll pay another visit in a few months when I’m back in town again, at which time all the current rear bar construction will no doubt be complete. Then, perhaps, the Abbey will have finally grown to its limit, or not. I have a feeling the menu will look different, if not offering less for more.
And that’s my hungry and thirsty opinion.