I did a quick jump to LA to attend a panel and have dinner with two of my close friends, D and R; it was nearing his birthday and he hates celebrating, so they bought me dinner. That’s my kind of friend!
Normally we hit the master or the alternative, but this time, we opted for a place called BOA. I love staying in Santa Monica – I remember back in the good old days, I’d get the corporate rate at Shutters, stay the long weekend and the money I saved on airfare, I spent on the hotel. And my girlfriend, now Ms. B, would come out. This time I stayed at the Biltmore, a long way from Shutters, but surprisingly not bad.
BOA’s next to Sushi Roku, owned by the same folks apparently. R had recently gotten back from French Laundry, and both have eaten more Kobe and Wagyu beef than I have. On the other hand, I’ve been to the temple, Luger’s, while they haven’t. They were busy extolling the virtues of the stuff; at least once they hit the Kobe while on Microsoft’s tab. That’s the way to do it.
BOA, like LA, is a bit of a scene; the hostess, an Asian woman with cleavage (?!?!?) made me wonder as I often do in LA, if those were real. It’s loud, sort of slick, and yet the ‘heavyset’ guy with the ‘tacky’ looking date looked like then could have been from Jersey and the back of TimeOut NY, if you know what I mean. She had the practice-honed walk according to R, apparently she knows of such things.
We all split an order of raw oysters; they were pretty good. I had the Wedge, iceberg + blue cheese, you can’t go wrong with the nutritionally vapid. Sides: sautéed seasonal mushrooms, mac ‘n cheese and … I can’t remember. Jesus. I’m guessing it was a vegetable, so let’s just say asparagus. Besides, no one goes to a steakhouse for sides, right? And I do know we didn’t finish them.
D and R ordered the filet, and because I think the filet’s tender at the expense of flavor, I ordered the 40 day dry aged New York Strip. Rare, of course. It lacked the intense char of the Luger and Luger spin-off ovens, which at its best, contrasts the pungent crunch with the sweet buttery flesh. It was perfectly serviceable, and the company was great (we talked shop most of the night), and I got to see my two friends in couple-ness. (They just moved in together.)
It is a reminder that LA’s a sushi and Mexican food town. LA sushi crushes NY sushi for the most part (each sushi order is 2 pieces!), though there are some local stalwarts (including our own Sasabune). Mexican? That’s as lopsided as the recent Knicks-Celtics debacle. New York is a steak city – Old Homestead and Craftsteak are near my new office, and of course Ben & Jacks, Wolfgang’s, I’ve yet to try Blair Perrone or MarcJoseph are all offshoots of the beloved cranky Luger’s. (D did go to Ben & Jacks at our friend’s bachelor party.)
We went back to D & R’s house, I had a cellophane-wrapped Japanese cream puff (like Beard Papa) which was delicious. Hung out, then called a cab back to the hotel. Flight was delayed out of LAX, deplaned and wandered off and had a burger at Ruby’s, skipped the meal in United business class – breakfast is the worst of the food service in any class.
Once again, no camera, too dark for my phone and R didn’t bring hers, for once.BOA – Santa Monica
101 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401