Restaurant: Wolfgang Puck’s Cut [1, 2]
Location: 9500 Wilshire Blvd. Beverly Hills, California 90212. P: 310-276-8500
Date: February 1, 2019
Cuisine: Steak House
Rating: Top quality
It’s been since 2012 that the Foodie Club has been to Cut and so this year for Erick’s birthday we decided to hit it up again.
Cut is located inside the Beverly Wilshire Hotel (think Pretty Woman) and is Wolfgang Puck’s take on redefining the American Steak House. In this, it succeeds very well. While it adheres to the Steak House basics: slabs of beef served plain on the plate, Cut upgrades things in a number of ways. But we’ll get to this in good time.
Fancy cars in the causeway.
They don’t build ’em like they used to!
We were early and had this view for half an hour while waiting to sit.
The dining room looks light in this photograph but it wasn’t! And they didn’t allow flash, so the photography was challenging to say the least. I had to shoot mostly wide open at 1.8 and so depth of field is tiny.
The current menu.
Erick brought as bonus: 2012 Georges Laval Champagne Les Hautes Chevres. VM 94. Laval’s 2012 Brut Nature Les Hautes-Chèvres, 100% Pinot Meunier, is a dense, powerful wine. The old-vine gravitas of this site, planted between 1930 and 1971, comes through loud and clear in the wine’s ample frame. Dense, powerful and broad on the palate, the 2012 is all class. Dried pear, hazelnut, smoke and dried herbs add tons of complexity. The finish is substantial and intense in all of its dimensions.
Cheesy puffs as an amuse.
Smoked Burrata Cheese. Oro Blanco, Cara Cara Oranges, Tangerines, Charred Fennel. Everyone has a burrata salad but this was a good one — what you can see if it in focus. Colorful, and the combination of greens, cheese, and citrus was nice.
Sea Urchin. Horseradish custard, dungeness crab, bergamont vinegar, avocado. This was more crab than uni by a long shot but was delicious.
And sadly you really can’t see much at this depth of field.
Bread sticks and pretzel bread. I love good pretzel bread.
Wine service started off a touch slow, but was very good, and they have us our own sidecar table and multiple decanters.
Speaking of the wine, Seb convinced us beforehand to coordinate a 4 bottle mini vertical of Château Léoville Las Cases. He, Erick, and I brought them and I swapped an extra one with Erick’s friend Sijie Xiang — who brought me an excellent non-LLC bottle of Bordeaux in exchange.
From my cellar: 1985 Château Léoville Las Cases. VM 96. The 1985 Léoville Las-Cases is quite simply one of the finest Saint-Julien wines of the decade and over a dozen encounters have reaffirmed this as the most pleasurable Las-Cases ever made. This is a stupendous bottle, perhaps the best that I have ever encountered. It has a brilliantly defined bouquet that soars from the glass: red berry fruit, crushed stone, pressed flower, a hint of blood orange and woodland aromas. You could nose this all day. The palate is medium-bodied with the depth and structure one expects from this Second Growth. But what the 1985 has in spades, a virtue not always found at this address, is charm. Silky smooth in texture, the pure red fruit seduces the sense with a shimmering sense of energy on the finish. It is drinking now after three decades and based on this showing could give another three before it declines.
agavin: awesome bottle and WOTN
From my cellar (for Sijie Xiang): 1989 Château Léoville Las Cases. JK 93. A gorgeous, perfectly mature LB Bordeaux. Concentrated with mature, complex fruit and loaded with secondary and tertiary notes of aged cedar, dried tobacco leafs and bell pepper. Elegant with a leanness that doesn’t compromise forward, fleshy fruit. Can hold but really no reason to hold — drink now and enjoy a great, mature Bordeaux.
agavin: very good too, and smooth, but not as powerful or complex as the 1985.
Bluefin Tuna Toro. Smoked Soy Sauce, pickled daikon radish, apple sorrel. We didn’t get much each, but what we did was a lovely sashimi-like bite.
Prime Sirloin Steak Tartare. Herb aioli, grilled sourdough, shallots, dijon mustard. We mixed it all up, including the quail egg. Delicious tartar — really good. Right balance of tangy, meat, pepper etc.
Erick brought: 1995 Château Léoville Las Cases. VM 94+. Deep ruby-red. Deep, lively aromas of red- and blackcurrants, licorice, tobacco and grilled nuts. Great sweetness and silky texture in the mouth currently overshadows the wine strong supporting acidity and tight core of spice and minerals. The toothcoating tannins don’t cover as much of the mouth as those of the ’96 do, but this wine offers uncanny length.
Seb brought (decanted way in advance): 2005 Château Léoville Las Cases. VM 98. A wine for the ages, the 2005 Léoville Las Cases is slow to come out of the gate, but its beauty and pedigree are evident. The 2005 Las Cases is one of the only wines in this tasting that still needs time in bottle, something that won’t come as a surprise to fans of this St. Julien estate. The 2005 offers plenty of the typical Las Cases power, but it is also remarkably nuanced and translucent for a wine of its sheer size. When all is said and done, it is in my top three or four wines of the night.
agavin: the powerhouse monster of the night. Amazing wine and good thing Seb decanted it early that day.
A duo of Snake River Farms Filet Mignon and Nebraska Dry Aged 36 Day Petite Cut New York.
On the side there was some Cavatappi Pasta “Mac & Cheese” with Quebec cheddar. We also ordered Soft Polenta with Parmigiano Reggiano but it was gone faster than I could photo it (given the low light and the fact that I was using a tripod).
A set of sauces including Red Wine Bordelaise, House Made Steak Sauce, and a couple others. I like extra flavor so I’m a sauce guy.
Cauliflower, vadouvan, coconut, curry leaves. Nice interesting veggie.
Celery Root, salsify, carrots, wildflower honey.
Wild Field Mushrooms, shishito peppers, mirin, yuzu. Loves this version of the sautéed mushrooms. The shishitos were great.
The dessert menu.
Baked Alaska. Tangerine Sherbet, Vanilla Gelato, Buttermilk White Chocolate Cake, Candied Kumquats.
They light it on fire in the traditional manner.
Wow this was a great dessert, one of the best baked alaska versions I’ve tasted. Nice hot and cold and texture variance going on.
Orange Honey Nougat Glace. Passion Fruit Granita, lemon yuzu curd, winter citrus. Another dessert winner as it had all those tart flavors.
And for Erick’s birthday: BCP. Caramelized banana, tahitian vanilla custard, puff pastry, banana sorbet, salted caramel sauce. I assume BCP stands for Banana Custard Pastry. It was enough in control banana-wise that I could try it.
The full wine lineup.
Overall, Cut is very very good, if a little expensive. It does succeed in taking the Steak House format and shaking it up a bit, elevating the ingredients and presentation, etc. Partly by offering unusual cuts of beef, partly by having newer more modern appetizers and sides. Execution is very good. Service is very good. It isn’t as over the top as Mastro’s. Not that Cut is lightest meal ever, but I definitely felt less “bombed” than at some other steakhouses, which was nice. Maybe they use less butter. Cut is probably the best Steakhouse in LA, maybe tied with Alexanders on a good night.
More Foodie Club extravaganzas here.