Friday, August 31, 2012

The Steakhouse at Azul

I don't eat steak very often, but when I do, I like to indulge all the way (did I just sound like the Dos Equis guy? I think that I did). None of that Napoleon Dynamite paper thin overdone stuff. I've been to a great deal of the high-end steakhouses, such as Ruth's Chris, Morton's, and Flemings. All have left me a little disappointed, to be honest.

Azul Steakhouse, located in beautiful, scenic La Jolla, has a wonderful happy hour that goes until 7 pm, featuring $7 steak frites and $7 wines. Definitely my next go-to for a luxurious respite from a tough work week. And check out the view that you get with it!

We settled down with a glass of their carefully selected wines: Pinot noir for him, malbec for her. The wines here are all excellent, thanks in no small part to Manager and Sommelier, Will Burtner, also known as "The Wine Guy" on the local Fox station. Mr. Burtner has an excellent palate for wine, and combines the flavors of the food with the wine selection exquisitely.

Seriously, does it get better than this?

We started off with a little amuse bouche of seasoned meatballs topped with avocado and pepper. These little numbers were a perfect bite to whet our appetites for the amazing food to come. They were very lightly seasoned with garlic and herbs, and served with no sauce. They were perfectly delightful!

Fresh bread with herbed butter, of which I overindulged. :)

For an appetizer, we got the SAINT ANDRÉ FROMAGE served warm with honey bacon & garlic crostini. Yum, yum, yum. This was a perfect appetizer for the meal. Not overly filling, but completely rich and satisfying, and completely indulgent! This is the appetizer to order for a night of decadent eating. Paired with the wine, this was nirvana.

After the cheese, we enjoyed the gorgeous La Jolla sunset, and sipped our wines. This is the life!

Yes, we got two appetizers! No regrets! Being from Maryland, my husband has made it his hobby to try crabcakes from different regions. He pronounced this one "the best one that I've had out of Maryland". That's a HUGE compliment coming from him. Me, I like crab of all styles, and this crabcake was very meaty, with just a very light coating of bread crumbs and seasoning.

We had a salad course next, because steakhouse salads are usually one of the best on the menu. This is the roasted beet and heirloom tomato salad, served with a burrata cheese dressing and bacon. I never would have selected this without the recommendation of our sweet server, but it was delicious! I don't usually care for beets, but I loved this salad! It was a wonderful, cooling mix of sweet and salty. And I'm a sucker for green tomatoes. Highly recommended.

Finally, it was time for the main course! We almost never order the same thing, and this time was no exception. We shared the scallops and baked potato, and the filet mignon topped with sherry mushroom sauce and mashed potatoes. We also got the grilled fresh asparagus, wild mushrooms, and bacon and chive mac n' cheese.

The scallops were huge, and prepared with a very simple breading, relying on the flavor and freshness of the seafood.

The sides were amazing! Back when I was a vegetarian, my meat-eating friends were always surprised by how easily I could be "talked in" to going to a steak place for dinner. That's because steakhouses always have the most delicious, comforting side dishes! Seriously, who doesn't love grilled asparagus and sauteed mushrooms? The mac n' cheese was delicious, rich, and decadent.

And finally, the main event, the steak! Wow, wow, wow. Even if you don't eat steak, I would still recommend this filet. It was buttery tender; so much that I could have cut it with my fork. The mushroom sauce was incredible, and just thick enough to provide some extra flavor. The mashed potatoes were a lovely accompaniment, and I would definitely order this combination again. (I apologize for the slightly blurry pic)

The verdict: best steak in town, and one of the best happy hours. Certainly my choice for the next celebratory night out. Hint, hint, Mr. Dining Dish!

August 31, 2012 / by / 1 Comments

1 comment:

Celine Reynolds said...

Been trying to remodel the kitchen to accommodate more for some steak grilling. I think it wouldn't hurt if I visit and taste the steaks other chefs make. It looks gorgeous and the view is to die for, anyway.

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