When I first heard about Chef Wolfgang Puck opening a steakhouse years ago, I wasn't sure what to expect. Then I read the early reports from many of our veteran Hounds on our old board and bloggers, and I was even less sure: There were positive reviews and negative reviews. It seemed like people either loved CUT, or they hated it. So we just never bothered going.
But after years and years of avoiding CUT, we were getting ready for a friend's big birthday celebration only to discover that it was being held at the one place we'd been avoiding for years: CUT by Wolfgang Puck.
(Courtesy of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel)
Located inside one of L.A.'s most famous hotels, the Beverly Wilshire (a.k.a. where Pretty Woman was filmed), as we pulled up, seeing the line of cars in the driveway made us feel really out of place...
We saw 4 Lamborghinis, a couple Rolls Royce, a McLaren(?) (that's what my friend said it was called ) and many other exotic cars. I immediately thought, "Forget conspicuous consumption, this must be what it's like to be a true baller, like @J_L @ipsedixit and others talking about buying sports cars all day!"
The Beverly Wilshire lobby makes you feel like it's a classic hotel.
But the restaurant CUT itself is far more modern and sleek. Minimalistic, with a cool white color palette, it's very different from a classic steakhouse feel (with dark wood, warm colors, etc.).
Pão de Queijo (Cheese Bread):
Their complimentary take on the Brazilian Cheese Bread, Pão de Queijo, was piping hot and filled with gooey Cheese on the inside. Delicious!
Complimentary Bread Service:
All of their Breads are baked fresh daily, and on this visit, their Seeded Sourdough was soft, nutty, aromatic and really great.
Their Baked Onion Ciabatta was also really fantastic! Extremely aromatic, flavorful bursts of slow-cooked Onions, on a soft Ciabatta Bread.
Their Pretzel Roll was mediocre though.
Prime Sirloin "Steak Tartare" (Herb Aioli, Mustard):
This was really good. I forgot if it was @Bookwich or @TheCookie who was looking for good Steak Tartare, but this one was pretty wonderful. The quality of USDA Prime Beef was evident from the first bite, the Quail Egg giving it a nice creaminess.
Kurobuta Pork Cheek, Maple Glazed Pork Belly (Ten Spice, Sesame-Orange Dressing, Cherries):
This was rather underwhelming: The "Ten Spice" in the Pork Cheek made it taste like Chinese Beef Jerky (at least one kind that a co-worker gave me a few years ago... it was so distinct in its taste (sweet with a bit of Orange peel?) that I haven't forgotten it, LOL.
The Pork Belly was OK, but also overpowered by the Sesame-Orange Dressing.
Our server showed off the various cuts of Beef they were serving this evening.
Cavolo Nero, Baby Spinach (Garlic, Tuscan Olive Oil):
This was straightforward, but still tasty, a nice break of greens sauteed in Garlic inbetween bites of our incoming Steaks. We really enjoyed the interplay of hearty (but tender) Cavalo Nero mixed with softer Sauteed Baby Spinach.
Caveat: I don't eat much Steak, so I defer to all the Steak lovers on our board for advice.
USDA Prime, Illinois Corn Fed, Aged 21 Days - Bone-In New York Sirloin 20 oz:
Per the menu, they grill the Steaks over hard wood and charcoal, and then finish it under a 1200 degree broiler. Taking a bite of this New York... it was simply delicious! There was a fantastic crust on the exterior, with a perfect medium-rare. There was a smokiness, and nice flavor throughout.
This Steak stood on its own without any sauces, and was far more enjoyable than the New York Strip I had at Ruth's Chris a few months ago. I also liked this more than the New York I had at Wolfgang's Steakhouse (from Wolfgang Zweiner), but that was 3 years ago or so.
This was tender, meaty, and not overly chewy (like the one from Ruth's Chris), complete with a nice beefiness.
Mustard (3) and Fleur de Sel:
They also offered 3 types of Mustard and Fleur de Sel. I thought they worked OK, but I rather enjoyed the New York Sirloin without any of them.
English Peas, Green Garlic, Spring Onions, Ramps, Mint:
This was fantastic! Farmers market fresh English Peas (not the mealy frozen kind) makes all the difference and I'm glad to have had some before they were gone for the season. Perfectly sauteed, this was a wonderful veggie mixture, and the balance of sweetness from the English Peas, Spring Onions, the fragrance in the Green Garlic, and the subtle tinge of Mint really made this standout.
Japanese Pure Wagyu Beef, Miyazaki Prefecture - Grade A5 New York Sirloin:
While we had mixed feelings on the A5 Wagyu at Wadatsumi (being overcooked and a thinner cut), this arrived perfectly cooked here at CUT.
Taking a bite, and it was amazing! Buttery, tender, the marbling yielded this distinct Japanese Wagyu Beef flavor (and fattiness) that caressed your taste buds... Wow! This was SO GOOD!
This is what true A5 Wagyu Beef can taste like when cooked properly, and while Steak form might not be ideal, the New York Sirloin from Miyazaki, Japan was just outstanding! Definitely the highlight of the evening.
Kennebec French Fries:
For those French Fry lovers out there, this is one version worth trying: Double fried, handcut Kennebec Potatoes had a slight crunch on the outside and were fluffy inside. Delicious! (I think Connie & Ted's Fries are still our favorite in this style, but these were quite good.)
B C P (Roasted Banana, Creme Brulee, Puff Pastry, Salted Caramel Sauce & Banana Glace):
We devoured the orders of their B C P so fast that I forgot to take pictures. It was very good, creamy, with a nice balance of Banana and Salted Caramel flavors.
Service was very good this evening, with multiple servers stopping by to check in on us and get refills and other needs as they came up.
For this dinner, CUT by Wolfgang Puck delivered on nearly every dish (with the exception of the Pork Cheeks and Pretzel Roll). From the Prime Steak Tartare, to the excellent crust and flavor for the USDA Prime, Illinois Corn Fed, 21 Day Aged New York Strip, to the surprisingly light essence of Spring in their fresh English Peas & Green Garlic, to the drool-worthy Grade A5 Wagyu New York Sirloin from Miyazaki, Japan, we were pleasantly surprised.
I'm still cautious and wary about returning given all the mixed reviews, but for this one evening, CUT was quite enjoyable.
CUT by Wolfgang Puck
(inside the Beverly Wilshire Hotel)
9500 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Tel: (310) 276-8500