One Trick Pony - A New American Steakhouse Where You Come For the Short Ribs - APL Restaurant [Thoughts + Pics]


I like “Pictorial Essays” and “Thoughts and Pics”.


Chowseeker’s reviews pretty much set the bar for me. I get it and retract my gripe!


I do recall reading or seeing something about this restaurant: the chef/owner was dropping f-bombs left and right and this whole felony knife business was the headline.

I definitely understand not wanting your hand-crafted knives to be stolen. I think with the right wording, it would be not-too tacky to say “please don’t steal them,” or even, “we will seek prosecution,” or something along those lines.

But “pricing it” at 950.01 just so it’s grand theft if you take it is beyond tasteless to me. I’m all for “letting the punishment fit the crime,” and even, “do the crime, do the time.” But there are also a lot people facing trumped up criminal charges, trumped up restitution orders, and (as a restaurateur, he should be well aware) trumped up civil claims as well that can carry astronomical price tags. I think this type of gaming is a plague on our legal system, the cause of a lot of suffering, tragedy and undeserved windfalls, and it just comes off as threatening and nasty besides. Especially coming from a chef/owner who sounds like a pretty intense, unfriendly guy.

I should add that unless a knife like that is actually worth around 950, what he’s doing is meaningless. In determining the value of stolen goods,"…the reasonable and fair market value shall be the test… ."

That said, it sounded like he was bringing in a pretty green team and hoping that they will learn the dishes over time and become excellent at them. If that’s true, this would become a moderately interesting restaurant. From those pictures, I don’t see how it lasts long enough. So maybe it doesn’t plan to rest on the owners laurels long-term, but for now, it appears it needs to.


Interesting rant, because I have been thinking about the knives, and feel we’ve been a wee bit unfair.

The man is obviously a dedicated and focused person; witness his barbecue and the time and effort he spent perfecting it.

He then decides to open a steak house, and so learns to make knives, which are apparently quite nice. I’m guessing the $950 on the menu was a bit of a joke that some publicist decided to run with, and made it more serious than it was supposed to be.

How amazing is it that he learned to make knives? That’s like when Nancy Silverton decided to spend years perfecting a pizza dough once she realized she had already mastered bread.

It’s been a rough opening, and maybe the concept was not thought through, but I think if the owner and Chef Lang make some serious decisions regarding FOH and the menu, they could be very successful. Never underestimate obsession.


I’m with @Bookwich. I’m not put off by the knives. I think that’s a rather interesting novelty. But novelties aside, I need a restaurant to put out from the kitchen. Based on the reviews thus far, I’m not sure the kitchen is putting out enough for me to invest some time and effort in going here. I do hope they get it right.


Thanks for the great review and pics (as usual).

What I’m getting from your review, @PorkyBelly and others is they have managed to reinterpret. It just so happens their interpretation is really, really bad.

I’m all for giving a new place a chance to shake out some kinks. But at these high prices and low QPR, there’s absolutely no excuse for the low level of service and food quality. Why is the clientele expected to subsidize months of training until they get it right?

It’s one thing if it’s a mom and pop shop, I’d cut them all kinds of breaks. But this situation is just utterly ridiculous. And if he’s going to be such an cold obsessive person in executing his vision, he has utterly failed.

Contrast that with Majordomo. I received some insider reports pre-opening that he was an absolute tyrant and perfectionist in the kitchen. He drove the cooking staff hard but in the end, the food is great by all accounts right from the beginning. Same with the service, good QPR, etc Excepting the one incident of the meat being cut with the grain :wink:

So yeah, I think it’s a load of horse sh*t that it’s this bad and patrons like @Chowseeker1999 have dropped so much $ on TWO visits for such horrible experiences.


Let’s be real here y’all - the $950 knife is/was free advertising.




You are absolutely right, we shouldn’t pay for the training/testing period.

It feels rushed, doesn’t it? I’m guessing it could have been great given enough time, but maybe the investors were pushing for the open? He may have gotten in bed with the wrong people.

I still like the knives though.


I’ve said something similar after a hard night of drinking.




You just dropped the Atomic Truth Bomb. Good points!!


Forgive the sort-of-digression, but as someone mentioned in the other thread, those knives look pretty uncomfortable – far from ergonomic. And to me, they don’t look all that great either. Some of the Laguiole knives that sgee posted photos of in the other thread look far more comfortable, and are actually nice looking.


I have been a few times and like The Arthur J quite a bit. It is a much more traditional steakhouse than Cut and Chi Spacca (the latter of which, while specializing in serving excellent meat dishes, is not what I would consider a steakhouse at all) in both atmosphere and menu. Most everything I have had at The Arthur J has been a superior version of classic American steakhouse fare–the shrimp cocktail there (4 jumbo shrimp for $22) should be a lesson to APL and the popovers are a fun throw-back to an earlier era of dining (The Ranch in Anaheim also has good popovers, by the way, but these are better). The steaks have been perfectly cooked and flavorful and the wine and scotch lists were good, though a tad pricey. Service has generally been quite good as well. If The Arthur J does DineLA again this summer (it is usually one of the “exclusive” dinner offerings), it would be a great excuse to try it as the 4 course DineLA menu has been well-priced at $95 for all the food offered.


Thanks @NewTrial. Good to know that Chef David LeFevre’s doing great with The Arthur J’s! We really like MB Post.


You know I’m going to have some comments and thoughts on your report and this thread @Chowseeker1999. :wink: But I must get back to work so I can continue my hobby of overpaying for dining experiences and reporting about them on FTC.


Though I haven’t been to Cut, I would say The Arthur J is my favorite steakhouse as well. Their Prime Rib Eye steak is incredible and they have Japanese wagyu options to boot.


I don’t even want to read a thread that goes for 100 posts


No, it wasn’t a joke, here’s the article link:

And here’s the relevant quote:

“I fucking spent hundreds of hours on these fucking things,” Lang says. “I’m sick of people saying to me, ‘Over/under, how many are going to be stolen?’ That really hurts. So you know what, go ahead and steal it and deal with the consequences.”

Lang smiles as he points out that he’s already made 320 knives and has enough steel to create hundreds more. But he really hopes he doesn’t have to replace any knives. He’s got more than 60 cameras at APL, and his staff will use hand signals to keep tabs on how many knives get dropped at each table.

“The way I look at it, there will probably be somebody who’ll steal one,” Lang says. “I’m not a crook, so I don’t know how it works. But I will tell you this; I’m not going to go down not fucking fighting. You can enjoy a nice thing. If not, I have a standard steakhouse knife for you. But if you’d like to enjoy something nice, you can take responsibility. Too intense?”


Wow!!! That is seriously hardcore. What an incredible lack of hospitable attitude. The hubris is stunning to me, especially because the food is apparently so lacking.