Dear Johns on Culver

This used to be a rat-pack hangout I believe (or at least Sinatra claimed it as a watering hole).

The building is going to be torn down in a couple years, so Josiah Citrin and Hans Rockenwagner decided to make a go of it as a temporary steak joint. They just opened last night and it was big fun. A lot of appropriate and interesting “found” art on the walls. A dark room, with no windows, small and intimate with an old school feel and old school menu of steaks, lobster thermidor, Oysters Rockefeller, sand dabs, creamed spinach, etc. Classic stuff, but done perfectly-right. (I had the rib eye - pan fried with a great crust, and tender interior). The sides were text-book perfect. Service was familiar - much of the staff formerly from Melisse. This could be a cool hangout. If I was single I’d make it a regular place. Now to convince the GF to come once a week -which shouldn’t be hard as she loved the food and feel of the place!

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good to hear! I’m going to have to check it out before it gets too popular. Kinda figured this would be right up Josiah’s alley.

Thanks. Made a reservation two weeks out. Seems like a fun place.

Dinner this week a couple of days after opening but mostly running smoothly already. The Oysters Rockefeller were tasty but too small an oyster so not much Rockefeller–a broader, flatter oyster would have been my preference. Three to an order for $15, like the raw oysters at Alameda Supper Club(and, like them, served on a bed of river stones). The NY Strip was excellent, served a perfect medium rare ($54), Like many steakhouses, served a la carte. The German Fried Potatoes ($9) had a good flavor but, like Charcoal, served cut into too large pieces so not as crisped as other versions. Just one dessert at present, a decent chocolate torte, similar to the Tar Bar at Tar & Roses. The place is small and clubby and has a small lot for parking.

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We enjoyed dinner there last Thursday and had a blast. Lively crowd, solid cocktails and very good food. We specifically went for classic old-timey dishes like Caesar salad for two tossed tableside, Oysters Rockefeller and Lobster Thermidor. The Caesar could have used more anchovy and the oysters were too small, as the last poster noted, but those are quibbles—on the whole the food was excellent. Very cool bar vibe with with its low, black painted ceiling and windowless dining room. At around 10:00 this guy playing a tenor sax got the crowd going, playing his own tunes as well as accompanying the piped in music. People actually rose from their tables and started dancing when he accompanied “Satisfaction” and Jay Z’s “Young Forever” (we weren’t young enough or tipsy enough for that, however).

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I was there (again) over the weekend - came in late and the place was packed. Ran into some old friends at the bar, then sat down and had a great table-side made Caesar. Damn, but I do love a great Caesar! You’ll find the staff to be very good and professional since many of them are from the temporarily dormant Melisse.

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Had dinner with a group of four last night. What a cool spot. Dark, hip with a great vibe. Service was outstanding and felt like they had been there forever. The room was right out of the 50s/60s. Drinks were good. I had the small filet which was very flavorful and tender (could have been a bit hotter). Two of my friends shared a rib eye which they loved and the other had the sand dabs which he enjoyed very much. We all shared two cesars prepared table side. We all loved it. They brought plenty of anchovies and there was a ton of salad. Too much for all of us to eat. Steak fries were thick, hot and well done. Brocolini was nice as well. Zero complaints. It was jammed and the energy was strong. Planning to go back very soon.

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