Mastro Steak House in Beverly Hills is rapidly becoming the place to be seen since opening up here in September, 2001. The Scottsdale based company that runs restaurant selected the former site of the failed remake of the venerable Chasen's restaurant, and it certainly looks like this place is going to be around for some time. The downstairs area is for quieter dining, with the upstairs being one of the noisiest, most crowded dining rooms I have ever been in. It is also extremely dark, so a magnifying glass might help you see the menu if you are not overly familiar with it. That's not too important really considering that the waiters are very helpful and will steer you in the right direction, without appearing to be too put out by answering a lot of questions. Once you get used to the claustrophobic atmosphere and general hustle and bustle, and the food starts coming, the atmosphere then begins to settle down rather quickly.
Portions tend to be big here, starting with the jumbo shrimp cocktail that is served rather theatrically on a bed of dry ice. Absolutely the best shrimp cocktail ($12.95) I have tried. Though other critics have concluded that the shrimp was flavorless, I strongly disagree. The service here is very brisk and efficient, and the selection of crispy breads was also terrific, but alas highly addictive for bread freaks. My hungry guest went for the baked sea scallops in a shell at $13.95, and expressed delight at his selection. Although, he would perhaps have preferred a couple more scallops on the plate. He was also a little upset that the only soup on the menu was in fact clam chowder while he would have loved try a lobster bisque. In fact there are still well over twenty appetizers to select from here, including Beluga Caviar and Osetra Caviar, as well as a varied selection of salads, all priced in the $6.95 range.
However it is steaks that Mastro is known for in the Scottsdale area, and true to form, their 12 oz Filet on the bone at $26.95 lived up to expectations. Just enough food to handle, so only people with a real heavy appetite should go for the 18 oz version. Medium rare is the way to go, nicely charred, lovely and pink inside, tender and juicy and scoring very high marks for flavor. There is an 8-ounce petit filet for those with bird like appetites, but the other steaks just keep getting larger going all the way to the 40 oz double cut porterhouse. Other on-the-bone steaks include the Kansas City Strip and the veal bone-in strip. A whole roasted 22oz chicken at $19.95 seems like very good value, as is the 22oz rack of lamb for $31.95.
My perennially hungry friend had the Bone-in breaded Ahi Tuna Fillet at $29.95 and appreciated the fact that the food is served piping hot, and really enjoyed the succulent flavor of the tuna. Another positive note about the side dishes served at Mastro. Portions are also huge and the Lyonnaise Potatoes were especially excellent as were the Sugar Snap Peas. All side dishes are priced between $4.95-$7.95 and you really need no more than a couple due to their size and the size of the main dishes.
Continuing on the size factor-the table next to us had two of the biggest desserts I have ever seen. Mastro is a great place to take out of town visitors if you live in the area, or even visit it yourself next time you are in town. The wine list was non-existent as far as our table was concerned, as we were never offered the wine list to check out which I understand is primarily Californian. Just as well the apple martini was brilliant.
Mastro certainly attracts a well-heeled crowd that don't appear to have missed many meals, and probably have just returned from some jaunt to Europe, Acapulco or Aspen. Stars go here as well in droves, and since the place is so poorly lit, they can probably chow down on some steak with little fear of being hounded by mere mortals.
Mike Hepworth, June 2002
Tell a friend about Mastro's Steak House
Cost for 2 people w/wine $150
|Dinner||7 days||5:00 p.m. - 12:00 p.m.|