With a name like Bourbon Steak you would expect great Bourbon and Steak and that’s what they have, in spades. But what happens when your significant-other or someone in your party doesn’t particularly like or want steak? Bourbon Steak has a great assortment of non-steak entrees and their side dishes and appetizers are to die for.
Chef Kyle Johnson uses the bounty of Southern California fruits and vegetables to create a menu that is all his own. “We’re really blessed here…the first time I went to Santa Monica Farmers Market, you see squash blossoms next to pumpkins. In other parts of the country, you don’t see that stuff.”
Chef Kyle has been all over the world plying his trade, and when Chef Mina, the founder of Bourbon Steak, was looking for someone to helm the Glendale location, Chef Kyle jumped at it. “I love Southern California. I really, really enjoy it here, but I moved around a lot in 10 years. I just wanted to settle down.”
We began our dinner with a drink; Negroni for me and an Old Fashioned for my companion. A Negroni is a slightly sweet drink made with sweet Vermouth with a citrus-bitter aftertaste from Aperol. It makes a great before-dinner drink, it’s light and palate-cleansing. The Old Fashioned on the other hand was made with Buffalo Trace Kentucky bourbon and had a smokey sweet taste.
An assortment of appetizers came to the table. A traditional chilled Gulf Shrimp cocktail featured large shrimp with two sauces; ‘gin’ cocktail and Dijonnaise. The shrimp were flavorful and the sauces paired with them perfectly. Lettuce-wrapped duck spring rolls were filled with savory duck and mushrooms, a ginger-chili sauce accompanied these tasty bites.
Pigs and Figs were next, featuring pork belly, a pulled pork tamale, peanut mole and of course figs. The pork belly was rich and when paired with the fig made a winning combination. The addition of the tamale and peanut mole was the icing on the cake.
Does Octopus conjure up visions of chewing and chewing and chewing? The Spanish Octopus prepared by Chef Kyle was meltingly tender. The sum of the parts of this dish made for a delicious whole. A bit of Octopus paired with chorizo, eggplant, piquillo pepper or saffron made the Octopus sing with flavor.
For our main course I decided to forgo beef and try one of Bourbon Steak’s seafood dishes; the Japanese Diver Scallops. Four beautifully seasoned and caramelized scallops graced my plate along with a citrus sauce to accompany the scallops. They were delicious, moist and creamy with a sweet caramel finish.
My companion, the original steak and potatoes man, ordered the Delmonico Rib Eye, medium rare. Butterfly sliced, with a rich red center, the meat was lightly smokey with a grilled exterior and tender bite.
Bourbon’s market sides are fantastic and plentiful (each one could easily feed a party of four as a side dish). We tried four of them and everyone was delicious. The one I liked best were the crispy Brussels sprout with honey palm syrup. Delicious frizzled pieces of sprouts accompanied larger pieces to make a great mouthful. The honey palm syrup hit first with a sweet caramel taste and then the frizzled pieces of the sprouts finished with a smokey taste. I could make a meal out of those tasty morsels.
A Chef Michael Mina staple: black truffle mac & cheese, is a delicious addition to any main dish. It is full of cheese and just the right touch of musty truffle taste. Truffles are delicious but they can overpower a dish, not this mac & cheese it has the perfect balance between cheesy goodness and truffle richness.
A favorite of my companion is creamed spinach. There as many ways to prepare this dish as there are cuts of meat. Bourbon Steak’s presentation used a creamy sauce enriched by feta cheese and then topped with crisp shallots. Yummy.
Potatoes are a must and Bourbon Steaks offers two: Yukon Gold potato puree and crushed potatoes with bacon and cheddar. We chose the crushed potatoes and they were amazing. The best of both worlds, the crushed potatoes straddled the space between baked and mashed potatoes creating a whole new tasty dish.
A great place for treating yourself, a celebration or just because, Bourbon Steak will please the beef-eater in you. But don’t worry if someone in your party doesn’t dig the beef-scene, they have plenty to satisfy, from seafood to side dishes, Bourbon Steak works hard to please.
Bourbon Steak is located in the Americana at Brand on the corner of Colorado and Brand Blvd., 237 Brand Boulevard, Glendale. For more information or reservations call (818) 839-4130 or visit www.michaelmina.net/restaurants/southern-california/bourbon-steak-los-angeles.