We all have bad days. You wake up and feel off. Something doesn’t go your way and you spend the rest of your waking hours obsessing over it. Maybe it was the way someone looked at you, or something you heard in passing or a gnawing sensation you just can’t place. And the next day you’re back in good spirits and it’s long forgotten. Last night The Monster had dinner at Steingarten LA and would love to say he thinks they were having a bad day. The place was packed and the other customers appeared to be enjoying themselves.
But the reality is The Monster doesn’t buy that theory. He thinks Steingarten LA is a mediocre gastro pub fooling people into thinking the food is good. Because nothing that was served to him came close to working. And the clientele seemed like the kind who cared more about the game on the TV and the beer being served than the quality of the food they ate.
Formerly a Kay and Dave’s, it’s a nicely bland room with one large, ugly piece of art. If you really didn’t pay attention you’d think it was a lovely room. The Monster paid attention. It’s a hodgepodge of the last restaurants remnants and utilitarian additions. There is a small patio out back which is a fine enough touch.
Small Bites like duck confit, soft pretzels and sliders sit atop the menu and give one the sense that this will be a great place to eat too many calories and wash it all down with a few too many beers (or whiskey since the selection is large). Hell, there is even something called a baby back ribs bliss cake. While that sounds like a prison sentence to The Monster surely many of you would be intrigued enough to try it. We settled on the turkey sliders to start.
There’s also a salad section because someone you came with is annoying and wants a red wine poached pear salad and you want to put a fork in their gullet. Since The Monster took control salads were strictly verboten.
Sausage, which is why you come to Steingarten LA is divvied up into Old Country (Bratwurst, Bockwurst, Polish etc.), New Country (Chicken Santa Fe, Spicy Lamb, Duck and Bacon), Game (Alaskan Wild Salmon, Alligator and Pork, Wild Boar and Berry) and Veggie (Chipotle, Apple and Sage, Italian Style) with toppings like sauerkraut, spicy peppers and onions, and grilled red peppers. Chicken Santa Fe, Alaskan Wild Salmon and Chipotle were ordered.
There is also a Sandwich, Burger and Sides section. At the waitresses behest we got the parmesan French fries over the sweet potato fries since the parmesan variety were made in-house.
Turkey sliders were dry, overcooked, average, and small. They needed a sauce that they didn’t come with. Onions on top didn’t bring much flavor and almost felt like an afterthought. The dish was deemed excellent by our waitress who apparently never tried them or lost her taste buds in a freak accident.
The trio of sausages come bunless, with toast points and condiments on the side. Really? Bunless with toast points. That just feels absurd. And eating them this way was futile. If The Monster is going to eat a sausage (albeit a chicken or salmon or veggie one) he really wants to believe he’s eating a sausage. Not eating toast points with the queen. The Chicken Santa Fe was the best of the bunch (the Salmon the worst, though to our waitresses credit she warned us she was not a fan).
Parmesan fries! Those will be the saving grace, right? Nope. Hard, congealed, small niblets were offered up. And where was the parmesan? Couldn’t taste it at all. When you’re eating fries with a fork and leave half the order even though you are still hungry something is wrong. If these are made in-house the house should be torn down.
And something is wrong. The Monster went in with the wrong expectations. Steingarten LA is a beer hall with food you eat to wash down the drink. And there is nothing wrong with that so long as you know it going in.
Why go? You want a beer and halfway through five realize you better eat something too.
Monster rating: 1/5 Monsters
10543 West Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90064