“The OC, knows Steak”

Dry-aged New York strip served with double-cut fries at Flemings Prime Steakhouse in Newport Beach.


1. Mastro’s

The steak: 30-oz “chef’s cut” bone-in ribeye, $63

Where: 633 Anton Boulevard, Costa Mesa

Phone: 714-546-7405

2. The Ranch

The steak: 58-oz bone-in ribeye tomahawk chop, $89

Where: 1025 E Ball Road, Anaheim

Phone: 714) 817-4200

3. Fleming’s

The steak: 16-oz, 21 day dry-aged, iron-pressed New York strip, $58

Where: 455 Newport Center Dr

Phone: 949-720-9633

4. Eno Steak at Ritz-Carlton

The steak: 14-oz ribeye, $54

Where: 1 Ritz Carlton Drive, Dana Point

Phone: 949-240-2000

5. Andrea at Pelican Hill

The steak: 22-oz T-bone, $110

Where: 22701 Pelican Hill Road, Newport Beach

Phone: 855-315-8214

6. Arc

The steak: 30-oz, 20 day dry-aged off-menu Delmonico, $100

Where: 3321 Hyland Ave

Phone: 949-500- 5561

7. Selanne Steak Tavern

The steak: 32-oz Lord Stanley cut Australian Wagyu, $96

Where: 1464 S Coast Highway Laguna Beach

Phone: 949-715-9881

8. A Restaurant

The steak: 12-oz. block-cut New York steak, $44

Where: 3334 Pacific Coast Highway, Newport Beach

Phone: 949-650-6505

9. Hanna’s Prime Steaks

The steak: 14-oz. bone-in filet mignon, $52

Where: 22195 El Paseo, Rancho Santa Margarita

Phone: 949-709-2300

10. Mastro’s

The steak: 24-oz. porterhouse, $57

Where: 633 Anton Boulevard, Costa Mesa

Phone: 714-546-7405


Flat-iron steaks are cut from the shoulder and are generally considered to be a lesser cut whose texture and flavor will never compete with the more regal steaks like the ribeye, New York strip or filet mignon. But as flat-irons go, the steak atPlum’s Cafe is as good as you’ll find — and it comes with some of the best fries you’ll find, for merely $18. 369 E 17th St, Costa Mesa, 949-722-7586.

Great steaks are expensive. Period. There’s no way around it. If you want a truly special USDA prime steak, you’re going to have to pay dearly for it. Unfortunately, high prices don’t always guarantee a great piece of meat. I’ve been on a quest to find Orange County’s best steak for more than a year now.

“That’s going to come with a warm red center. Is that what you’re looking for?” asks my waitress, confirming that I do want my steak to be somewhat bloody.

I’m at the original Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar in Newport Beach, and I’ve ordered my New York strip medium-rare. There’s nothing more frustrating to me than receiving an overcooked steak, especially when I’m paying $58 for it, as I am for this dry-aged New York strip.

“That’ll be perfect,” I say. And then she surprises me by asking, “And would you like your steak cooked under the iron press to give it a little extra char?”

I’ve been eating steak my entire life. I was raised on a 6,000-acre cattle ranch (mostly Angus and Chianina, but also Charolais, Brahma and Gelbvieh). And this is the first time anyone has asked me that in a steakhouse.

My initial instinct is to say no, because I fear the extra weight of the press might squeeze too much of the blood out of the steak while it cooks. I believe steak should always be slightly charred, but I’ve learned to stop asking for it that way because more often than not it ends up being overcooked, or else it arrives black and blue, which is raw in the middle and burned to a crisp on the outside, caveman style. That’s not what I’m looking for. I say yes.

When the steak arrives, I feel a wave of comfort wash over me. The steak is masterful: a full pound of loin muscle as thick as three decks of cards, ever-so-lightly charred around the edges, with a ribbon of fat running along one side and just enough caramelization on top to give the meat a subtle crispness as I cut into it. I watch as juices begin to slowly puddle on the plate. The steak is perfectly cooked. More importantly, this is a great piece of meat, dry-aged for 21 days, something new for Fleming’s, which only began serving dry-aged beef a few months ago. I can tell with just one bite that this is top-tier beef. The fullness of the flavor. The suppleness of the flesh. How easy it melts between my teeth and the way the fat coats my tongue. There is no question that what I’m eating is USDA Prime. This comes pretty close to being the steak to beat in O.C.

I’ve dined at every major steakhouse, and all sorts of other restaurants known for their meat. I’ve consumed plenty of beef that was advertised as USDA prime but was clearly something less.

If there’s on thing I’ve learned over the years, beginning with 17 years on a cattle ranch, and more recently via conversations with USDA graders, butchers and premium beef purveyors, is that not all beef is created equal.

source OC Register