A2 Rating Scale (out of 5):
Mastro‘s is one of those LA classics; if you can afford it, you go whenever you’re craving a good steak, and if you can’t, you relish any opportunity to be wined and dined there. Personally, I find myself to be part of the second category. Lucky for me, 3 of my friends and I have started a very fortunate tradition where we get taken there once a year for what we call our Annual Holiday Dinner.
It all started when we worked together 6 years ago and for any occasion, our boss gifted our friend (call him Golden Dove) in Mastro‘s gift cards. Needless to say, he accumulated a hefty amount of credit and one day when my two colleagues (call them Louise and Baril) and I were stressed and overwhelmed at work, he decided that he was going to spend the cards on us. I mean, is that not the most amazing thing ever or what? He’s single ladies… If you do Mastro‘s right, you don’t look at prices, you just order what your heart desires. Obviously this isn’t always realistic, although I wish it was, but we had such an amazing dinner that 5 years and many many gift cards later, the tradition lives on…
Now as many of you know, Valentine’s day is fast approaching and if you have a special someone in your life or in town (be it a boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend, or family member you’re trying to impress), I highly suggest you do the following in this order:
1) Call and make a reservation asap (there’s the more casual and fun Penthouse upstairs with a DJ, or a fancier, more quiet downstairs dining area)
2) Start saving. Nothing is cheap and you’re going to want to try everything, trust me.
3) Uber over there; the drinks are half the fun and an uber cheaper than a DUI
My Go To’s:
Assorted Bread Basket – This is free, bottomless, and OH SO good. Enjoy, but make sure not to fill up on it (I’ve made that mistake before).
The Mastro Classic Martini ($15) – if you like blue cheese olives and dirty martinis, then you like this.
Seafood Tower (price varies) – this is the most heavenly (and extravagant) part(y) of the meal. Shrimp, crab legs, oysters, crab meat…all on a smoking tower of ice. This is one dish that knows how to make an entrance. And we countdown to it every year. Don’t skimp on this, but make sure to build your own so you can control the pricing.
Red Wine – pick what you’re in the mood for but this is a given (and a necessity) considering you will soon be eating some divine steak.
Heirloom Tomatoes & Burrata ($20) – while definitely pricy for the few tomatoes and little burrata, every bite is delish and the perfect light bite to transition you from your raw seafood to your meat.
Petite Filet ($43) – At 8oz, this is the smallest and also the cheapest piece of steak on the menu. While Golden Dove usually opts for a bone-in piece of meat, the girls and I can usually split the petite filet and have more than enough. The meat is ALWAYS perfectly cooked (can I get a medium rare) and comes out on a super hot plate that they warn you not to touch so that the meat can continue to cook at the table.
Sides (prices vary but these are the best) – Sweet potato fries (they use some coating that makes them extra crispy that you just can’t find anywhere else), Lobster mashed potatoes (need I say more?), Alaskan King Crab Black Truffle Gnocchi (I would say more but I can’t find the words to do it justice), Sautéed Sugar Snap Peas (simple and delectable).
Triple Chocolate Layer Cake – I wouldn’t pay for this but I’d definitely eat it. And let me let you in on a little trick…tell your waiter it’s someone at your table’s birthday and voila! It magically appears on your table…for free. And all you have to do is embarrass your friend by singing Happy Birthday.
Mastro‘s Signature Warm Butter Cake ($11.50) – This piece of buttery heaven is worth every cent and calorie. Butter cake isn’t something that normally appeals to me but there’s a reason it’s their signature and they put the Mastro‘s stamp of approval in the title. It’s just SO good. That’s all there is to it.
Limoncello or Port – always, always, always, finish the meal with a dessert drink. Gotta go out with a bang.
Now I just have to wipe the drool off my chin and countdown another 10 months before I get to do this all over again.
Note: I have only been to the Mastro‘s in Beverly Hills but they recently opened one beachside in Malibu that’s supposed to be amazing. If you’re feeling extra baller, give that one a try and let us know how it is.