A Sneak Peek At LB Steak In San Jose

An 8-ounce skirt steak ($23) with Bearnaise sauce.

In this skittish economy, it’s been awhile since a splashy new restaurant has opened its doors in the South Bay.

Tuesday, finally one does with the debut of LB Steak in San Jose’s Santana Row.

It’s a new concept by the Left Bank restaurant group, which already has a Left Bank Brasserie in Santana Row. LB Steak opens in the same location as the group’s former Tanglewood restaurant, which never caught on the way Chef-Proprietor Roland Passot had hoped. Indeed, even when he was conceiving Tanglewood, Passot thought a steak house would be a good fit at that spot, especially because the high-end retail-restaurant-condo complex lacked one.

The dining room lit with sparkly chandeliers.

But with diners watching their pennies these days, are they really apt to splurge on pricey steaks?

CEO Richard Miyashiro thinks so, especially because at LB Steak, the biggest ticket item is the 20-ounce Porterhouse for $39.95. Unlike so many other temples of meatdom, this one has portions that aren’t all beyond ginormous.

There also are more affordable eats, such as a burger with exotic mushrooms for $14; spaghetti and meatballs with basil ricotta tomato sauce for $16.50; and whole fried snapper with shiitakes, pickled ginger, scallions, and red peppers for $28.75.

Wild mushroom truffle risotto ($18.75).

At lunch time, there’s lighter fare, including a Cobb salad with tuna ($15.75), and a New England lobster roll on brioche ($18).

All the beef is prime grade, and comes from San Jose wholesale meat distributor, Bassian Farms.

Left Bank Culinary Director Joel Guillon directs the action in the kitchen during a trial run before the opening.

“We’re sensitive to when we’re opening,” Miyashiro says. “The challenge was to open a steak house that wouldn’t be so expensive. The prices are reasonable, and we will keep them reasonable.”

He calls the new120-seat restaurant “a steak house with a French twist” for its specialties such as escargot in Pernod garlic butter that’s stuffed dramatically inside bone marrow ($15).

And because of its casual yet elegant look — sparkly jeweled chandeliers, dark wood, cowhide chairs, and Eiffel Tower artwork.

Last but not least, do save room for the glass-enclosed pastry cart that gets wheeled to every table. Offerings are $7 each. Filled with big chocolate-chunk cookies, tiny fruit tarts, and pastel-pretty raspberry macarons as big as your palm, it’s sure to be impossible for any mere mortal to resist.

My oh my, the pastry cart.

If a more substantial sweet is what you’re craving, no worries. LB Steak also offers a Caribbean sundae ($8.50) with rum raisin ice cream, passion fruit sorbet, pineapple, and mango; blackberry cobbler with Tahitian vanilla ice cream ($7); and a warm cheddar cheese souffle with crispy bacon ($7) for those who like to end their meal on a porky high-note.

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  • Porterhouse steak sounds good! Always fun to find a great new restaurant like this.

  • Looks good, coming from DC there just seems to be a gaping hole in terms of steakhouses in the Bay Area. This one looks good, but I confess to spending most of my time staring at the pics of the macaroons.

  • Looks like they need to get their website up and running. I was hoping for some details on that delicious-looking risotto!

  • What did Meat Boy think of it? How does it compare to Alexander’s and The Grill?

  • Nate: Alas, Meat Boy has not yet tried the place. And I didn’t get a chance to really eat much there, either, as I was on my way to my father-in-law’s 90th birthday dinner. But I couldn’t resist stopping by to take a few pics. And the LB Steak folks insisted on sending me off with a box of the pommes souffle — crispy discs of potatoes that get splendidly puffy when fried. A better car snack there has never been. 😉

  • i love French macarons!!! Yay!! Another place for macarons! did u try them? How do they sell the desserts? Each or they let u pick for a certain price? Please let us know.

  • Crispy potato disks? Well, why didn’t you *say* so?! T’heck with the risotto. I can see how this is going to shake out. Vegetarian? Too pricey for steaks? No problem Take-out potato snacks? You betcha!

    Also, here’s hoping your beloved Meat Boy has inherited his father’s good genes. Hearty congratulations to long-lived Mister Meat Man!

  • Great. Look forward to LB Steaks. I enjoy Left Bank Brasserie for their consistently good brasserie menu at reasonable prices. Their burgers are pretty darn good too! And of course, don’t forget the pommes frites!

  • The steak and risotto look outstanding.

  • Do they still have the Foi Gras burger left over from the Tanglewood days?

  • Surprised they’re using the old standby Prime beef rather than offer something more unique. But I love the location and hope they do really well there.

  • Trent: You are in luck. The foie gras burger with truffle mayo is still on the menu. It’s $24.

    For all you sweet tooths: I just added more info about the desserts to the post above. For those who have been wondering, those monster macarons are $7 each.

  • Yum! I was sad to see Tanglewood go, but I am checking this place out when I get back from Alabama!

  • omg, $7 each for a macaron!! Yikes. now I’m not sure I want one.

  • omg foie gras burger… good thing I’m nosy or I wouldn’t have known about it. Have you had it? Now I’ve got to try that!

  • A glass-enclosed pastry cart? Probably intended for diners like me who can’t resist reaching out for a macaron (or two)!

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