Putting On the LBs at LB Steak

Crisp, airy pomme souffle.

It can’t be helped. Not when you’re at the swank LB Steak in San Jose’s Santana Row, where there are calories galore.

But Chef Roland Passot’s latest creation, run by Chef de Cuisine Chris Joslyn, is a place where you just have to dine with a devil-may-care attitude. All the better to enjoy the numerous meaty and rich offerings.

On a warm evening, the dark, striking restaurant throws open its front, floor-to-ceiling windows, so that you feel like you’re dining al fresco even if you’re seated inside underneath the glittering chandeliers.

The steaks are all USDA “prime.” But this is one steakhouse where you don’t have to indulge in red meat to have a good meal. There’s also an array of fish and pastas, and even a vegetarian burger of oats, bulgar, wheat, brown rice and crimini mushrooms.

I was invited in to dine recently. My companion that evening at LB Steak was — who else — Meat Boy (my husband). As if you think he’d let anyone else go in his place?

The waitstaff brought over an order of the pommes souffle ($9) — thinly sliced potatoes that puff up and get super crispy from being fried twice. Although a little oily, these were gossamer puffs that crackled when bitten. Eat them fast because they taste best while they’re still hot.

Escargot with bone marrow.

I couldn’t resist the dramatic starter of escargot in Pernod garlic butter piled inside a shank of bone with its marrow ($15). The tender snails were enveloped in richness. I don’t even want to know how many calories are in that dish. But it was a dish worth busting any diet for.

I opted for sea bass served atop strands of spaghetti squash in a brown butter emulsion (26.75). The fish was tender, very moist, and with a nice sear on top.

Sea bass with spaghetti squash.

Meat Boy, of course, got his favorite cut — a 12-ounce rib eye ($29.50).  From the options of sauces, he chose the buttery bearnaise. Cooked medium-rare just as ordered, the steak had a really satisfying beefy flavor that just flooded your entire mouth.

A juicy and huge rib eye.

Big, fat onion rings.

The accompanying onion rings ($3.75) were big and tender inside, but perhaps could have been crisper on the outside.

For dessert, choose from offerings on the menu or off the cart that gets rolled to your table.

Knowing my weaknesses already, it’s probably not surprising that I chose a gingerbread cake and an espresso macaron from the cart. The cake was disappointing — a bit gummy and lacking in the requisite hit of winter spices. Far better was the French macaron, which tasted like a smooth cup of coffee.

Gingerbread cake and espresso macaron.

I’m sure I packed on the lbs that night at LB Steak. But most of them were sure worth it.

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Date: Monday, 23. November 2009 5:20
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: Chefs, General, Meat, Restaurants

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17 comments

  1. 1

    GINGERBREAD?!?!??! Say no more – I’m sold :)

  2. 2

    So, how is it compared with Alexander’s?

  3. 3

    Carolyn, we loved the ambiance, but our meal there was mediocre all the way around. I was told the macaron was $7, so I didn’t order it (I went home and made a couple dozen instead). Was your meal gratis, or did you have to pay? I love your photos – they’re all so enticing.

  4. 4

    Nice to see someone with the courage to put out pommes souffles…even if a bit oily.

    (as an aside, the steak picture is one of a Porterhouse cut from the more frontal section (by the balance of the tenderloin and the strip loin…rib eye or not, can’t go wrong with tasty meat cooked properly)

  5. 5

    That must have been Meat Boy’s dream dinner! Good for you for ordering fish! ;-) I know I wouldn’t eat them, but for some reason those pomme souffles look so amazing. Looks like another swanky spot on Santana Row.

  6. 6

    Claudette: Did you eat there when it first opened? Back then, they made the macrons quite huge and were indeed selling them for $7 a piece. They are now much smaller and priced a bit less, I believe. And yes, my meal was gratis. Even if it weren’t, I’d be like you — thinking $7 for one cookie is pretty outrageous.

    Nate: Alexander’s is more over the top. I mean, how many steakhouses give you cotton candy with the check, right? Alexander’s also has a more Asian sensibility to some of its dishes, since the chef is part Japanese. Alexander’s is also more expensive, and features a more extensive array of beef. I think of Alexander’s as more of a special occasion place. But a very memorable one at that.

  7. 7

    So does the pommes souffle work out to be about $1 a piece? Looks like it form your pic!

  8. 8

    Wow, look at that tower of… …ESCARGOT!

  9. 9

    I have been wondering about LB Steak for a while now. Thanks for the review. Amazing pictures as always!

  10. 10

    JulieK: Hah! Maybe it works out to a little less than $1 a piece for the pommes souffle. There were a few more than nine of those babies. ;)

  11. 11

    That ginger cake…I want it.

  12. 12

    As I’m in the country of the beef, in this case I’m with your Meat Boy I’d pick the rib eye :)
    Well in the sweet area, gingerbread cake is one my favorite too!

    Cheers!

    Gera

  13. 13

    Wow, everything looks delicious…I’d definitely have enjoyed…love steak :-)

  14. 14

    That escargot appetizer sounds so intriguing…good choice. Santana Row needed a steakhouse, I can’t wait to try it!

  15. 15

    The starter looks amazing! I like that presentation inside a shank of bone.

  16. 16

    OMG, that escargot starter sounds outrageously delicious and sinful!

  17. 17

    I must say that your experience at LB Steak was definitely better than mine. Everything was overdone when I went, which was a little disappointing. Here is my review if you’re interested

    http://eatingwithderek.wordpress.com/2009/09/11/lb-steak-is-a-little-overdone/

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