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Not just meat and potatoes at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse

August 10, 2010

I’m the antithesis of a meat and potatoes guy.

Which explains why I haven’t set foot in a steakhouse for as long as I can remember.

So it wasn’t until I received an invitation to Fleming’s to try the new additions to their menu that I ended my self-imposed exile.

Now, I’ve always considered Fleming’s the epitome of the steakhouse. But in May of this year they tweaked their menu to offer smaller portion sizes of two “New Classics” (a porcini rubbed filet mignon and a peppercorn steak), two new seafood offerings (a Tillamook Bay petrale sole and a salmon nicoise salad), two new apps (roasted mushroom ravioli and lump crab lettuce wraps), and two new sides.

An attempt to provide more variety, healthier choices and smaller portions, the new menu targets the demographics the steakhouse has lost ground in – women, business people with shrinking expense accounts, and the “not meat and potatoes” crowd.

Which would be me.

Roasted Mushroom Ravioli: portobello and shiitake mushrooms, porcini butter sauce. Simple, earthy and satisfying. Umami + fat + carbs = happiness.

Lump Crab Louis Lettuce Wraps: butter lettuce, avocado, bacon, egg, tomato, chives. It’s a lettuce wrap, I’m a carnivore. Maybe I’d order this “for the lady”.

Tillamook Bay Petrale Sole with crab beignets and lemon butter sauce. When I saw crab beignets, I was understandably excited. They were unfortunately not the best part of the dish.

Salmon Nicoise Salad. A filet of Scottish salmon, truffled deviled eggs and individually prepared vegetables, topped with a kalamata olive aioli on a rosemary crostini. Pretty much a deconstructed nicoise salad.

Peppercorn Steak. Prime New York strip, cracked black and white peppercorns, served with a shotglass of Fleming’s “F17” steak sauce. Served here with sauteed French green beans, shiitake mushrooms and porcini essence. Classic steakhouse fare kicked up with a great, spicy steak sauce. Big, bold flavors. We’ve left salad and seafood territory far behind here.

Roasted baby carrots tossed with golden raisins and California mission almonds.

Chocolate Lava Cake served with vanilla ice cream and chopped pistachios. Kinda 2005 but, to be fair, this wasn’t part of Fleming’s new menu but one of their long standing favorites. Incredibly rich, if you’re a chocoholic, you’ll love it. I’m not. But I do love a good creme brulée.

Tahitian vanilla bean creme brulée topped with fresh, seasonal berries. What’s not to love?

The highlight of the new menu for me was the roasted mushroom ravioli. Its simplicity allowed the umami of the roasted portobello and shiitake mushrooms to shine through, complemented by a porcini butter sauce and just the right amount of sharpness from the cheese.

The peppercorn steak was another standout. A classic prime New York steak au poivre, it was well executed. But what made it shine was the “F17” sauce served in a tall shot glass with it, so named because it’s a secret blend of 17 ingredients, which gave the steak a real kick. It’s no secret that one of the main ingredients is a healthy dose of chipotle peppers!

As for the seafood dishes, sure, I enjoyed them but I’m probably not coming to Fleming’s for seafood. And as for dessert, well, I’m not one to pass up a good creme brulee.

With so many new restaurants in Downtown LA, Fleming’s may not be my first call. It’s not really a “destination” restaurant. But, having said that, it’s good to know they are evolving with their diner’s tastes.

And if I was looking to eat at LA Live, I’d definitely return.

For the meat and, err, ravioli.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
800 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 745-9911

Fleming's Steakhouse in Los Angeles on Fooddigger

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

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