I’ve been to the Cupertino location of Alexander’s a couple of times, and although I think the food is great, I also think it’s pretty expensive. The first time I ate there, Pdho took me to celebrate my birthday, and I think I went a subsequent time during Silicon Valley’s Dine About Town week. As Alexander’s Steakhouse virgins, we were so enamored with the menu that we practically ordered everything on the menu. We ended up having leftovers for several meals afterwards. Generally speaking, the steaks are okay, but I think it’s because they try to do too much with adding different flavor profiles and sauces to the steaks. However, I’ve always found the appetizers and side dishes to be OUTSTANDING!
Anyways, I still look forward to any opportunity to go back since the food is pretty good, so luckily enough I stumbled upon their Sunday Special and decided to make a reservation immediately. The Sunday Special included their famous Hamachi Shooter as an appetizer, a 14 oz slice of prime rib and a choice of any side dish on the menu for a popping $35. That sounded like a great deal if I ever heard one. So I invited Vsiz and TUmmy to join Pdho and myself for an early Sunday dinner.
I really wasn’t expecting much beyond what was advertised for $35, so I was pleasantly surprised when the waiter brought out an amuse bouche of Butternut Squash. It was smoothly puréed and sprinkled with some pomegranate seeds and brunoise Granny Smith apples. It was sweet and pleasing to the palate. A very nice start to the meal.
The one thing everyone seems to love at Alexander’s is the Hamachi Shooters. In all honesty, the “shooters” presentation is a little gimmicky, because it really isn’t all that easy to “shoot” these suckers, but the fish and the flavors are absolutely fantastic. They use Grade 5A Hamachi (although I am not sure what that means) and add some Ponzu sauce, truffle oil, sesame seeds, seaweed, ginger and a little chili pepper. It’s really quite delicious!
After perusing the menu, we decided to order the Seared Foie Gras in addition to our $35 menu. Vsiz was curious to try it and none of us could resist saying no to sharing the appetizer. It was quite delicious, and considering how big the piece was, it was an excellent idea to share. The rich fattiness would be too overwhelming for any one person’s arteries to handle.
As with other full meals here, they served a Kumquat Sorbet as a palate cleanser in preparation for the main course. This was very nice and refreshing.
I was thoroughly impressed with the size of the actual prime rib. Not only was it 14 Oz of perfectly cooked meat, but it was a rather thick piece of high quality Wagyu beef. It was very nicely flavored, and I really enjoyed the crisp crust of seasoning around the prime rib. There was a fare amount of fat which I proceeded to cut around, but in spite of that, there was plenty of beef to be enjoyed. I barely ate half and ended up taking the rest home.
The mushrooms were a variety of different wild types that I rarely see, and it was served with an Ohnsen egg (which is just the name of the farm from which the eggs came). However, what is interesting to note, which the waiter was quite proud to tell us was how the egg was prepared. It’s prepared via the sous vide technique where the egg is cooked in an immersion circulator at exactly 62.5 degrees allowing the white to cook faster than the yolk. I suppose it adds a certain creaminess once you crack the egg and mix it with the mushrooms. Honestly, I couldn’t really tell the difference in terms of taste, but it was definitely a nice presentation.
The green beans were flash-fried and topped with some pieces of Applewood-smoked bacon. Although I found the texture of the green beans a little crunchier than I normally prefer, I really liked the flavor that the bacon added to the dish. It was quite tasty.
I really liked the addition of cauliflower to this macaroni and cheese dish. The firmness of the vegetables balanced out the texture of the macaroni, and I really liked that the dish wasn’t too cheesy. Instead of being heavy-handed on the cheese, the dish had a rich creaminess which still probably made it high in calories, but it wasn’t as strong on the cheese flavor.
The Truffle French Fries are another one of my favorite side dishes. The smell of the truffle oil is absolutely intoxicating, but the french fries themselves are thin, crispy and sprinkled with a mix of different seasonings. Absolutely delicious!
Overall, it was an absolutely delicious meal. I was much more pleased with the steak this time around. I thought the prime rib was perfectly seasoned, and I think it was the fact that they took a minimalist approach with the preparation of the steak that really allowed me to taste the great flavors of the meat itself. The SF space is noticeably smaller than the location in Silicon Valley, but it doesn’t have the same steakhouse feel like the one in Cupertino which includes a meat locker-like type area where they dry-age all their steaks. Nevertheless, I like the ambiance of the restaurant as it adds a more modern, airy vibe which is in line with many restaurants in the area. I was feeling perfectly satisfied by the end of the meal, and I look forward to the next occasion in which I will get to enjoy another meal here.
448 Brannan Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
PAFO Ratings for Alexander’s Steakhouse:
Price 4 ½ stars
Ambiance 3 ½ stars
Food 4 stars
Overall rating 4 stars