Friday, February 22, 2013

review - Fleming's Steakhouse

Fleming's Steakhouse and Wine Bar
6373 Topanga Canyon, Woodland Hills

by Don Grigware

With a couple of very slight criticisms, I highly recommend Fleming's for its delicious aged prime beef and fine service.
Located in the heart of Topanga Canyon, Fleming's means elegant dining. Its ultra modern design, spacious dining room with tables and booths, a full bar in front and kitchen partially visible to the side, all add up to providing the comfortable surroundings one expects in a top-notch restaurant. On the weeknight I attended, it was early – restaurant opens at 5 pm daily – so, not yet crowded. This made for a very relaxed, pleasant experience. Our friendly server was Steve and the maitre d Kenne Hoffman, both accommodating and very efficient.

A steak lover, I was excited to try the New York strip steak, which is always a favorite. My friend had filet mignon. As it turned out, both steaks were cooked to perfection. When you ask for a steak, cooked medium, it sometimes arrives overdone, with you querying, "Where's the pink?" Not so at Fleming's! It met my total satisfaction. My only suggestion is that there be some garnish on the plate or perhaps an onion ring or two, as the presentation was simply the steak, nothing more. Not a complaint, just a tiny suggestion! We shared the a la carte potatoes and vegetables: delicious garlic mashed potatoes, creamed spinach that I swear was one of the best I've ever tasted – must be the added cheese, and a dish of nicely prepared broccoli with tiny grilled tomatoes on top. For starters, I had the French onion soup baked with gruyere and parmesan cheeses. This is also a favorite of mine, so my only qualm is: I felt the soup needed more seasoning to give it that extra special touch a la francaise, but, as is, it was excellent, especially the thick and tasty mass of melted cheeses. My friend and I shared one other appetizer, the sweet chile calamari. It had a sweet and sour taste which was delectable. For non-red meat diners, Fleming’s also offers a lovely chicken breast, pork rib chop and select, fresh seafood, such as barbecued Scottish salmon fillet, shrimp scampi, Alaskan king crab legs and North Atlantic lobster tails. Something to suit and satisfy every pallet! And, the extensive award-winning wine list is incredible, featuring Fleming’s 100 wines, served by the glass.

For dessert, there’s a lovely Crème Brulee, but we chose to share Fleming's renowned Chocolate Lava Cake. It's a sinful concoction with luscious, warm chocolate filling, that literally spills out when you cut into the cake. It is served with ice cream, real whipped cream and cookies over chopped pistachios. It is difficult to stay on your diet when you eat at Fleming's. The rich food is simply divine, so plan a fast before and after you eat there, but, please, do not miss the foods I have mentioned, or their wonderful prime rib, a specialty in January – that will be carried over until February.

February 10th, that is. It is a special 3-course meal on Sundays for only $29.95. There is also a great menu planned for Valentine’s Day from February 14th -17th. To sweeten the deal every couple who dines between Thursday the 14th and Sunday the 17th will receive a $25 dining card toward a return rendezvous at Fleming’s. Now, that’s something to look forward to, so, guys, treat your wife or your sweetheart to an unforgettable night out at Fleming’s. The pleasant atmosphere lends itself favorably to a romantic table for two, but at the same time can also serve the event/party needs of a larger group. Some customers had their kids in tow the night I attended. That speaks volumes about Fleming’s popularity. There are 3 locations: Woodland Hills, Beverly Hills and El Segundo. Visit their website for more info like exact addresses, complete menus and pricing:

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