For lil' sis's belated and my brother's birthdays, he chose Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar in downtown Los Angeles at LA Live, where Staples Center and Nokia Theatre are located. Does anyone remember when venues weren't all corporate names? :/
We were quite excited since none of us had dined at Fleming's before and we do love our steak. Plus, lil' sis was a little disappointed we didn't go to a steakhouse for her graduation dinner since we ended up at Brodard Chateau Vietnamese Cuisine - Garden Grove (Little Saigon) instead.
Typical steakhouse decor of dark paneling and booths.
Hmm. This part still bothers me a month later. You know I generally don't remark on service unless it stands out such as comments that make me uncomfortable or waitstaff who seem to deliberately ignore me.
When we placed our order, we told the waiter we would be sharing our dinner. I ordered either the summer prix fixe or the prime rib. Not that it mattered because we planned to share everything anyway. But the waiter got confused and thought that was all we were ordering. So he was rude and arrogant when asking for clarification.
Yes, there was a miscommunication, but his attitude when asking really turned me off. I could see him thinking that we weren't going to be worth his time because he thought all four of us were going to split one meal. Plus, my brother mentioned that we were celebrating two birthdays when he made the reservation, which we were -- his and lil' sis's. But that only further made the waiter turn up his nose at us. Dude! We were celebrating two birthdays and we ordered desserts, so is it that big of a deal to stick two candles on them?
Needless to say, I wasn't feeling too warm about Fleming's after that.
Warm bread. Two kinds of butter. Chipotle butter? Sun-dried tomato butter? Honestly, it didn't really matter to me anymore.
The $36.95 prime rib dinner came with a choice of the Wedge, Fleming's, or Caesar salad, a side dish, and a dessert.
I chose the Wedge. Pretty good, but I think my Wedge salad is better because I made my own blue cheese dressing and sprinkle crumbled bacon on top.
As an aside, my version is so good that last December an obnoxious man copied and pasted my entire post, including pictures, onto his blog and when I asked him to please remove it he called me an "ass." I kid you not. Then declared that I should have been "honored" that he thought my recipe was "so good" that he reposted it. He sent me two more emails lambasting me further. He apologized the next day, but not before he went onto a forum spewing the same diatribe about how he should be able to cut and paste what he wanted from the internet and that people will next say it's illegal for him to cut and paste entire news articles onto the forum's website. Umm, yes, those are all copyright violations. Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. Someone on the forum said he thought it was fairly obvious what the fuss was about, and he got attacked by that man too.
Anyway, I digress. But since you can probably tell that the meal was not so great, I might as well stick that in there too. Besides, it's not as if I haven't digressed before.
We also ordered the summer fixed price special for $39.95. We chose the Beef Flemington, their version of beef Wellington, filet mignon with mushroom duxelle wrapped in puff pastry, madeira sauce, and roasted baby carrots; summer corn chowder, and key lime pie.
The summer corn chowder had pureed corn instead of chunks like what I expected of a chowder. It was OK, but we like our corn and would have liked the kernels.
The prime rib with three sauces. Horseradish, au jus, and I can't remember what the third was. The prime rib was rather lukewarm and incredibly bland. I can't recall it tasting like anything. I remember when slicing into it, that it wasn't tough, but it was only slightly better than a cheap late night Vegas prime rib special. I'm not trying to be difficult, but c'mon! Fleming's is a steakhouse. I wanted to be wowed by their steak. I stopped at w.
We also got the bone-in rib-eye for $44.50. This was our favorite of the night. It was warm and had flavor. The prime rib and beef Flemington were lukewarm. I guess that's so the inside doesn't overcook, but it sure doesn't make eating steak tasty when it's lukewarm.
The beef Flemington.
A little tough actually for filet mignon, but the wine sauce gave it flavor.
We also ordered a half and half, onion rings and shoestring fries for $9.50. I totally had a blonde moment and kept thinking the shoestring fries were going to be onion strings. Onion strings are way tasty. Shoestring fries are just OK. The onion rings were good.
As the side dish for the prime rib, we chose mashed potatoes. Can you see? Lumpy and dry. Sad! Because lil' sis loooves mashed potatoes and this was left half-eaten. Milk! Butter! Try it Fleming's! It'll make a big difference in transforming your mashed potatoes into something creamy and yummy!
Tiberia started getting hungry so my sister-in-law went outside to nurse her. We then all proceeded to join them to finish our meal. The manager helped move our baby gear outside. He seemed nice about it too, not all begrudging and stuff.
I thought the chocolate lava cake that I ordered with the prime rib was our dessert. Instead, it was a complimentary birthday dessert. And since we were celebrating two birthdays, we got two free chocolate lava cakes! How nice! We weren't expecting that. They're normally $10.95 ala carte.
The waiter was nicer after he realized we weren't all sharing one meal, but I sure hated the unpleasantness in the beginning. Maybe Fleming's needs to train their waiters to learn that people share food and not to be surprised when they do?
The key lime pie. You know, I don't want to disparage key lime pie, but I have yet to eat a restaurant key lime pie that didn't taste like what I can get at the grocery store. Am I missing something? Where can I get really good key lime pie?
Since the chocolate lava cakes were free because of the birthdays, I got to choose another dessert. The creme brulee is $8.50 if ordered ala carte. I looove creme brulee. This one made me sad.
Can you see? It didn't set right. The texture was all wrong -- grainy and dry instead of smooth and creamy. We all took a bite to try and stopped because it was just so wrong.
We had all been looking forward to trying out Fleming's and all four of us left rather disappointed. The steaks weren't bad, but they weren't amazing. Merely OK steaks shouldn't happen at a steakhouse. And spending more than $130 on dinner, plus tax and tip, shouldn't leave us feeling dissatisfied.
Oh well. We tried, so now we know. Was it this location? Should we have ordered different cuts? My cousin's fiance loves Fleming's so we came with high expectations. I expected Morton's quality, which I dined at prior to blogging, should I not have?
Other steakhouse restaurants:
STK - Los Angeles (West Hollywood)
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar
800 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sunday to Thursday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
If you park downstairs, get two validation stamps. We got one, thinking that would be enough, but apparently was only good for one hour.
1 year ago today, Manna Korean Restaurant - Rosemead.
2 years ago today, Chinese Eggplant Salad.
3 years ago today, Frijoles Negros (Cuban Black Beans).