A little over a year ago modern chain Del Frisco’s Grille headed west from from its Rockefeller Center counterparts and other nationwide locations to plant new roots on coveted Ocean Blvd real estate in Santa Monica. Del Frisco’s Santa Monica has since become a local lunch hangout drawing in locals with their burgers and steak sandwiches, as well as a fine (beach) dining destination for the droves of tourists that walk past their doors from a day at the pier. As a company Del Frisco’s has expanded to cities across the United States and one of their most recent developments has been yet again right here in the LA area, this time in downtown Pasadena.
Even in a foodie mecca like Los Angeles, the feeling I have towards most chain restaurants is simply indifference – I am admittedly more of a chain lover than loather however. I don’t find myself going out of my way seek them out on a regular basis but I most certainly attest to the fact that there’s a time and a place for Ihop and Olive Garden – yes, even for this beef tartar, “farm fresh” eating food snob. The thing with Del Frisco’s Grille though, unlike many chain restaurants, is that they’ve perfected their brand so well that you would never know from entrance to dining that that particular restaurant was part of a larger whole. Each Grille offers extensive menus, a wine list that blows most restaurants’ out of the water, an upscale yet casual setting, and quality fresh food beyond expectation.
I was initially drawn to Del Frisco’s because of their in-depth wine program and being the fellow wine lover, appreciator, and purveyor that I am, I knew at a place like Del Frisco’s I’d be taken care of – and I’d probably learn a thing or two. All of the Del Frisco locations have a sommelier on staff who are always available to speak with guests and help select wines which is hands down one of the most impressive and most attractive components that make this brand so successful.
For the past few months Del Frisco’s Santa Monica has once a month been hosting a sommelier conducted wine tasting event they’ve named Sommelier Saturdays. The sommelier chooses a focus or a region and you get a first hand lesson in that particular varietal on a sunny Saturday afternoon by the beach. It’s held the last Saturday of every month, you can read about my last Sommelier Saturday adventure HERE, and keep your eye out for Sommelier Saturday’s Pasadena – it’s sounding like that should be happening soon as well.
I’ll also be at the Santa Monica Sommelier Saturday this weekend for a special Australia Day theme! If you’d care to join me, the cost is just $35 per person and reservations are recommended: (310) 395-7333.
Beyond the insanely impressive and somewhat intimidating (in a good way) wine list, the wonderful meal Del Frisco’s prepares is up there with the Maestro’s and Fleming’s of the world. At my recent dinner at the new Pasadena location I stuck to classics like short rib stroganoff and ribeye, but between the ahi tacos and the truffled mac & cheese it’d be hard to choose a favorite. – When in doubt, order it all. First timers and deal seekers may I also remind you it’s still dineLA week and Del Frisco’s Grille Santa Monica and Pasadena are both participants! They’re offering a $25 pre-fix lunch through February 1st, so get in while the deal is hot.
Location: 55 S. Lake Ave., Suite 150 Pasadena, CA 91101
Call: (626) 765-9913
Location: 1551 Ocean Ave. Santa Monica, CA 90401
Call: (310) 395-7333