August 27, 2008

The Dal Rae

Every month or two, some of my buddies and I have a "guy's night out", which means booze and steak and more booze. Our culinary outings have delved into some of the older dining establishments around the LA area. I guess a lot of folks would consider these places "old man" restaurants. They're not trendy or hip, but they are kitschy locations that used be called "supper clubs" back in the 50's. There are not many of them left, but the nice thing about dinner spots like these is good service and excellent food (generally). Our most recent outing had our meager group of meat-eaters headed into the bowels of Pico Rivera to the Dal Rae.

In case there's any doubt as to what goes on inside, the word "Restaurant" is plainly visible.

You can almost smell the pipe tobacco, vodka martinis and sheer manliness.

The place didn't look like much on the outside, but it clearly had that post-war atomic-age feel. Like most things in LA it was in a crappy area... but not too crappy... but sort of a "been there for a long-time" type of crappy as opposed to "there's gangs everywhere trying to kill us and oh God I hope we don't get pulled over by the cops because they'll beat anyone in this neighborhood" type of crappy. Los Angeles has a lot of layers to its crap, you just have to know which layer you're in--- and dress appropriately.

Wait a second... I feel like I'm in "Goodfellas"...
please don't go Joe Pesci on my ass!

It's cliché to say that walking through the door was like stepping back in time, but suck it up, cuz that's exactly what it was like. You could smell the steak and seafood being cooked in butter. The hostess, bartenders and wait staff were all adults, which was a refreshing change to see. There were NO disinterested 20-nothings slouching about, in positions of authority but unwilling to do anything, hating their jobs, not caring if they waited on us or not. For a change we were treated like customers, like a valuable part of this establishment's business and not a burden to emo-boy or attitude-girl who refuse to make eye-contact with anyone over thirty.

Aw, crap. I'm bitching like an old coot... that's better than cooting like an old bitch I guess.

The main dining room was large with wood paneling and big tuck n' roll leather booths. The room had just the right mood lighting under which to have a cocktail and discuss Sputnik, JFK, and the prospect of flying cars -- fueled by atomic power of course.

Hey why does THAT olive get its own pool?

The Dal Rae is one of those places where they bring you a chilled relish tray right off the bat and then take your "cocktail order". Seems a little hokey by today's standards I suppose... a dish of ice with veggies and pickled curiosities on top... but it was nice, and a tasty compliment to my before-dinner drink.

Ummmm... I guess I'll have the meat.

The wedge salad wasn't really a "wedge" nor did it appear to be much of a "salad". The carrot and tomato seemed like an afterthought at best.. in fact, the whole thing looked like Raymond Burr had attempted to eat a head of lettuce in two bites while on the run, and then in a fit of bile-spewing fury horked it all back up onto a chilled plate. BUT... despite its appearance, the salad (and especially the blue cheese dressing) were EXCELLENT!

And then the main course came...

You're looking a little crabby this evening.

The Dal Rae is a steak joint, it's known for its pepper steak. I ordered surf n' turf. A pepper steak fillet and crab legs. Well... truth be told, the Dal Rae screwed up my order and brought me a standard fillet rather than the pepper steak... but I didn't care. The meal was perfect! The steak was outstanding and the crab legs were beautiful... they even came split so I didn't have to fight to eat them. This was one of the BEST meals I've ever had. Not a HEALTHY meal at all. This was one of those artery-clogging gastronomical orgies your doctor warns you about. Throw in a couple of glasses of wine, and BAM - it doesn't get much better than this.

But wait... there's still dessert. What?... but I didn't save room! We couldn't leave without trying the Bananas Flambé.

Hey... wait a second... Flambé is just a sissy word for fire!

They came right to our table. Set up a little stove, dumped sugar, butter, bananas, and rum into a pan and set it on fire. Who knew a desert without chocolate could be so good?! There might have been some peaches or something else thrown in there as well. I was finishing all this off with a great glass of port. At this point I was the Dal Rae's bitch and loving all that she could dish out.

I can't wait to go back for more abuse.


Anonymous said...

Nice, Tommy! Thanks for sharing... brings back memories of you and I and Kevin going to Tamo'Shanters so Kevin could fill up his second 'meat only' stomach. The place did look cheesy on the outside, but nice on the inside. As in how much per plate? And where exactly is that place? must have craaaabbbbb...


Tom said...

Hey Henry!

Yeah, this was definitely a place that Kevin would go for. The Dal Rae is at:

9023 E. Washington Blvd.
Pico Rivera, CA 90660

It's old school all the way. The crab was FANTASTIC (as was the steak). The place ain't cheap, my part of the bill (including tip) came to $133. But we went all out, we had before dinner drinks, appetizers, couple of glasses of wine with dinner, desert, then an after dinner drink. Maybe I was just so drunk that I thought it was good.

Anonymous said...

damn it, I gotta get a job so I can afford a dinner like that...

k. said...

mr. coot-

whats wrong with cooting like an old bitch, huh? there are pleanty of old bitches out there- myself included- who have worked hard for the right to coot whenever and wherever the hell they want.

-old bitch.