Friday, December 21, 2012

The Santa's Lap of BOA Steakhouse

Goat Cheese Baklava at BOA Steakhouse

In the twelve years I have known my friend Mark, I have only seen him eat a handful of different things: football game potato chips and French onion dip, yogurt, milk, hamburgers, Kraft macaroni and cheese, feta, Caesar salad, corn, watermelon, swordfish, take-put pizza and gnocchi. In many ways he is the most All American Danish dude I’ve ever met. All the aforementioned foods float in as sides and snacks around his main food of choice, which is prime beef steak. Getting him to order anything beyond an aged New York for dinner is like trying to give blood to a vegetarian.

So the classic American steakhouse tends to be his restaurant of choice and I get to reap the rewards of his prime cattle love when he takes me out to celebrate certain special occasions in our friendship. On the way to Burning Man together one year, Flemings Steakhouse became our last solid meal before a week of starvation and radical self-reliance and our first meal when we returned from the Playa ashen with dust. Last year for my birthday I enjoyed another meal, this time at BOA in Santa Monica. And last week for Christmas, he treated me to BOA again as a merry way to ring in the holidays.

I don’t do steakhouses often. Nothing wrong with a piece of perfectly rare beef, sublime vegetable sides and savory starches but the Cute Gardener and I tend to adventure all over the culinary map. Meat and potatoes never seem to win the choice over all the other more exotic choices on our “to eat lists.” But on the rare occasion I do step back into a really great steak house I remember just how wonderful they are and get a silly sense of nostalgia for things like John Wayne’s voice, a warm crackling fire and my grandfather’s laughing belly. And BOA is absolutely my favorite steakhouse of all I’ve tried.

Butterscotch pudding at BOA Steakhouse

 Here’s why:

- The goat cheese baklava is on my top five favorite appetizers list. A fluffy, creamy whipped pillow of the cheese is placed between two perfect puff pastry pieces dotted with pistachios like some kind of bastard Middle Eastern whoopee pie and there’s no way to express how the mixture of dense dough to oozing, sweet cream is on the tongue.

- They make your Caesar salad on a rolling tray right next to you at the table with superbly fresh and salty anchovies.

-The bread is served warm and the butter lukewarm.

-They offer you two cuts of meat when you order a steak, one that is full fat and one that is leaner with the fat cut off. The second option gives you more meat for the protein dieters of L.A.

-They have a filet mignon option that comes on the bone.

-They offer four rubs or crusts and four sauces that you can choose from to adorn your steak. My favorites are the blue cheese crust, the peppercorn rub and the chimchurri sauce.

-There sides are more creative then your normal sautéed mushrooms or spinach a la carte options. The smoky, chipotle corn kernels are incredibly addicting and go well with the rare tenderness of the meat.

They were out of the seasonal gingerbread pudding by the time I had unwrapped all of my presents including an amazing Nespresso milk-frothing machine so we settled on the butterscotch pudding. It came in a cute little glass jar and wasn’t as sinfully decadent as Gjelina’s butterscotch pot de crème but delivered in flavor and was topped with perfect pieces of caramel popcorn!

Another thing my friend Mark likes to do is read this story by comedian Steve Martin to inspire the true meaning of love and Christmas unto all he adores:


Carolyn wanted so much to give Roger something nice for Christmas, but they didn't have much money, and they had to spend every last cent on candy for the baby. She walked down the icy streets and peered into shop windows.

"Roger is so proud of his shinbones. If only I could find some way to get money to buy shinbone polish."

Just then, a sign caught her eye. "Cuticles bought and sold." Many people had told Carolyn of her beautiful cuticles, and Roger was especially proud of them, but she thought, "This is the way I could buy Roger the shinbone polish, selling my cuticles!" And she rushed into the store. 

Later at home she waited anxiously as Roger came up the steps to their flat. He opened the door and wobbled over to fireplace, suspiciously holding one arm behind his back. 

"Merry Christmas!" they both said, almost simultaneously. 

Roger spoke, "Hey nutsy, I got you a little something for Christmas."

"Me too," said Carolyn and they exchanged packages. 

Carolyn hurriedly opened her package, staring in disbelief. "Cuticle Frames?! But Roger, I sold my cuticles so I could afford to buy you some shinbone polish!"

"Shinbone polish!" said Roger, "I sold my shinbones to buy you the cuticle frames!" Roger wobbled over to her. 

"Well I'll be hog-tied!" said Carolyn. 

"You will? OH BOY!" said Roger. 

And it turned out to be a great Christmas after all!

There’s nothing like the masculine ambiance of a serious steakhouse for a nice little S and M Christmas ditty.

Of course, I sent the Cute Gardener the story the next morning.

No comments:

Post a Comment