There’s something about the holiday season that evokes the craving for hearty dishes and oversized cuts of meat – especially steak. From T-bones to prime rib to wagyu, each cut is a different experience. Irvine is home to several unique steakhouses from all-you-can-eat Brazilian style eateries to historic prime rib destinations in Orange County. With the holiday season coming to a close, be sure to celebrate steak one last time in 2021.
Gulliver’s Prime Rib
Offering luscious slabs of juicy prime rib three different ways, Gulliver’s has spent decades perfecting its menu. From the thinly sliced English cut to the gigantic “Brobdingnagian” cut served with the bone in, along with in-house aged steak, there’s no shortage of rare cuts of beef at Gulliver’s. Gulliver’s Restaurant has been a prime rib destination since opening in 1971. Located across the street from John Wayne Airport, the establishment was known to be frequented by John Wayne himself. Gulliver’s is one of the oldest restaurants in Orange County and the oldest in Irvine. Not much has changed inside Gulliver’s since opening. The restaurant still maintains the 18th-century English theme, with a dimly lit tavern atmosphere, set to resemble an English roadside Inn.
If you like the idea of being served sizzling hot steak, sliced off the skewer, then Agora Churrascaria is the place for you. With a dozen cuts of meat, this Brazilian steakhouse serves beef, pork, lamb and chicken. Guests can signal their desire for additional meat with the use of a green ticket, left on the table which encourages the waiters to bring more meat. Once the ticket is flipped to the red side, the meal will come to an end.
Twenty Eight Restaurant and Bar
If you happen to overlook the char siu glazed Heritage Pork Shoulder, Twenty Eight’s Asian-inspired dish served with fried bao buns, be sure not to miss the two beautiful cuts of Japanese and American Wagyu at the very top of the steak menu. While guests may lose themselves in the mouth-watering awe of a sizzling slice of Japanese A5 Wagyu Ribeye “Snow Beef,” Kevin Ho, General Manager and Sommelier of Twenty Eight OC, said this meat-forward menu is meant to entice. Aside from the real-world culinary splendor of its fare, Twenty Eight offers a collection of rare Napa Valley wine labels, along with an emphasis on the education of both American and Japanese whiskey/whisky spirits, paired with one of the strongest, high-quality whiskey collections in Orange County.
Irvine Weekly’s Liz Goldner writes that Bistango, located in the Atrium Building in Irvine, near the former Irvine Museum, was a venue designed by Venice-based architect Michael Carapetian as a combination restaurant and art gallery. Owned by the late John Ghoukassian, Bistango has exhibited art on its walls since its inception, while serving food that Ghoukassian called “new American cuisine.” With four different cuts of steak – prime angus ribeye steak, prime angus New York steak, grilled grass-fed filet mignon, and prime angus flat iron streak – Antoinette Sullivan, curator of Bistango’s art shows for more than 30 years, explains, “We presented our first art exhibition there at the restaurant’s opening in November 1987. We have hosted over 120 art shows displaying more than a thousand artists from Southern California and around the world.”
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
Originally founded in New Orleans in 1965, a woman named Ruth Fertel can be credited for founding the steakhouse, along with the cooking method in which streaks are prepared each day in Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse Kitchens. In her discovery, Fertel found that a 500-degree plate loaded with butter gets the steak hot and flavorful until the last bite. In order to achieve this method every time, Fertel designed a proprietary1800-degree broiler that’s still used today. Ruth’s Chris features nearly a dozen different cuts of beef, including a 16 oz. bone-in filet, a bone-in New York strip, and classic T-Bone.
Paul Martin’s American Grill
Located in the Irvine Spectrum, Paul Martin’s American Grill house specialties include a 14 oz. blackened ribeye, a southern-fried New York Strip, served with sherry black pepper gravy, mashed potatoes, garlic green beans, and a classic center-cut Filet Mignon. While the menu at Paul Martin’s isn’t centered around steak, these well-known cuts are available anytime, making a go-to lunch or dinner any time of year.