Steakhouse The Arthur J rounds out Chef David LeFevre’s mini restaurant row in Manhattan Beach, adding a meat-focused eatery to seafood restaurant Fishing With Dynamite and small plates place MB Post. What makes The Arthur J special is not just its quality meats but its take on additions and sides. LeFevre has created a fun spin on the classic steakhouse while maintaining its elegance.
That mentality extends to The Arthur J’s cocktail list, too. My favorite is The Long Goodbye made with Oxley gin, lime, tumeric, honey, carrot and cardamom. Based on the ingredients, I didn’t think I would like this. But one sip — and one look at its vibrant color — changed my mind completely. It’s sweet and savory, giving a nice balance for someone who can’t decide what kind of drink to order (which is often me).
And then we turn to the menu. Yes, the Parker House rolls with deviled ham spread are delicious. Get them. And the Emmental popovers with strawberry preserves are the stuff of dreams. Get them, too. Get all the bread.
However, I didn’t love the roasted bone marrow toast. I think it was the focaccia bread that threw me off; the oiliness was too much paired with the already rich marrow. For a lighter starter, the hamachi tartare offers sweet and spicy notes, but in the end it’s just a nice raw fish-and-avocado dish and nothing groundbreaking.
But nevermind that. You could order the bone-in ribeye Tomahawk chop for two (or three or four, since it’s so large) or the Japanese Wagyu ribeye cap and be happy. But you’ll be happier when you start adding sauces and toppings.
The Sauces & Butters menu has all the usual suspects plus chimichurri, Vietnamese caramel, black truffle butter, yuzu koshu butter and foie maple butter. The toppings menu includes a sunny side up egg, lump blue crab, foie gras and a steamed half lobster.
If you get one side, get the potato gratin. Lefevre’s version is like nothing I’ve had before: a brick of layered potato, cheese and sauce that could stand on its own as a meal.
Desserts at The Arthur J are legit, too. The kitchen turns out solid versions of classics such as cheesecake and a chocolate bar, but it’s the strawberry shortcake that stood out for me. Not only do you get the fruit with the cream and a sugar-dusted biscuit, but the dessert comes with strawberry sorbet to boot, providing another dimension to an otherwise standard dish.
Note: This meal was hosted.