Best Steakhouse Orange County 2012 - THE RANCH
The PR people at THE RANCH (their caps, not ours) hate it when we media types refer to the restaurant in write-ups as a steakhouse. If they've told us once, they've told us a thousand times, "It's not a steakhouse! It's a restaurant and saloon!" They're right, of course. And it is a great restaurant with none other than ex-Napa Rose MVPs chef Michael Rossi in the kitchen and master sommelier Michael Jordan in the wine cellar. But we media types have a love/hate relationship with PR people, so we're going to call it a steakhouse even if the non-steak menu items outnumber the cow-based ones. Extron's Andrew Edwards spared no expense in remodeling his electronics firm's lobby into THE RANCH, which sure looks like one, with darkly lit leather booths and steer-head motifs all over. And the slabs of cow served, ranging from a filet mignon to the 36-ounce, bone-in rib chop, can compete with and easily defeat the offerings at Mastro's and Morton's. That it doesn't require you to pay for the sides à la carte as would a typical steakhouse immediately makes it better than a steakhouse, which is the point those PR people are trying to make.