In the religion that is carnivorism, there is one animal that receives the fiercest adulations: the cow. Chicken and pork have their own share of groupies, but they simply can't exist in the most primal of cow cuts: the steak. And, man, do people love their steak. When cooked the right way, steak is not just a divinely sliced piece of flesh, but a piece of art with the greatest potential for hyper-worship. In Orange County, we've got a couple places with slabs of meat that'll trigger your inner steak geek–starting with these ten.
9. Morton's the Steakhouse
If there's one great way to eat steak, it involves being surrounded by dark wood and bright chandeliers–an environment that inevitably transports the eater to a different time and place. The steakhouse is primarily known for its 24-ounce porterhouse and hearty portions, so be VERY prepared. And if you're not in the mood for some steak, for some reason, their happy hour is killer.
South Coast Plaza, 1641 W Sunflower Ave, Santa Ana, (714) 444-4834; instagram.com/mortonssteak
8. Stubrik's Steakhouse and Bar
This place is great for people who love steak and are simple because you only have two to choose from: top sirloin or filet mignon (with variations of course). Plus, there's a *honorary mention* bacon-wrapped steak for the people who do the meat version of extreme sports (which, in actuality, is probably a good amount of us).
118 E Commonwealth Ave, Fullerton, (714) 871-1290; facebook.com/stubrikssteakhouse
7. Agora Churrascaria
Metal swords aren't just for unwarranted deaths on Game of Thrones, but also slabs of meat. An all-you-can-eat set up, gauchos walk around serving pierced beef, pork, lamb, and poultry that've been cooked over open fire pits, slicing you a piece as you request 'em. It's definitely an easy way to get hungover on meat, but who doesn't like a meat feast every so often? Best do it at this mecca of carnivorism, which happens to be in Irvine.
1830 Main St., Irvine, CA; facebook.com/agoranow
6. Selanne Steak Tavern
Selanne Steak Tavern–which, fun fact, is owned by Anaheim Ducks legend Teemu Selanne–is certainly pricey, but it just might be worth emptying your coin jar for. Here's what Anne Marie had to say on that:
The piece de resistance is a Lord Stanley, 32-ounce cut of Wagyu hailing from the Darling Downs region of Australia. Yes, there are half a dozen other cuts of beef and additional proteins worthy of consumption. But who wouldn't want to attack such a fine cut at a place that has steak in its name? So we did, and it was good– Good the kitchen was kind enough to include trumpet mushrooms, cippolini onions and a blue cheese chunk with the $96 price tag.
1464 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, (949) 715-9881; instagram.com/selannesteaktavern
5. Mastro's Steakhouse
The first thing you see when you drive into the Mastro's parking lot is that there's a valet, foreshadowing how expensive the rest of the night will be. And then there's the restroom attendee you're supposed to tip and the classy decor and yadda yadda but, once you bite into your Wagyu beef (yes, you should order this), the tenderness will erase money from your internal dictionary and replace it with “OH MY GOD.” And Paula Deen's appetite is your appetite's spirit animal, you will enjoy how buttery everything is–including the lobster mashed potatoes.
633 Anton Blvd, Costa Mesa, (714) 546-7405; instagram.com/mastrosofficial
4. Taco Maria
Oh, Taco Maria. You never disappoint with whatever new dishes you put out each day. You're the perfectionist everyone knows about, and you're so good people can't even be jealous of you–they just wonder, “how do they do it?” With that statement, you maintain the same standards with your steak–cooking it over a flame and maximizing its juiciness so that the succulence doesn't leave the eater's lips until the day after (or longer–it varies).
3313 Hyland Ave, Costa Mesa, (714) 538-8444; instagram.com/tacomaria
3. Hobbit Restaurant
If you're wondering if The Hobbit's interior looks anything like where Frodo and Sam lived, you might be disappointed. But it does one have similarity to Lord of the Rings, which is the fact that you go on an adventure when you dine here. They serve a seven-course, prix-fixe menu that works almost like one of those walk-through attractions at Universal Studios. You start at the wine cellar, then you're invited to your own table, then there's an intermission where you can walk around or visit the kitchen, and then you come back and enjoy the rest of your courses. Pretty cool!
2932 E Chapman Ave, Orange, (714) 997-1972; https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hobbit-Restaurant/159553920736211
2. The Ranch Restaurant and Saloon
The Ranch lives up to its name, serving farm-to-table style and changing their menu based on what produce is in season. The coolest thing about The Ranch is that you don't have to pay for extra sides because Chef Michael Rossi serves everything all together. Splurgers should consider the bone-in rib chop that's served with white cheddar-scalloped potatoes and Bordelaise sauce, which is worth a couple of personal journal entries about.
1025 E Ball Rd, Anaheim, (714) 817-4200; instagram.com/theranchrestaurant
1. Chianina Steakhouse
If you enter a building and find that it's dark and windowless, there's a high chance it's one of the most expensive steak dinners in Long Beach, and it's probably Chianina. In this dark room, you're served cattle raised in Central Italy–Piedmontese beef, specifically–and are lean instead of fatty. That means slightly tougher meat, but the kind you'd like to chew forever before swallowing (scientist, I have a free idea for you: a steak whose taste can last as long as you like.)
5716 E 2nd St, Long Beach, (562) 434-2333; instagram.com/chianinasteak