In a city where restaurants vie for celebrity patronage and flashy presentations sometimes precede flavor, The Palm Steakhouse in West Hollywood remains the unpretentious favorite of locals and celebrities alike. Since its opening in 1975, The Palm has been garnering a crowd of devoted followers with its simple, stunning presentations of high quality meat, seafood, and favorite Italian classics, like Veal Scallopine and Linguini with Clam Sauce. Its lively atmosphere, generous portions, and highly attentive service make The Palm an ideal destination for a special occasion dinner, even as the relaxed bar scene invites old friends to re-connect over a great glass of wine.Read More ...
From the outside, the Palm is relatively nondescript, with a green and white façade and only a small sign donning the signature palm tree to announce its presence. Inside, the walls are dark wood paneling and lined with matching wood booths that include dark green leather seats. To the left of the entry, a large television hangs over a polished wood bar where patrons can chat amicably among one another, and this is exactly what they did as we arrived, and continued to do as we left a few hours later.
We were greeted quite warmly by The Palm’s staff and led to a quaint table for two at the far end of the restaurant. The restaurant offers booths as well as round tables, all tastefully topped with uncomplicated white linens. Though there was no music playing, the room hummed with conversation and the lights were dim over tables populated by content diners. Our server, Alessandro, greeted us within seconds with his charming Italian accent. After a quick hello, we were brought a basket containing large slices of sourdough bread and a few pieces of dense, sweet panettone. Two glasses of deep, complex Malbec were poured into our beautiful stemware as we glanced over our menus.
The Palm’s menu is divided into several small parts: appetizer, salads, vegetable and potatoes, house specialties, Italian specialties like Chicken Parmesan, selections of fish and, of course, high-quality beef and chops. In addition, there is ever-changing seasonal menu highlighting the freshest local ingredients of each season.
Executive Chef Brent Jaegar shops at local farmers markets and uses local purveyors for his specials, and based on Alessandro’s recommendation, we began our meal with one of these: Steamed West Coast Mussels. They arrive already split into two shallow bowls, and swimming in a pale yellow beurre blanc. The mussels are tender and the beurre blanc is light enough not to overwhelm the true flavor of the mussels. The dish was simply garnished with fresh thyme and micro greens. As a result of this simplicity, the flavors remained clean and were just enough to highlight the shellfish.
Some time before our mussels arrived, Alessandro brought out the raw version of our New York Strip Steak in order for us to inspect the firm texture, fine marbling, and dark coloring that is the result of The Palm’s rigorous aging process. Steaks are aged by The Palm’s own national meat wholesale company, which specializes in high-quality, Midwestern, corn-fed beef. When the cooked version of our steak arrived, the simplicity of the presentation astonished us- just the twelve ounce steak, alone and centered on a large round plate, dotted only by finely chopped parsley. It was a subtle statement about the quality of the beef.
When we cut into the strip steak, we were delighted to see that it was evenly cooked, with a rich, crispy brown crust on the outside, and possessed the essential transition from pink to red on the inside. Aside from melting in our mouth, our steak was full of character, tender but still retaining enough texture to let us linger over the time-developed flavor.
For our other entrée, we selected The Palm’s Three Pound Lobster, a behemoth of a crustacean, steamed, cut in half and then lightly charred under the broiler before being served on a large silver platter accompanied by lemon wedges and melted sweet butter. The lobster, too, was simple but well-done, lacking a flashy presentation that might distract from the beautifully sweet meat.
To accompany the selections of fish and meat, The Palm offers a variety of vegetable and potato side dishes from which we ordered one of the seasonal specials, a side of sautéed corn. A generous portion of corn arrived on a small, oblong dish accompanying our steak. The combination of lightly charred sweet corn, generous cubes of fatty, crisp pancetta, meltingly soft cipollini onions, roasted garlic, and parsley was truly outstanding. It was a delicious, colorful and complex contrast to the simplicity of our steak and lobster.
The Palm offers guests a dessert tray from which to choose. In this way, guests are deviously tempted not just by descriptions, but by the sight of rustic Italian tiramisu or a colorful bowl of fresh berries. We entrusted Alessandro, who had not yet led us astray, with our dessert choice and we were presented with the Cheesecake. Alessandro brought it to our table and set it down with the quick comment that he had garnished it, “as if it were for myself,” with a pile of berries and a spritz of Chantilly cream. The tall triangle of creamy cheesecake is topped with a layer of sweetened sour cream and lined with a thick graham cracker crust on the edges and bottom. In line with the rest of our meal, this cheesecake is the real thing, sourced directly from a company in New Jersey that specializes in New York cheesecakes. We also indulged in a cup of espresso which was small and strong, and proved to be a nice end to our meal, served in true Italian style with a sliver of lemon peel to twist and toss into the cup.
By the end of our meal, we felt sure we had figured out why so many people, including celebrities, love The Palm. It isn’t because it is a trendy, overpriced steakhouse or not even because the service is outstanding and devoted. It’s because The Palm has character and it has class. It stays true to the original ideals of excellent food in an elegant yet approachable atmosphere, and doesn’t pretend to be something else. It is unpretentious, fun and lively. The dishes are simple, classy, and extremely well-executed. If you’re looking for a classic place to celebrate a special occasion, or even just to relax with friends over a great glass of wine and a steak, you’ve found it at The Palm.
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The service was outstanding, very friendly. The filet was one of the best steaks I have ever eaten. Great atmosphere. The only drawback was the price. They had valet parking but that cost $6 and then we spent $400 on 6 people (including tip). Other than the price, it was excellent.
Outstanding, friendly service from the minute you walk in. Outstanding food (not just steaks), good wine list, wonderful ambiance, humungous deserts, nothing lacking. A great place to take your out-of-town guests for an LA experience second-to-none. Joe (O.C.)
Fun and friendly. We were given outstanding service and had a wonderful time. We stopped at The Palm before attending opening night for a performance at the Pantages. We will be back!
We were a group of five women. Our experience, being the fist time for all of us, was outstanding. Our waiter, Pepe was very experienced, helpful and had a good sense of humor. He made sure we were well taken care of without being instrusive. All in all I am looking forward to dining at this restaurant again.
Wonderful experience. Fodd and service were terrific. We will be back!!!
Most pleasurable experience. Ambiance exceeded our expectations. Peppercorn Steak Sauce rivals those from the best Steakhouses. I would make this a must for any visit to the LA area.
If you want to be treated elegantly and have a meal that's out-of-this-world, dine at The Palm -- West Hollywood!
we celebrated my boyfriends birthday here and the night could not have gone better! all the waitors came over sang happy birthday and topped it off with a birthday card signed by the entire staff. Great personal touch! not to mention the service is great, the food is outstanding and the vibe is out of this world!
If you're looking for a perfectly aged steak and/or delicious sea food with great side dishes in a traditional setting then this is the place. It's worth every penny because they deliver. This is a no frills, well run establishment with over three decades of experience. I loved the dark, oaky atmosphere. They have valet parking. There was no wait to be seated with a reservation and their timing was perfect throughout the meal. The 24 oz. bone in rib-eye was mouth watering as was the New Foundland lobster. Anyway we loved it and we will be back when in LA again!
Love the ambiance. Love the service. Love the relaxation of the whole place. Strongly recommend!!
It lives up to the hype. Great food and atmosphere.
Great food! Amazing service!
If you like steaks this is the place to go. Lovely atmosphere and friendly staff. There was a bit of a rush in serving the food but they got the best chef in town. Highly recommended.
Our first visit to the Palms and definitely not our last. Great great service and fabulous food. Best steak i have had in years. Thank you for a wonderful evening.
The Palm was fantastic. It was our first time experience of this restaurant but we are sure will not be the last. The taste was delicious and the kindness of the staff was increasing this taste. Thanks Sinan
This was our first visit to The Palm and we will be back. The ambiance is welcoming and the food is delicious. Great value for the money.
We had a delicious and enjoyable meal at The Palm-West Hollywood. I just love the upbeat energy, pace of serving and smiling staff. Everyone is attentive, conversational, friendly and professional. Portions are very generous.
It was ok,
If the walls could speak you could listen for weeks. But we felt the menu was weak and the service was average. We were left wondering if they seek to build a loyal customer base or just attract tourists with their long dstinguished history. Sometimes legendary just doesn't live up to the legend.
Save you wallet and have a wonderful meal at Bubba Gumps instead!
Confirming reservation from the palm is not enough to keep the restaurant open for the holiday. I did not even receive notice they will be closed for the holiday.