Miss Irene takes a swing at Scarboni today, the new East Coast-style Italian and steakhouse restaurant, which does everything big, big, big, and charges for it, too. And that's the problem. Barely eeking out half a star for what she calls over-priced, underwhelming fare, gregarious servers, and clubby appeal, Miss Irene obviously wasn't a fan of the Santa Monica spot. But at least someone would enjoy the meal:
In the end, it's the camaraderie of the big booth and the service that saves the evening at Scarboni. But for a long time, our waiter doesn't seem to notice that the six of us are not finishing our enormous steaks and chops. When he does offer to pack them up, the kitchen does a terrific job, numbering each to keep track of which one goes where. I hated to tell him that these were, in fact, real doggie bags, intended for my friend's loopy Labrador.Today the "S." stands for "Scarbonied," as in, "I can't afford to eat for three weeks; I've just been Scarbonied."
Scarboni's owners are deluding themselves if they think you can charge the high prices without delivering on quality. With a surfeit of steakhouses in L.A., there's too much competition for this newcomer to stand out other than by its convenient location. Who knows? That may be enough. But I doubt it.
Elsewhere, Bree at Triplecreme checks out Hans Rockenwagner's two-day-old 3 Square Bakery; LA.com visits The Prime Grill; LA Downtown goes to Café Café; carhops and gyros combine at Frisco's; and hot noodles for cold days at Takeshi Ramen.