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Week in Reviews: BLT Steak Gets a Deuce

Photo by Alen Lin, 3/08

BLT Steak, Laurent Tourondel's first foray into the Los Angeles dining scene, gets a solid two stars today from S. Irene Virbila because it is as it should be: expertly cooked meats, good staff, and a menu to accommodate all tastes. And popovers. Don't forget the popovers. What else do you need?

Strange, but after a few meals at BLT Steak, what sticks in my mind is not the appetizers or steaks or sides. They're well executed -- the letters BLT, after all, stand for Bistro Laurent Tourondel -- but not that distinctive. That's B for business too.

In the end, the restaurant is a well-oiled machine with professional but relaxed service, a sophisticated urban look and food that's quite good across the board, but lacks any frisson of excitement except for those giant popovers and the fine all-American desserts.

She gets a little Craft comparison in there---which Tom Colicchio opened in New York before Tourondel started his BLT empire, but also here in Century City before BLT hit the Sunset Strip---and she's not the first to notice. Doesn't mean each can't stand on its own. Today the "S." stands for "sturdy."

ELSEWHERE: Octavio Becerra's Palate Food + Wine off to a promising start; Susan La Tempa finds Tara's Himalayan Cuisine; a Chinese breakfast showdown, Yi Mei Monterey Park vs. Four Sea in Hacienda Heights; more blogger praise for Father's Office 2.0; Downtown News says