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Inside The Capital Grille, Opening July 26

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The Capital Grille, popular on the east coast for its old-boy's-club feel, is opening its first SoCal location next month in the Beverly Center. On the corner of San Vicente and Beverly Boulevard, the 21-year-old restaurant chain sports an upstairs balcony and street level entrance, gilded and engraved, design points that distinguish this addition from its 1980s-style shopping mall home. As with any chain, there's something comforting about all of the pomp and circumstance. It's not a modern steakhouse, like that of BLT Steak on the Sunset Strip or Wolfgang's in Beverly Hills. If you've been to one Capital Grille -- the Olive Garden's richer, American cousin -- you've been to them all. The inside nods at red meat with plenty of rouge, leather, and ironwork sculptures of majestic, masculine creatures: a bald eagle, wings spread, guards the entrance to the open kitchen; bronze horses, in a proud stance, preside over booths.

But then there are the sleek additions of private wine lockers in the entrance near the host station. Antiqued brass with numbered keys, they invite regulars to store a nice Burgundy for a special occasion, also a way to encourage repeat business. In the main dining room there is a massive glassed wine cellar not unlike that of Charlie Trotter's (though, the selection will probably be far less prestigious, even if it's similarly vast). Across the room, a glassed-in staircase leads to the second floor where another bar and outdoor patio (who wants to eat at street level on San Vicente?) offers additional seating and views of the paparazzi on Robertson. Doors lead to private dining rooms giving a sense of splendor and mystery. But then there are the Josephine Baker pictures at the bar, busy casino carpeting, framed oil portraits on upholstered walls, butler uniforms, and faux taxidermy that won't let you forget you're in, definition, an American steakhouse.

Oh, and then there's the steak itself. While prices at Capital Grille locations around the U.S., vary by region, just because the Grille's parent company also owns Red Lobster, don't expect to find a children's menu or steak under $25. Sides are served family-style, but don't actually bring the family: lobster macaroni and cheese, potatoes au gratin, Vidalia onion rings, and asparagus with hollandaise are all a bit too posh for the kids. There will likely be a Chef's Selection with composed plates like a Porcini Rubbed Delmonico with Aged Balsamic and a surf 'n turf like Seared Tenderloin with Butter Poached Lobster Tail. Perhaps this outpost will feature tri-tip, a California favorite? Vegetarians have very few options here, but seafood features prominently at most American steakhouses and this one is no exception: the tiered seafood platter starts at $49 and has the usual shelled suspects. And, fish like Salmon (grilled on cedar planks) are served with bold, uninventive sauces. Lunch options are slightly lighter, with salads and soups that hint at the season and are likely to have lower calorie counts. There's also an extensive dessert list where a berried cheesecake, coconut cream pie, and creme brulee won't do anything to help your digestion, but will help you end it all on a sweet note. Set to open to the public on July 26, The Capital Grille is polishing its brass and setting its tables.
·EaterWire: The Capital Grille Coming To Bev Center [~ELA~]
— Daniela Galarza

The Capital Grille

8614 Beverly Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA, 90048