For those who like their steaks with a side of celebrity, Catch Steak arrives in West Hollywood this Monday, June 6. Located in the palatial 10,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by Fig & Olive on Melrose Place, the contemporary steakhouse comes from Catch Hospitality Group, which also operates seafood hotspot Catch LA located a half mile away. Catch Steak will initially open for dinner service and introduce weekend brunch in the coming months.
This is the third location of Catch Steak; the Aspen outlet opened last December while the original location debuted in New York City in 2019. The split-level restaurant on Melrose Place, designed by the Rockwell Group, takes cues from the original Catch Steak in New York City’s Meatpacking District and features warm wood details, leather banquettes, and blackened metal touches. The abundance of greenery throughout the 375-seat space provides a verdant setting for both indoor and outdoor dining. Though Catch Steak anticipates serving up to 1,000 diners on Friday and Saturday evenings, Michael Vignola, corporate chef of Catch Hospitality Group, says that the space is “designed in a way that makes it feel intimate. Our goal is always to have a 60-seat restaurant experience in a larger restaurant.”
At the heart of Catch Steak’s menu is a vast selection of beef. On the premium end of the spectrum is imported Japanese wagyu ($48 to $58 per ounce), while American-sourced USDA prime beef (grain-fed and corn-finished Black Angus and Hereford steers) goes slightly easier on the wallet; a 12 ounce bone-in filet is priced at $68. Also available are cave-aged steaks, American wagyu, and a grass-fed New York strip. The restaurant sources its American beef from six cattle farms (Iowa, Nebraska, Idaho, Colorado, and Washington); steaks are processed and hand-sliced in Chicago by Allen Brothers before landing in Catch’s restaurants, says Vignola. Rounding out the menu are classic steakhouse sides like shrimp cocktail, a wedge salad, and creamed spinach, along with more unexpected Asian- and Italian-leaning dishes like the salmon rice cakes, baked clams, and tortellini.
In addition to offering plenty of red meat in a variety of cuts and price points, the menu includes a smattering of shareable dishes and mains aimed at those cutting back or refraining from eating beef, like salmon, sushi rolls, and even a vegetarian chicken parm. While the Los Angeles menu doesn’t veer too far from what’s served in Aspen or New York City, expect to find more seasonal, unique-to-LA dishes in the future as the restaurant settles into its space and executive chef Erik Piedrahita gets to know the tastes of local diners better.
It takes a tremendous amount of human capital to run a restaurant of Catch Steak’s scale smoothly seven nights a week. While many LA restaurants are currently struggling to find and retain workers, Catch Steak has benefited from strong word-of-mouth among local hospitality professionals due to the reputation of its sister restaurant and the group’s commitment to the mental and physical well-being of workers. “Our rule for the entire company is that we take care of staff first, staff takes care of the guests, and the guests will eventually take care of the bills,” says Michael Ilic, director of operations for Catch Hospitality Group. “We recognize that the kind of energy we want [workers] to put into the experience, and if people are burning out or people are working double-shifts or open-to-close, they don’t have the emotional energy to be able to create the experience.”
To provide a sustainable work environment for its 200-plus workers, employees are scheduled for five-day work weeks and receive benefits like health and dental after 90-days of employment. Tips are pooled and shared among front-of-house employees who earn minimum wage, while back-of-house employees earn above minimum wage and can receive “merit” increases periodically and during annual reviews. Additional benefits include gym memberships, along with coaching and leadership training for front- and back-of-house managers.
Though this opening marks the third Catch Steak location, the partners behind Catch Hospitality Group have deep knowledge and experience that stretches beyond the Catch brand. Partner Tilman Fertitta, who owns Landry’s Incorporated, operates 600 restaurants including many household names like Del Frisco’s, Mastro’s, and Morton’s. Partners Mark Birnbaum and Eugene Remm opened the original Catch in 2011 and have since expanded the seafood restaurant to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Playa del Carmen in Mexico.