Beverly Hills didn’t really need another steakhouse, but it got one anyway last month in the luxurious Steak 48. The glamorous new grill palace comes from Mastro’s co-founders Jeff and Michael Mastro, who first launched their eponymous steakhouse chain in 1999 in Scottsdale, Arizona. They’ve always felt an affinity for the wealthy 90210 zip code, with its three-story flagship Mastro’s restaurant (one of the chain’s highest-revenue locations), so Beverly Hills felt like a perfect place for a steakhouse return.
The family sold Mastro’s to a private equity outfit in 2007 (it was later acquired and is still owned by Landry’s) before going on to open another chain of steakhouses in the early 2010s — first with Dominick’s and then Steak 44, named for Phoenix’s 44th Street. The new project’s name, Steak 48, is a nod to Arizona (the 48th state), and it has already expanded to Chicago’s bustling River North neighborhood, and to Houston, Charlotte, and Philadelphia. In that sense, consider Beverly Hills something of a homecoming for the Mastro brothers.
Steak 48 takes over a former fashion boutique with a sprawling modern dining room that offers numerous different kinds of evening experiences. In the middle, a more everyday bar and lounge area acts as the ideal post-work hangout for suited types. Up toward the back, an open kitchen is surrounded by a bevy of glass-lined booths (called suites) that give the feeling of exclusivity, certainly a big bonus for paparazzi-weary Beverly Hills diners. An elegant whiskey tasting room sits in the middle of an upper mezzanine near the kitchen, evoking a grandiose chef’s table.
There are a few rows of banquettes and tables past the host stand for those willing to see-and-be-seen. At any given table, find heaping iced platters of fresh seafood alongside buttery laminated dinner rolls. Servers might push a luxurious caviar cart around, while bussers donning white coats roll out appetizers of lobster rolls, crab-topped heirloom tomatoes, and wedge salads. After decades of experience, the Mastro clan simply knows how to make customers feel happy and doted on.
Like the Mastro’s restaurant chain, most of the meats are wet-aged, though everything at Steak 48 is clearly marked as prime-grade on the menu. Even more upscale chops include Japanese A5 wagyu, Australian Tajima wagyu, dry-aged bone-in rib-eye, and a kosher rib-eye sourced from Rabbi’s Daughter here in LA. Steaks are seared with a 1500-degree broiler, giving them a dark, even crust, and are served on screaming-hot butter-herbed platters, a method that should feel familiar to steakhouse fans.
Steak 48 delivers on most of these meaty service and menu agreements with style, from the refreshing, well-mixed cocktails and the robust wine list to the side dishes and sharp details. Even the desserts section offers creativity with comfort, like a triple-layer key lime pie topped with lime caviar or a buttery warm vanilla caramel cake served in a ramekin.
One interesting detail is the “family-owned” stamp in the center of Steak 48’s menu, clearly a departure from the famous family-named steakhouse that Jeffrey, Michael, and their father Dennis founded, which is now owned by a huge restaurant conglomerate. Jeffrey Mastro said he and his brother Michael are Steak 48’s primary owners, adding that they are much more hands-on with its operation.
That family-owned approach also allows the Mastros to be more involved with employee development and management, knowing that people in the front and back-of-house are crucial to its success. Intensive seven-week training stints help to develop front-of-house staff, with attention paid to self-care. Wages are competitive for restaurants of this caliber, and back-of-house pay is higher than average, with health insurance provided to anyone working more than 30 hours a week (and for all salaried employees). “If employees aren’t happy, then you’re never going to have a successful restaurant,” says Jeffrey Mastro. “Another by-product of being family-owned is that I’m very accessible if a worker ever has any issues. That’s one of the benefits of being a small company.”
Beverly Hills already has nine steakhouses (depending on what one counts as a true steakhouse), which means Steak 48 brings the city’s total to double digits. Given the family’s success with this city, though, it should come as no surprise that Steak 48 is already packed with eager beef and seafood aficionados going out for swanky dates and business meetings.
Steak 48 is located at 9680 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90212, and serves from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.