Profile: Taylor’s Prime Steaks

taylorsLast Sunday night I went to Taylor’s Prime Steaks in Korea Town. The place is old school, and I thought it would be great to try the joint at a time when overpriced steak houses like Dakota are sprouting up like Starbucks (and they are all kinda like Bill DeMarco’s Starbucks #18).

Taylor’s has been around since 1953, and the décor doesn’t betray that vintage. Think red Naugahyde booths and a long, wood paneled bar. Unlike some upscale chophouses, Taylor’s caters to a very diverse clientele. In one booth I spotted some tourists who were flanked on either side by groups of leathery Hancock Park elder statesmen stuffed into booths with their 200-year-old dames. You know, the type of L.A. broads who were nice-looking when Raymond Chandler wrote about them 60 years ago.

Those elder statesmen weren’t the only ones getting stuffed. I was too. I order the culotte steak, which Taylor’s staff will tell you is the tenderest cut of top sirloin (there are only two culotte cuts per steer). It’s priced to own at $19.95 a la carte, or at $26.95 with soup or salad and sides. Properly ordered medium rare, the steak is tender, delicious, and a bloody meat bomb of flavor. You can go with the solid prime rib or London broil, but the culotte steak is the star of the show. I paired it with the mashed potatoes, which were good. But, instead go with the cottage fries, they’re better. A standout was the Molly dinner salad — a concoction of tomatoes, Bermuda onion and blue cheese. Classic steak fare.

Yes, the service was a bit slow, but it was late on a Sunday night. Like I intimated earlier, the whole affair felt like a scene out of a Chandler novel. If only smoking were still allowed in such a food emporium; surely the seductive wafting of the plumes would have excited me with even more vivid fantasies of hardboiled detective work, served with a steak and a cigarette.

Taylor’s Prime Steaks
3361 W. 8th St.