It has taken him a while, but star chef Laurent Tourondel has finally gotten around to bringing his award-winning cuisine to Los Angeles.
The French-born toque opened BLT Steak in New York City in 2004, followed by outposts in Washington, D.C., Dallas, White Plains, and San Juan, so he definitely has taken a while getting here. But it has definitely been worth the wait, as a meal at BLT (Bistro Laurent Tourondel) Steak is a sublime experience.
Located in the completely revamped Le Dome space, BLT Steak is a warm and lively bistro, with a long convivial bar and cozy banquette that runs the length of the space. Huge windows look out onto Sunset Boulevard, and there’s an outdoor patio as well. But eating outside one would miss the hustle and bustle of the place, and the friendly cross-table chatter among strangers that make it feel like a real neighborhood place.
But the food being served at BLT is anything but ordinary, although it is sourced through local markets, using seasonal ingredients. Chef de Cuisine Noah Rosen whips up a wide variety of exciting tastes, with an equal emphasis on steak, seafood, and veggies. Start with a nibble from the extensive raw bar (oysters, clams, king crab, shrimp, scallops, etc.), then go on to a delicious bite of Hamachi served with avocado, jalapeño, and Yuzu vinaigrette, or the perfectly combined buratta, vine-ripe tomatoes, and onion-ginger dressing, with just the right tangy taste.
Jump into the steak section of the menu with an order of Japanese Kobe strip steak, steeply priced at $26 per ounce (with a 5-ounce minimum), with its salty, crisply charred crust and velvety interior. You can feel your arteries closing as you chew that proudly fat-filled steak! Other choices on the extensive meat menu include cuts of USDA Prime, Black Angus, and American Wagyu, served with your choice of sauces, as well as rack of lamb, veal chop, and our favorite, the braised short ribs. Served in a steaming hot cast-iron pot, the ribs are floating in a dense, dark demi-glace wine sauce and melt in your mouth. Pair them with a glass of the Heitz Cabernet and there isn’t a better meal in this town.
Check the blackboard menu for nightly specials, too, especially for their fresh fish offerings (there is a whole fish section on the main menu as well). The Mushroom Duxelle Crusted Halibut up the night we were there was absolutely heavenly, a delicate melding of flavors (the Meyer lemon vinaigrette was sublime) served on a perfectly cooked fish.
Heaven exists at BLT Steak in two other of their offerings. First, their signature popover is wonderful, light and fluffy and filled with a touch of Gruyere cheese, so make sure to gobble that right up.
And then there’s dessert. Pastry Chef Danielle Keene is a wizard, so don’t miss at least one of her creations. The Cassis Lemon Meringue Pie is a kooky rendition of that traditional dish, with the meringue served in little cubes atop the tartly fabulous filling, and her espresso chocolate petit fours are dark, dense, and delightful. But the true trip to heaven came with the first bite of her nightly special, the bite-sized Cinnamon Doughnuts served with a dark, dark chocolate dipping sauce. The combination of light and fluffy doughnut with such a decadent sauce was swooningly great.
There’s even more to the menu at BLT Steak (excellent vegetable dishes, an extensive and well-thought-out cheese course), but suffice it to say that you will be as happy as we are that Laurent Tourondel has come to town.
8720 Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069