The Steakhouse at Azul | Surfin' and Turfin' La Jolla Style

February 14, 2012

Perched above scenic La Jolla Cove's "restaurant row," Steakhouse at Azul has plenty going for it. But your focus quickly turns to the inside, as it gracefully delivers top notch service and precisely prepared fare in a warm and cozy environment.

Upon entry, an exposed glass closet flaunts an expansive collection of approximately two hundred wine offerings. Dark wood pillars, rock walls, and a stone vault accentuate the spacious recessed dining room, and ceiling to floor windows invite you to enjoy one of the most coveted views of La Jolla Cove.

Azul's menu aims to please almost every meat-loving palate, serving perfectly seared 100% USDA Prime steaks and Kobe-style Wagyu beef, a generous selection of fresh seafood, and a sampling of savory pork dishes.

Although Azul is typically steakhouse pricey, it offers tasty fare for those on a limited budget with a reduced price lunch, brunch and lounge menu and a $7 till 7pm happy hour on food and spirits every day, which includes items like steak frites and a seared yellowfin tuna sandwich.

The smell of seared steaks upon entering Azul instantly wetted my appetite. We started with bread with a creamy garlic herb truffle butter paired with a nice pinot noir. Azul showed its class, to my surprise, with a personalized hand written birthday card (and a lovely complimentary dessert) for patrons who let the restaurant know that you are there to celebrate a special occasion (me!).

Our friendly and attentive server encouraged us to start with a taste of Azul's renowned jumbo lump crab cake ($13) served with caper remoulade, and disappointed we were not. The pure and fresh succulent lump crab was simple and untainted by any confusing fillers – with a crisp outside and delicate inside. The remoulade was a perfect accompaniment with the salty flavors of pickled capers balanced with creamy avocado.

Of the wood oven-fired sides, we sampled three ($22 for three or $8 each). The bacon and chive macaroni and cheese was creamy and delicious, with the always-welcomed addition of smoky bacon. The asparagus was bright green, fresh and crispy, and the spinach was lightly sautéed, and thick with garlic – both refreshing and savory.

We split a twelve-ounce filet mignon ($48), thickly cut, perfectly seared, and cooked to an ideal medium rare in Azul's specialized Montague Steakhouse Broiler. Each bite melted in our mouths. The steak shined brighter than any star in the sky that night.

Even though unnecessary, we just had to sample the filet with several of Azul's eight house-made sauces ($5 for 6 oz. share portion or three 2 oz tasters). The béarnaise was classical, but punctuated by a burst of clove or cinnamon. The three peppercorn cognac tasted of a traditional grandma's beef gravy. The roasted garlic and white truffle cream sauce was delicate and creamy and a pleasure to bathe the buttery steak in.

For dessert, the Steakhouse provided me with a complimentary candlelit banana cheesecake for my birthday! It was most delicious and appreciated and made for a sweet end to a wonderful evening.

The Steakhouse at Azul truly makes patrons feel at home, and combined with an amazing location and steaks cooked just right, it is worth the price tag.

1250 Prospect Street, La Jolla
(858) 454-9616

Lunch -12 pm – 4 pm Friday & Saturday
Dinner - 5:00p, – 9:30 pm Sunday – Thursday, 5:00 – 10 pm Friday – Saturday
Happy Hour - 4 pm – close Monday, 4 pm – 7 pm Tuesday – Sunday
Brunch – 10am – 2 pm Sunday

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