It’s been years since we have last experienced Alexander’s Steakhouse, so it was great to be able to taste their latest and greatest in their San Francisco location along Brannon Street now that they’re back in full swing following the pandemic shutdowns.
Located in the SOMA district just blocks away from Oracle Park, the restaurant is a lovely blend of American steakhouse ambiance and style with hints of Japanese influences throughout the menu. They are apparently renown for offering one of the largest varieties of domestic and imported Wagyu steak in the states, a longtime favorite of ours. Luckily, it was part of their tasting menu which we opted to try during our review of the restaurant in mid-October.
There’s an open kitchen which we love, so you can see the chefs in action. They also have a trendy dimly lit bar area which is perfect for millennials who may not want a big steak meal but simply want to come in for appetizers and cocktails. The vibe is pretty chic for drinks, dinner or both.
Their wine, cocktail, beer and spirits menu is quite extensive so regardless of what you’re in the mood for, Alexander’s has you covered. Note that there’s a sommelier on-site as well and although we didn’t ask for a wine consult on this particular occasion, it’s nice to know you have access to one.
While you can order off the menu, doing one of their tasting menus is a great way to experience a broader range of their offerings. We enjoyed the six course tasting however they also have a Chef’s Hitachi Menu which we’d love to experience sometime, particularly given our love for all things Japanese.
We then moved onto the official first course which is their Hon Hamachi Trio. Not only is it exquisitely presented, but each flavor pops, from a blend of radish, cilantro, avocado, yuzu soy and servano pepper in the Hon Himachi shot to the hamachi tartare (my favorite), which combined cucumber, ginger lime and red peppers. Lest not forget a touch of white sturgeon caviar to boot.
The presentation had us at hello — how can you say no to such a divine trio? The meyer lemon also gave it a kick as did the shaved radish.
Next up on the menu was their Apple Velouté, which is made from Mutsu Apples, Chestnuts and Celeriac. Combine that heavenly blend with roasted sweet potato and brussel sprouts and you have a winner.
In hindsight, we were should have paired the third course — the Loup De Mer — with the Chenin Blanc from Santa Ynez Valley (2019) as it would have made a great accompaniment to the dish. It’s a blend of Mediterranean sea bass, grilled matsutake and eggplant puree.
Then we moved onto the fourth course which is what Alexander’s is so known for: Wagyu Beef. As a smaller version of what you can order separately on the menu, their Wagyu Tataki is a scrumptious starter for the massive Ribeye to follow. The tataki has ginger oroshi, sudachi and tenkasu adorning it and they recommend the Nebbiolo, Francesco Rinaldi, Barbaresco (2015) as a wine pairing.
If you’re a Wagyu lover, you’ll be thrilled to know that they offer both Australian and Japanese Wagyu on the menu. In the tataki served above, it was their Ibaraki Hitachi Japan A5. They have other offerings as well from Japan which include the Honshu region, as well as those which have been privately farmed, from olive fed beef from Shodoshima Island and famed emperor’s beef to name a few. It is the Westholme six ounce wet aged grass-red beef from Australia that they offer and all Wagyu is hand cut to order.
Last up, is the Premium Prime Ribeye, which we paired with a Cab. BTW, wine lovers will be thrilled to know that they offer a wide array of both new and old world wine selections. For example, whether it’s a Cab from the Meyer Family Cellars (Oakville), a Sangiovese Villa le Prater Brunello di Montalcino, a Zinfandel Rafanelli from Dry Creek Valley or an epic Opus One (also Oakville), you won’t be disappointed. Newer world offerings include Cabs from Livermore Valley, Kistler Chardonnay (one of our favorites) and Jordan which we drink regularly. There’s also old world Bordeaux as well from the left bank and Châteauneuf-du-Pape as well (2000, 2003 and 2005 offerings). After all, steak lovers need to know there’s plenty of big bold reds to pair with their order.
The Ribeye included Chanterelle, Vin Jaune and was topped with a Hollandaise sauce.
For dessert, you can’t go wrong with their Poached Pears with Almond Milk and Candied Almonds. They call this beautiful creation: Almond Milk Panna Cotta. The orange peels gave it a memorable pop and was perfect with our cappuccinos. That said, if a sweet dessert wine pairing is your thing, then opt for their Sauternes (Chateau Guirad from 2005). Yum!
They added a plate of chocolate bonbons to finish up the evening, which was a nice surprise. The plate included flavors like pumpkin flavored nougat with hazelnuts (perfect for the fall season), green apple and cinnamon pate de fruit and coffee merengue.
Meet the Chefs
So, who are the artists behind the vision and in the kitchen? Chef Partner Claude Le Tohic is a conceptual visionary of ONE65 who brings extensive Michelin star experience to the San Francisco culinary scene. Among other accolades, he was a James Beard Foundation winner (Best Chefs in America 2010).
Executive Chef Eric Upper has worked with all cuisines and techniques and has worked at various Michelin-rated restaurants including Joel Robuchon Restaurant at the MGM Grand Las Vegas and Aureole in New York. Also an Executive Chef at Alexanders, Richard Archuleta along with professional training, also had influential mentors like his grandmother, the bakery owner who hired him in high school and Le Tohic from One65. Richard is a certified level-one sommelier and has risen through the ranks of several Michelin-rated restaurants.
Alexander’s Steakhouse also has restaurants in Cupertino and Pasadena as well. Two thumbs up! We loved the tasting experience, the ambiance and the service, which was outstanding. We’d happily return and possibly to review their Hitachi menu which starts with a Wagyu Shot btw – oh so delish!
448 Brannan Street
San Francisco CA 94107
Note: we were hosted by the restaurant but all opinions expressed are entirely our own.