The Capital Grille

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D.C.’s classic steak house has opened a West Coast branch at the Beverly Center. The mammoth restaurant is a retail respite, with dark paneling, ornate red carpets, white tablecloths, and art deco accents. The emphasis is on the steaks, aged for 14 to 21 days in-house, and the rest of the menu follows suit. Fried calamari is tossed with hot peppers and scallions; the wedge salad is an archetype. Sides like lobster mac and cheese and Parmesan truffle fries taste as rich as they sound. The salmon is of the bland, farm-raised variety. We understand why the waiter pushes hard for the mushroom-slathered porterhouse: On their own, the steaks lack flavor. There’s plenty of beef-cooking competition in this part of town, and the Capital Grille seems to fall short in most ways—except with the wine list, which is epic, and the ambitious price tag. » 8614 Beverly Blvd. (310-358-0650). L Mon.-Sat.; D nightly. Full bar. Steak House  $$$$
  Photograph courtesy thecapitalgrille.com