There are very few places in Los Angeles that give me a sense of nostalgia. There aren’t, sometimes sadly, a lot of places that remind me of the Mid-West. Sure there are Chicago Bars, Minnesota Bars, deep dish pizza, and even a Portillo’s in the greater Los Angeles area, but none of these places have really made me feel like I was home.
When I was a kid, big occasions and accomplishments were celebrated with a trip to a steakhouse or supper club. Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations meant dressing up and food with perfect crisscrossing grill marks. I feel at home, in my happy place, with a baked potato and red leather seating.
When I moved to Koreatown, Taylor’s Steak House was just around the corner. It instantly felt like those places I remembered as a kid in my patent leather shoes. Walking up to it that first time, I knew it would be a place my family would love the moment I set eyes on its faux-rock wall and neon sign.
Taylor’s has been around since 1953 and in its current location on 8th Street and Ardmore since 1970. It is one of the last remaining old school joints in Koreatown, perhaps its location a couple blocks off Wilshire saved it from similar fates of the Brown Derby and others. When you walk into Taylor’s it is dark, but also inviting. Its decor whispers classic steakhouse with its dark wood, deep red leather half-moon booths, white table cloths, and thrift store-esque art. I especially love the booth that has a painting of a man above it who looks an awful lot like a renaissance Val Kilmer. Taylor’s feels like a man cave and we should all have cigars. The seats are filled with regulars, bachelor parties, and people who just want a good steak. This is where you go with friends to not spend hundreds of dollars but somehow makes you feel like you are somebody
“Don’t worry, I got this round of $10 martinis.”
It is just as much a dress in vintage place as a jeans and t-shirt place. All are welcome. The menu is filled with classics and all the drinks are strong, cheap, and made correctly. The waitstaff dressed in old school whites and are as nice as can be.
Two words, STEAK BUTTER. Order the Kansas City no questions asked, just order it.
I never said that my mother couldn’t inspire me to write about food and with a track record of 60 + years, I don’t think this place is going anywhere any time soon.
[Getting there: Just a couple blocks from the Purple Line and 720 on Normandie and Wilshire, the 66 and 207]