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Monday, October 11, 2010

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By Emma Krasov, photography by Yuri KrasovFrom sleek “industrial chic” interior to suit-and-tie clad servers whose outfits range from charcoal-black to asphalt-gray, the newly open in San Francisco Alexander’s Steakhouse is designed for serious meat consumption.Don’t be fooled by an amuse bouche of carrot puree with crushed cashews and celery sprouts. There is no question “where’s the beef” here. How about some beef sashimi as a prelude to larger, meatier cuts.Dungeness crab, cream cheese and avocado roll is boldly topped with rare filet mignon stripes in ketchup/pickled wasabi sauce and served on a bed of brunoise vegetables. Another appetizer, always on the menu due to popular demand, contains sushi-grade hamachi slices served in shot glasses with Serrano peppers, pickled ginger, avocado and French radish, sprinkled with sesame seeds. Each glass contains just enough ponzu sauce for a briny textured shot to be downed in one gulp.Same goes for an interlude – cucumber lemonade with a strawberry slice – a nice palate cleanser before the massive mains.Skin-on chicken pieces are smoked with glass-hard binchotan charcoals from Japan, roasted, and served in a clay dish with julienned veggies and soy/vinegar broth.Porterhouse steak is served with whole-clove roasted garlic and pesto on the side. Vegetable sides include roasted kabocha squash drizzled with maple syrup aged in bourbon barrels, and yellow, red, and purple buttered marble potatoes.Japanese influences, rather fitting for the San Francisco dining scene, come from Executive Chef Jeffrey Stout’s personal preferences and his successful partnership with General Manager JC Chen.Alexander’s Steakhouse in the former Bacar facility is their second location where chef de cuisine Marc Zimmerman and pastry chef Dan Huynh put together imaginative combinations of seasonal ingredients.For dessert, it might be Tropic Thunder – mango sorbet with cocnut rice pudding, spiced passion fruit and white chocolate popcorn, or Dark Dimensions – chocolate layered cake on top of pistachio sponge cake, chocolate ice cream, and a dark chocolate sphere filled with cookies and Bavarian cream. There are also pre- and post-desserts. The former might be a mini financier with house-made seasonal huckleberry preserve, and the latter – pink cotton candy – a fun finale to a very serious dining experience.Wine and cocktail list at Alexander’s reads like a novel, and has a table of content. Sparkling Cremant de Alsace Huber & Bleger brut rose, Austrian dry Riesling (Domane Wachau 2009) and Kathryn Kennedy Lateral 2007 from Oakville winery are great for the abovementioned menu. The super-efficient service is beyond attentive, filling up glasses, replacing silverware and putting dishes on the table with a straight shooter precision. If you have anyone in your life you need to impress, be it a client, a dream business partner, or future-in-laws – bring them to Alexander’s.
Alexander’s Steakhouse is located at 448 Brannan Street, San Francisco. Call (415) 495-1111 or visit


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