Have you ever been to a restaurant where all the qualities align to create the perfect dining experience, and then you can’t stop thinking about it? Well, that’s what happens when you experience Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak for the first time. Beautifully situated along Brand Blvd. outside the Americana in Glendale, the restaurant exemplifies a subtle elegance from its exterior. Enter the gorgeous white doors and you are immediately enveloped in a sense of luxury, inviting yet unpretentious. Want to impress a date? Bring them here.
A gorgeous lounge welcomes you, where you could enjoy one of their outstanding cocktails, leading you into their exquisite dining room with warm lighting and beautiful leather booths surrounding the tables, giving you the perfect view to take everything in. This is all heightened by the talented piano player offering his classical renditions on grunge favorites from bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam. We were then greeted by the most amazing waiter. If you go, be sure to ask for PJ. He has the most gracious, friendly presence and describes the dishes in such fine detail, it sounds poetic. And if you’re looking for the perfect wine to pair with your meal, their sommelier Catherine can help with that. She really knows her stuff, and her suggestions were spot on.
Case in point, the oysters recommended by PJ. Despite telling him I’m not an oyster fan, he guaranteed I would love these oysters, and he was right! The West Coast oysters hail from British Columbia, and tasting them felt like we had literally boarded a jet and ate them straight off the coast. They were so divinely fresh, they were irresistible. And paired with a Val de Mer Chablis, my taste buds were truly in heaven. Oh, but there was still so much more to go.
Next up, was Michael’s Tuna Tartare with Asian pear, pine nuts, Scotch bonnet, mint and sesame, an array of ingredients creating a tantalizing blend of exquisite flavors and textures. Paired with the Robert Weil dry Riesling from Germany, it was fantastic.
Even better were the Diver Scallops with a divine blend of parsnips, blood orange, parsley, and brown butter, which really puts these delicacies over the top. The scallops alone are perfect but prepared so beautifully with this amazing marriage of flavors, they really melt in your mouth and make you savor each bite.
Another equally amazing dish was the Wood-Grilled Octopus, laying atop Merguez, similar to Spanish chorizo, with eggplant, red pepper, and harissa, creating a superb octopus dish with a slightly spicy Mediterranean flair. If you’re an octopus lover, this dish is a must!
We then attempted to lighten things up a bit with a salad, but the effort was futile as there is nothing light about Bourbon’s Baby Iceberg Wedge. You looking for a hearty salad? This is it! I must say it’s the most delicious wedge I’ve ever enjoyed, with bacon, egg, pickled onion and a heavenly buttermilk blue cheese.
It was time to move onto something even heartier- the Maine Lobster Pot Pie, something I had never enjoyed before. Prepared tableside, this treat is Michael Mina’s perfect solution for someone looking for the ideal winter lobster dish. Imagine a generous lobster expertly enveloped in an exquisite brandied lobster cream sauce, amid fresh market vegetables, nestled in a perfectly baked pie. It truly is a heavenly culinary experience! It was beautifully paired with the Martinelli ‘Bella Vigna’ Pinot Noir from Russian River Valley, offering the perfect light red to accompany this dish.
It was finally time for the last course…before dessert, of course. I’m not quite sure how we still had room, but everything was so delicious, we made sure to make more. Being a steakhouse, we had to end with some steak, of course, so we opted for the 8 oz. Rib Cap cooked medium rare. Esteemed as the best cut of beef, the rib cap has all the juiciness and flavor of a ribeye without the fat…it’s like magic! Our sommelier perfectly paired it with the Vineyards 29 Cru Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. We had it with sides of an irresistible Black Truffle Mac & Cheese, which was to die for, and the very popular Crispy Brussels Sprouts with honey and garlic. These brussels sprouts are so delicious, they’re almost like dessert.
Speaking of which, not surprisingly, the dessert at Bourbon is also top notch. Getting our palates primed for the transition, we first savored the aptly named Coffee & Cigars cocktail with Larceny bourbon, Galliano Ristretto, Carpano Antica, Mole bitters, and a Scotch Spritz. Served over ice, this is the perfect after-dinner drink as the name implies, a perfect blend of sweet and smoky. Another amazing cocktail I thoroughly enjoyed was the Golden Crane, made with Akashi White Oak Japanese Whiskey, honey, lime, true roots, smoked ginger, and syrup. It was so full of flavor and intrigue, it really got my palate primed for the dinner. All of their cocktails are very unique and interesting, highly flavorful, and perfectly mixed. You can’t go wrong with any choice.
It was now time for the dessert. As if the choices on the dessert menu weren’t enough, we were first presented with the dessert cart with a delectable assortment of candies and confections, like the dark chocolate bar. All were delicious, but the dessert that really had me exclaiming with every bite was the The Bourbon White Chocolate Sundae. This is the adult version of that scrumptious sundae you devoured as a kid, but now falls flat. This sundae is out of this world with white devil’s food cake, malted brown butter espresso ice cream, and bourbon white chocolate fudge on top to really put this sundae over the edge. I have never had a sundae this good! If you’re a carrot cake lover, the Carrot Cake with cream cheese icing, creme fraiche, & carrot sorbet is also an excellent choice.
If you’re looking for the perfect place to take your Valentine, look no further than here. Or hey, even treat yourself! I can honestly say this was one of the best dining experiences I’ve ever had in L.A. And if you’re looking for the perfect lounge for happy hour, they have that covered also with happy hour in the bar and lounge every day from 4-7 pm. You can enjoy treats like the Trio of Duck Fat Fries with three homemade ketchups- pastrami, parmesan, and pickle…at half-price. You can’t beat that!
Bourbon Steak is located at 237 S. Brand Boulevard at The Americana in Glendale. For reservations call 818-839-4130, and for more information visit www.michaelmina.net. You won’t be disappointed. Enjoy!