Thursday, July 28, 2011

Is It All in the Name at Savannah Chop House?

Savannah Chop House
32441 Golden Lantern 
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

You could probably put, "chop house", at the end of any restaurant and it would make me want to eat there. I envision great steaks and pork chops coming out of the kitchen at any place with this in its name. Even Del Taco Chop House makes me want to head over and get a steak taco.

Savannah Chop House had been on my list of places to try for sometime now. I had lost a golf bet to Katie's Dad, so this is where I chose to pay off the dinner bet. Our party of four arrived at six on a Sunday night and were sat immediately. The dining room has high ceilings, with a great view of the rolling foothills of southern Orange county. The restaurant, with its dark wood and dim lighting brought to mind what I would imagine it would be like to eat in a hunting lodge in Wyoming or Montana. Not bad ambiance for a chop house. Let's see if the food can match it.

Up first is a shot of the bread basket. Pretty standard fair here. In fact I did not even write anything down about this bread basket. I did like that the butter was served only slightly chilled, so you could spread it easily.

This bland looking dish was our appetizer for the evening, the Lobster Mac N Cheese. In this version of mac and cheese they use three kinds of cheese, Gruyere, white cheddar, and Parmesan. Along with the cheeses, the dish also featured lobster with bechamel sauce. I say that this dish had lobster, but only Katie and her Dad had a hunk of lobster, myself and Lynn got shut out of the lobster lottery. I expected this to be a rich dish, but the flavor was very mellow. I would probably skip this appetizer in the future.

Katie opted to get their Mixed Greens Salad. This salad featured blue cheese crumbles, apples, candied pecans, and a sherry vinaigrette. Surprisingly, this salad was not tangy. Very clean tasting, and very fresh ingredients. Katie, as well as myself really enjoyed this salad. I liked the different textures this salad offered, as well as the taste.

Now on to the entrees, and the first one will be Lynn's choice, the Honey and Buttermilk Fried Chicken. Lynn felt the flavor of this chicken was good, but the breading was a little too tough to cut through. The piece of chicken I had was a little on the dry side, but I did not try it with the thyme gravy that was served with this. The mashed potatoes did get good marks from Lynn.

Katie always seems to get shrimp and this night was no exception. Creole Shrimp Pasta was in her sights tonight. This plate combined four jumbo shrimp with a white wine cream sauce served over pasta. Katie summed up this plate by calling it well cooked. She liked the mild flavor of the sauce and felt that the pasta was well done.

The, "golf expert", also known as Dennis, tried the Filet Mignon Stroganoff. This stroganoff was a little different from traditional ones I have had before. Here they combined the meat with cremini mushrooms and a mustard sauce. Dennis liked that this did not have the traditional heavy sauce. He felt that steak was cooked and seasoned well. I felt the meat was a little on the tough side, but I am not much of a stroganoff guy.

Of course you know that I ordered a steak in a chop house. I went with my old reliable, the Bone In Rib-Eye.  This steak looked odd to me. I had ordered it medium rare, and it came out medium well. That contributed to this hunk of meat being a little tough. Not only was it hard to get through, but the flavor was off also. I know that this particular cut of meat is known for having a lot of fat, but this one had extra and it did not contribute any flavor here. As a last resort I was hoping that the jalapeno cheddar potatoes would help me out by waking up this dish, but they fell flat as well. Cooked well, but they did not pop like their name suggests.

When it was time for dessert I was really stuffed, so I let Katie and Lynn choose what we would have, and they went with Strawberry Cheesecake. I am not really into cheesecakes because I can find them to be very heavy. This one was heavy, but it was also delicious. The berries were very fresh, and the only complaint I could make about this dessert was that there could have been extra sauce served with this.

The four of us all had the same feeling about Savannah, it would not be at the top of our list of places to come again. The atmosphere and service were good, but the food was over priced for being mediocre. Most dinners are in the $20 range, but steaks and fish meals will set you back $25 to $34. My choice for the evening, the rib-eye was at the high end of this range. This would be a place we would come for a couple of drinks on their patio, and nothing more. So, I guess the lesson here is just because a place calls itself a, "chop house", it does not mean that it is automatically good.

Out of five steamships, (because the first steamship to cross the Atlantic ocean was the SS Savannah in 1818), five being best to zero being worst, Savannah Chop House gets 2 steamships.

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  1. This place has really gone down hill in the last few years...breaks my heart.

  2. Our Five Guys just opened up today! Going to go there soon, what would you recommend? Keep up the good blogs!!

  3. Anonymous - This was my first time here, so I can't judge it in the past, but your sentiments might be right on from everything I have heard. Wish I had been here when it was better. Thanks for the comment.

    Chris - Congrats on the Five Guys! I always love a double bacon cheese burger and their hot dog with cheese and bacon. Have a good meal. I am jealous! Thanks for the comment.