Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ted's of Beverly Hills Steakhouse - restaurant review

La Cienega Boulevard in Beverly Hills is quite the restaurant row, boasting such high-profile restaurants as, among others, Lawry's The Prime Rib, Matsuhisa and (to a lesser degree) The Stinking Rose. But there are other restaurants in the area which might not be quite as common but are certainly worth the visit.





I'd heard about Ted's of Beverly Hills Steakhouse from a number of people who raved about the food. Now, I've got several places where I can go for good steak and good prime rib, so I wasn't exactly needing a good steakhouse, but even though I'd heard the occasional odd comment about this place, the praise really piqued my interest, so the husband and I decided to try it out on a Saturday night.

Like most other restaurants on busy La Cienega Boulevard, there's no parking lot, and your only option is to valet your car. I am decidedly not a fan of valet parking, but there was no parking lot nearby, so we really didn't have a choice. I had heard comments that the valet parking people can be a bit snobby about what cars they take, which seemed odd to me. As we pulled up, I did notice that all of the cars parked out front were all fairly expensive cars. The husband generally drives when we go out to dinner, so the valet folk seemed ok with taking his nice truck, which we had made a point of getting washed earlier that day. While we were being helped, I did see other people drive up in more moderate cars who ended up getting into discussions with the valet people who didn't seem keen on taking their cars. I decided not to stick around to hear the rest of those conversations.

The decor of the restaurant is very nice, a combination of old-fashioned wood paneling and modern fixtures. We were seated at a booth at the far end of the restaurant and then given menus to peruse.

Ted's is a steakhouse in the true sense of the word. Most steakhouses offer other items like chicken or seafood, but the only thing on Ted's menu is different kinds of steak. You pretty much just pick the cut and size you want. Each steak entree comes with the daily steamed vegetable as well as their famous baked potato, as well as unlimited visits to their salad bar. I've had baked potatoes in a lot of places before, but I never knew that the custom of wrapping the potato in aluminum foil before baking it was invented at Ted's. There was a whole story on the menu about how Ted Bell, who owns the restaurant, came up with the idea, and it's a pretty funny story. I don't want to spoil the surprise, so you'll have to make a trip to the restaurant yourself to read the story in person. It was a little weird though, because I noticed that on the menu, it's referred to as The Baked Potatoe with a little trademark symbol next to it and a little note that they seriously defend their copyright. I didn't get a chance to ask about that because the server came to take our order, and I got distracted and didn't remember that until after we'd left. I wonder what that was all about.

The husband and I both ordered our cuts of meat, and then we made our way to the salad bar. They had a nice selection there, though the salad plates were pretty small, which was kind of weird, considering it was a salad bar. The plates themselves probably weren't much bigger than a normal side-salad plate that you'd get in any other restaurant. It was maybe slightly bigger than a normal bread plate. While I was filling my plate as best I could, I did notice the occasional bell sound. I looked around to see what it might be, but I couldn't see anything that would explain it.

The husband and I each enjoyed our salads. Since it was an unlimited salad bar that came with the price of the meal, and since the plate was so small, I thought about going back for a second helping, but I figured the steak I ordered would be pretty filling, so I decided against going back after all.

After we were done with our salad, our entrees were brought to us. The meat was definitely as amazing as had been advertised. As I mentioned, there are a number of places I can go to for good steak, but their steak was just really tender and delicious. When we had ordered, the server had said that they only serve their steaks cooked medium rare because to cook it any more than that would ruin it, and Ted refused to have his steaks ruined. I thought it was a pretty weird rule (I know people who prefer their steaks cooked more than that), but it didn't bother me because that's how I normally order my steaks cooked anyway.

And as delicious as the steak was, the baked potato was just as amazing. I don't know what secret they had in cooking it, but while others might imitate the aluminum foil wrap, no one else can duplicate the taste of their potatoes.

When I had ordered, I had thought about having a drink to go with dinner. I had noticed that they had a special drink invented by Ted himself which he called The Ted, which contained rum and Coke. That sounded interesting, so I asked the server about it. He said it was very popular but was otherwise non-committal, so I decided to try it. It was quite tasty, but I did notice that it didn't seem particularly alcoholic. I was surprised during dinner to overhear a group of women at a nearby table, obviously out for a bachelorette party dinner and who had each ordered The Ted, say how strong they thought the drink was. I think over the course of dinner, they each had two or three drinks each. I'm usually a lightweight and so notice even when there's a little alcohol in something, so it was weird that mine didn't taste that strong.

As I had thought, dinner was quite filling, so both the husband and I skipped dessert.

Ted Bell himself was there that night, making the rounds of the tables, though he never actually made it to ours, which disappointed me. I really wanted to meet him. However, he does have a blog that he occasionally posts to.

Overall, I enjoyed our dinner, though the prices are a bit on the high end, even for really good steak. Service was adequate. Oh, one thing I did want to mention. That bell sound that I'd heard while at the salad bar was something that I heard periodically all throughout dinner, and when our server came to bring us our bill, I couldn't contain myself anymore, so I asked him what it was. He said that there was someone in charge of watching the salad bar, and if someone came back to the salad bar too many times or piled too much on their plate, especially if the person was particularly heavy, the person would ring the bell, which was actually a cowbell. He said that the tone of the bell subliminally signaled to the appropriate person that they really didn't need any more food from the salad bar. I thought that was a little weird, but I didn't say anything to the server. But I'm glad I didn't make that second trip to the salad bar.




Ted's of Beverly Hills Steakhouse
We wanna put our meat in your mouth.
78 N. La Cienega Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

33 comments:

Tim Castro said...

Cindy obviously listens to Phil Hendrie. :-D

Anonymous said...

His restaurant SUCKS. I’ve been in there and the service is horrible. The bathrooms had faeces on the floor and his silver ware wasn’t even properly washed. Ted is an idiot, and celebrating St. Patrics is just reminder of the association of those priests who molested minors.

I know a Mexican joint with half the cost that is way better than Ted's shit-hole. HA HA hA

Landon said...

Ted's is the best. A friend of mine named Bobbie and her husband Steve took me there and I have been going back ever since. You have to try the Ted, best rum and coke anywhere. Great review of this fine establishment.

Anonymous said...

This place is the best EVER! Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer were sitting at a table at the other end of the restaurant. Kate Hudson was also there.

A friend of mine, Margaret, who's a journalist, took me there and introduced me to Mr. Ted Bell who was making the rounds. The baked potato was special, and of course I tried a Ted. The grilled asparagus was delicious.

Anonymous said...

I personally liked Ted's. The steak was outstanding. Couldn't figure out what the deal was with the mechanical Jesus outside the front door handing out $5 off THE TED drink coupons, but whatever...hey it's all good.

He really did put his meat in my mouth, and I liked it.

Anonymous said...

i understand this guy serves mystery meat. i.e. horse meat, who knows maybe someones' pet. also...he has stated that "steak" is a generic name for any good cut, delicious piece of meat, and its ok if it is not disclosed on the menu.THIS GUY IS AN IDIOT IF HE THINKS MOST PEOPLE DONT WANT TO KNOW WHAT THEY'RE EATING. HE NEEDS TO BE RUN OUT OF TOWN.

Anonymous said...

Ted sounds like an idiot to me. I heard him on phils show.

Anonymous said...

What's awesome is I can't tell if the last two posters are in on the joke or not.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever tried Ted's own very special golden fried Seagull? For those who can't handle fried food, you can also order Ted's Rotisserie Seagull. Brought in fresh daily from near by Santa Monica. Only can bring you a delicacy such as this. He can do it because he's Ted Bell.

Patrick Crosby said...

Lest any PETA types get upset, Ted only serves seagulls that have already died of natural causes. Ted has a special arrangement with the Santa Monica Beach Maintenance Dept. If Ted didn't pick up these birds, they'd just be going into dumpsters anyway, so relax.
PS: I wanted to suggest this menu item 15 years ago, but Phil wouldn't let me on the show to do it. His KFI screener didn't even want to hear it. Told me Ted made up his own menu items. Finally I just went to Ted's and suggested it to Ted directly myself. Ted's a much funnier guy than Phil, IMHO

The FAIRBANK REPORT said...

I like Ted's. Best steak in LA County!

Anonymous said...

Ted is an ass. I heard him tonight on the Phil show and I believe he has to the most rediculous excuse for a human being that I have ever come across. I would not eat in his place nor contribute even one cent to this creep in any other way!! Why anyone would is beyond me....cook a steak at home people and save your money.

Da Moo Man said...

I understand Ted doesn't go anywhere in Beverly Hills without at least two armed body guards. How do you think Ted can afford them? By selling steaks? No way. The steaks are just a front for some other very seedy businesses. And that Dr. Saddler? If it weren't for Harvey Weirman, who after years of law practice knows how to get his way with judges, that guy wouldn't be allowed within 5 miles of any school. Quite a bunch Phil has on his show. And remember Jeff Doubter? He's doing major time now for drug offenses. He made the mistake of really pissing Harvey off. Harvey hung him out to dry.

Mark Carden said...

My neighbor Bud Dickman knows Ted through work and he and I went to Ted's last weekend. The food wasn't just good, it was excellent.

Moo Man said...

Ted's son Josh is playing at Hollywood Bowl July 17 and 19. Supposedly he plays the violin pretty well. http://www.hollywoodbowl.com/tickets/joshua-bell-plays-mendelssohn/2012-07-17

Jerome Kern said...

Hey Ted. Great idea! Why not use your prominence to get some front row tickets at the Hollywood Bowl July 17 or 19, hire a bus, and let's all go see your son Josh perform at Hollywood Bowl! If he plays well, you owe it to him to serve him one of your best steaks after the concert. You may have to extend your hours that night, but this is your son Joshua, Ted. You have to treat him right. After all, he's the son of Ted Bell!

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine set me up on a blind date with a guy named Ralph Dahl. Ralph suggested we meet at Ted's. The food was awful and had an odor that made me nauseous just like Ralph's breath. To my surprise Ted was there as well. Ted's a natural born sleezeball. All night he was checking out the ladies rear ends as they walked by, telling corny jokes and bragging about being the owner of the restaurant. Don't waste your time and money. Not even Gordon Ramsay could help this place!!

Moose said...

You have the man's first name wrong. It's Jim Dahl. Mr. Dahl is a member of the city council and at times mayor of the City of San Clemente. I know him, if not well, then at least a lot better than I would like to. He posts illegal signs for himself during municipal elections, and makes sure city officials do not tear them. (Anyone else who does it risks getting cited). Jim and Ted are certainly two of a kind.

Anonymous said...

We went to the Prime Rib room and ordered the prime rib. Ted himself came by and was talking on a portable phone for quite a while. Before our dinner came out, Ted told me he didn't like the "cheap body spray" I was using because it reminded him of a guy his wife dated. He asked us to leave. Weird dude. I think I will sue.

Da Moo Man said...

Were you wearing a "Yes on 8" button? If so, that would explain it. Ted has thrown his full power and influence in support of the LGBT Community. In fact, he is offering free steak dinners to members of the LGBT community, so being barred from Chic-Fil-A will be no loss. Ted's quite the hero now in my book. he's for human rights! Moo Man say: Ted B Moosatious!

The Loose Moose said...

This was a great place until Ted's employees and at times, even Ted himself, started spitting in the food served there. From now on, I'm going to improve my blood cholesterol levels and save lots of money by ordering chicken at the Signature Cafe on Santa Monica Blvd. at LaPeer. Just about a mile from Teds, only in West Hollywood (aka WeHo). It's right across the street from the classic car showroom which is a favorite of Ted's. So if you're sitting at an outdoor table at Signature Cafe and notice Ted across the street looking at the old classic cards, just yell "Right here Ted!" and give him the "Ted Salute."

Anonymous said...

What an experience, all I can say is outstanding. We headed to Ted's on Valentines day to enjoy Ted's " Classy Ladies Night". After being greeted by Ted himself , and a enthusiastic love pat on my

Anonymous said...

There's a Sizzler on Vine between Santa Monica and Sunset. Not the best, but at least you're not getting horse meat there. Yes, Ted has really lowered his standards lately. Now that Hendrie is off the air, Ted doesn't get any more free advertising, so he is really cutting corners to make ends meet. My understanding is that even Lloyd Bonafied, a Korean War vet (who probably has few taste buds left) and customer since Ted's dad owned and ran the place 40 years ago, is completely disgusted. So if you can afford a little more money, or don't want to travel to Hollywood, try Mastro's 246 N Canon Dr Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Cindy said...

I deleted the comment that the last post was in response to. I will allow almost any kind of comment, but one does not get to post a "comment" for the sole purpose of including a link as spam.

BTW, Phil is still on the air. I know I heard him within the last couple of weeks on the radio in the Los Angeles area, but I can't remember what station.

Here's a link of where his show plays, and there are podcasts as well: http://philhendrieshow.com/live/aphilillates

Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot to mention in the other post. Tell them at Mastro's that you are a former Teds of Beverly Hills Customer. They have a special promotional offer for Ted's customers. To say the least, they are not fond of Ted, and feel Ted has actually given the Beverly Hills fine dining business community a bad reputation. They believe they can do better, and will go out of their way to prove this to you if you mention Ted's. If you mention the Ted, as a drink, you get to decide what goes into it. Only $5. Think they're trying to put the final nail in Ted's coffin?

Anonymous said...

If you can tell me what station and what time it would be most appreciated. He definitely isn't on KTLK anymore.

Anonymous said...

Found him. Thanks!

Creative Bravado & Beyond... said...

Best meat house this side of the Milky Way. I've been coming here ever since I was 7 years old. Good ol' Mr Ted used to serve me his special drink for us kids, the Ted Jr. Well I just turned 21, and where do you think I went to celebrate the big day??!! That's right... A.A. of Beverly Hills, the Ted Bell chapter. Thanks for everything Ted!!

Cindy said...

Nope, I'm not kidding. You don't get to make a comment of any sort, even if it's on point, if you're going to include spam. Go do your advertising elsewhere.

Steven Campbell said...

Totally wish Phil was still awesome.
Nice post btw I enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

I went to Ted's of Beverly Hills, Ted is a piece of garbage, he kept going up to my girlfriend and showing her self pics of himself shirtless. When my girlfriend told him to back down, he told her to look how built he was from his photos. So I asked him to stop and he took my food away and told me "If I am not getting your girl, no one is having anything." He closed the restaurant, threw everyone out.
I left my cell phone in, went back in to get it and it was loaded with nude self pics of Ted Bell. He screamed out the window "I own this town, you are blacklisted!!" I am currently suing him with another man named Steve Bosell for emotional pain and suffering and the inability to eat steak again.

Anonymous said...

I hope that Yelp uses these reviews as they are all so insightful. Ted makes the best banana pudding so you missed out when you skipped the desert.

Anonymous said...

Wow, it has been literally years since I have been to Ted's. This was the absolute go-to spot for anniversaries, bat mitzvahs, quinceaƱeras, and ritual maseoamerican blood-lettings. And especially on Super Sundays too, when Ted's would serve miniature chicken wings in the buffet; this was the tradition in our family growing up in the Westside — the Big Game at Ted's. The memories!

On a quick side note: I met Ted's son Andrew once at a party up in the hills from Sunset Plaza. Just sayin...

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