Mastro's Steakhouse is celebrated as one of the best steakhouses in the United States by critics and foodies alike. Founded in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1999, they have grown from a single restaurant to having over 15 locations across the United States. Known for their world-class service and five-star dishes, Mastro's Steakhouse in Costa Mesa, CA currently has over 1,800 5-star reviews. With all the hype surrounding a single restaurant, I decided to go to Mastro's for the first time last year and test it out myself.
The service at a restaurant is one of the first impressions you have of a business and can easily be the deciding factor on whether you decide to ever return in the future or not. So, if I am paying for a premium dining experience, good service is a nonnegotiable for me. Luckily for Mastro's, their service not only met but exceeded my expectations. One thing that especially stood out to me about Mastro's was how their amazing customer service is felt the moment you enter their parking lot. Immediately when my party pulled up to the front of the restaurant, we were greeted with friendly valet staff who opened our doors, parked out car, and walked us to the door. I felt like I was a celebrity entering the red carpet. The same quality of hospitality was given to us throughout the entire night by our amazing waiter who was knowledgeable about the menu, enthusiastic about providing recommendations, and just overall friendly and welcoming. He was very hands-on throughout the entire dining experience by asking us about our food preferences and even cutting and serving our steak for us! Kudos to the extensive training program that Maestro's employees go through because their service is impeccable.
The second you walk into this restaurant; you could tell this place is F A N C Y. Mastro's does enforce a upscale dresscode so everyone there was wearing some variation of semi-formal or business casual. The entire restaurant had dim lights, glass flooring and walls, and the best part......good live music -- emphasis on the word good. I unfortunately have experienced a fair share of live music that was more disruptive than enjoyable at a restaurant. I'm not sure if Mastro's contracts with multiple bands in order to provide live music every day but at least when I went, a lovely male and female duo sang and played the piano -- creating the perfect ambiance for my dining experience.
Moving on to the crux of the review: the food. My table ordered:
Seared Ahi Tuna ($20)
Hands down, the best dish we ordered was the seared ahi tuna. It seriously was the best seared tuna I have ever had. The edges were perfectly charred, the fish was fresh, and the pickled vegetables created such a refreshing balance of flavor and textures. I couldn't help but nod my head in enjoyment with every bite I took. 10/10
Chef's Rib Eye Steak ($79)
(left: garlic mashed potatoes, middle: chef's rib eye steak, right: sauteed asparagus)
The rib eye was my second favorite dish we ordered. It was extremely moist, fatty, and well-seasoned. It came pre-cut which was honestly AMAZING and made the dining experience that much more enjoyable. The Chef's Rib Eye Steak was 33oz and was more than enough to fill my party of two; we most definitely had leftovers. One critique I have with the steak was that it was a bit too salty for my taste, but the overall quality and texture was top-notch with every bite melting in your mouth. 9/10
Garlic Mashed Potatoes ($14)
To pair with the steak, we ordered the garlic mashed potatoes. While extremely tasty, there was not much of a wow-factor that made these mashed potatoes significantly better than other restaurants. While I appreciated the strong garlic flavor, I felt like there was a bit too much butter in the mashed potatoes that created this film of oil/grease on the bottom of the plate. Next time, I would opt for a different side since Mastro's has a wide variety of potatoe and vegetable dishes, however, I would not be opposed to getting the mashed potatoes again. 8/10
Sautéed Asparagus ($14)
For our vegetable, we decided to go with sauteed asparagus. Honestly, there is nothing bad I could say about this dish. It was perfectly cooked with a crunchy exterior and a soft interior and complimented the meat and potatoes nicely. I think next time, I would opt to have the asparagus steamed instead of sauteed to balance out the oiliness of my plate from the mashed potatoes and steak. 9/10
Chocolate Cake (Free)
Because I was celebrating my birthday that day, Mastro's generously gave me a slice of chocolate cake on the house. To my amazement, it was a pretty hefty slice of cake that could easily have fed three people. My party of two was already so stuffed from our dinner that we took a few bites and had to pack it to-go. Nevertheless, it was a delicious cake with very rich chocolate.
The Final Verdict
In conclusion, Mastro's Steakhouse is well-worth the hype. Please keep in mind that this was my experience at the Costa Mesa location in California so I cannot speak on their other restaurants. While very expensive, (with out total being a bit over $160 after tip for a party of two) the quality of food and incredible service make the price point worth it for the right occasion. I have only been to a handful of steakhouses in my lifetime, but my experience at Mastro's has been like no other. Mastro's does an excellant job at differentiating themselves by having some of the best wait staff who know how to make you feel important. Their waiters and waittresses genuinely treat you like family and are attentive to your needs without being intrusive on your personal bubble. I would definitely return again!
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