By Kathleen Sterling
It used to just be about the hot plates, but now it’s all about the hot new place!
Ruth’s Chris’ new location in Warner Center is still offering their sizzling plates loaded with steak, but the larger, more contemporary location has become the new hot spot in Woodland Hills.
Especially at the bar, which is what you see when you first enter the restaurant. It’s huge, with tables and booths surrounding the square bar that is the center of the room and center of attention.
The good news about the new Ruth’s Chris is, to paraphrase the saying, what’s old is new again. Manager Brad Wood smartly kept the same bar and wait staff, so when you walk in you’re greeted as an old friend by familiar faces.
But walk in early! Happy hour at Ruth’s Chris starts at 4 pm, and by 4:30 it’s packed – especially on weekends when there can be up to an hour wait just for the bar.
Apps, wine and cocktails start at $9 during happy hour. There are nibbles like the spicy shrimp, artichoke dip or zucchini fries – or more substantial offerings like the ahi tuna and Ruth’s cheeseburger, but I have to say my fave is the steak sandwich, served on toasted bread with a side of fries.
Also available at the bar is a new pairing, a six-ounce filet topped with three large shrimp served with a glass of Daou Cabernet.
You can see why the bar is hopping and happening!
Not a wine drinker? Again, Ruth’s Chris is offering a new twist on an old favorite with their Fireside Old Fashioned with Elijah Craig small batch bourbon, Demerara syrup, Amaro Averna and Angostura chocolate bitters for $17.
There is also a lovely menu of hand-crafted cocktails – from a traditional Manhattan to a blueberry mojito and blackberry sidecar.
The wine list offers a well-rounded selection of whites and reds, with more wines by the glass than most restaurants, offering you more choices – and even more choices between the six-ounce pour and the nine-ounce.
California favorites include the Daou, plus Ferrari-Carano, Duckhorn, Prisoner and Caymus. Those celebrating can opt for a glass of prosecco or a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Brut champagne.
We opted for the dining room for a more leisurely meal. Jared, our waiter, took our order and didn’t flinch when we wanted our filet well done. In fact, Ruth’s Chris understands that when you want a steak, you want it your way. Right on their menu they let you know how to order what you like, describing steaks from rare “very red cool center” all the way up to well, “broiled through no pink.” Their consideration (and no sneering) endeared us to them forever!
Again, I must commend Ruth’s Chris for knowing what works, and continuing it. The new restaurant has all our old favorites on the menu – from the seafood tower to a traditional wedge salad, creamed spinach, and au gratin potatoes.
There are 11 steaks – from a petite filet to a Tomahawk redeye. Treat yourself to the sweet potato casserole with pecan crust – you won’t regret it and will find yourself coming back for more.
We’ve come back time and time again, from the old location at the Promenade Mall, and now to their new location at 5919 Canoga Avenue (the site of the old TGI Friday’s). For information and dinner reservations phone (818) 227-9505 or visit ruthschris.com/woodlandhills.