Someone once said it didn’t matter how nice a restaurant is…
Areal: Smelly Steak and Wine
Areal Restaurant, 2820 Main Street, Santa Monica (Venice Beach), CA
dined: December 15, 2016
by Reviewer Rob
I felt like going out for steak the other night so I tried a new place and went to Areal in Venice Beach, a kind of upscale looking restaurant, and ordered this filet mignon and a glass of 2013 Cabernet. I had cause to celebrate due to recent events that had went my way and although I was alone didn’t mind spending a little extra. Pictured below is the plate they served me. Looks good, doesn’t it? What the pic doesn’t capture was the smell. Maybe it was the “reduced port” sauce or whatever it was topping it, but I swear to god when the waitress brought it to me the aroma of stale socks mixed with armpits tinged with a whiff of rancid vagina began emanating from the plate. I was, however, really hungry for steak so I ate everything. Two hours later the stink still recurred from my facial hair despite washing my face and brushing my teeth. But hey, at least the wine was good.
About the visual presentation of the food: I immediately noticed the strange way the meat was arranged on top of the disc of runny mashed potatoes, not beside, which were covered in what the menu described as “peppered” spinach. At first I didn’t think much of it until after dinner was finished and paid for. Then the smell and ambiance fully sank in. The visual effect coupled with the aroma made me wince in amusement as a subconscious reminder sitting on the table before me of the piles of fresh cow manure I’d avoid as a kid hiking in the undeveloped land that cattle grazed in near my suburban home many years ago. This Areal restaurant dish was piled like a cow paddy.
Maybe it was a class-separation issue for the management or waitstaff. I was wearing Wrangler jeans from Walmart and dining alone, clearly not part of the local Venice Beach hipster crowd. A friend on Instagram who’s in with the Hollywood royalty commented that maybe if I had an apple-core hairdo, trimmed beard, $500 rolled up jeans and “stupid Nick Fouqet $1000 hat” I would have received better service.
Someone also who knew the LA nightlife scene really well once said on the radio that it doesn’t matter how nice a restaurant is the kitchen can still, let’s say, “mess with” your food in a pretty egregious way. Maybe the anal aroma filet mignon was unintentional (?) but on top of serving me a steak that smelled like farts they tried to charge me for a Kentucky Bourbon Pecan Pie that the waitress had came back and told me they were out of. Bleagh! I won’t be going back to you, Areal. I could have had a 12-ounce sirloin and house red at Applebee’s. The dinner would have been better and everything would have cost less than half what your ripoff bill came to.
I pointed the error out to the waitress who apologized profusely. After the manager removed the pecan pie from the bill my check came to like $62 and change. Of course I tipped the waitress since she wasn’t the worst, and I can’t prove it was her fault the steak smelled like butthole and stale socks, but I only gave her around ten percent. I don’t know. Maybe these assholes are just stupid and have no idea what they’re doing. Even so, see you later Areal, MUCH later.