James Ellroy, he was sitting across the room, wearing a faded pink polo shirt and dining with a well-heeled looking couple when we stopped by the Pacific Dining Car Saturday night. We were overdue for a meal for Matt's birthday, which falls at the hottest part of the year. Last year an otherwise enjoyable meal at Angelini Osteria was marred by half-assed air conditioning (to be fair, it was probably 100 degrees that night). I remembered that the Pacific Dining Car is always kept at meat-locker temperatures, which is actually surprising when you consider the age of most of the patrons.
Matt was thrilled to see Ellroy show up, and impressed that he managed to mention the titles of two porn films within two minutes of being seated. For my part, I was thrilled to have a distraction from the conversation going on next to us in which a middle-aged lady stridently explained the mortal dangers of date rape and Internet dating to her bewildered octogenarian mom.
Matt enjoys a good steak, and the enormous filet mignon topped with truffle butter was a very nice piece of meat. I thought both our steaks verged on rare instead of medium rare, but otherwise the dinner was impeccable, from the buttery sauteed spinach, the also-buttery potatoes au gratin, and yes, the good butter served with the bread basket. The rooms are blissfully quiet compared to every other restaurant, and it's great how even though it's not full, they spread out the parties in all the rooms rather than squishing them into just one. So happy birthday, Matt...next year, party at our place!
Also, here's an earlier report of lunch at the PDC with their wonderful steak salad.