Into its eighth year, Cut was launched by the celebrity chef to celebrities (Wolfgang Puck feeds the entire Tinseltown at the post-Oscars Governors Ball each year). The restaurant’s walls are decked with larger-than-life portraits of Hollywood greats, yet a single meal is all it takes to understand that food is the star of the show here.
As we enter, past the cocktail bar, a smartly-suited maitre d’ and a lieutenant attend to the seating ritual of this top-notch restaurant. Chairs are tucked in promptly, the napkins go on, fragrant breadsticks appear while specials are introduced. As with restaurants of the highest pedigree, service is a performance here; at full capacity the joint is busy but never hurried, a masterfully-orchestrated play with many acts and well-rehearsed players plying the stage.
This strong supporting cast lets the lead performers stand even taller in the competitive steakhouse landscape. Enter the steak – for me, a 280g US ribeye from Snake River Farms, Idaho, done rare, of course. I indulge in sublime mouthfuls of the thick cut laden with intoxicating juice, rivulets of moreish fat coursing from the sinewy grain, the chiming tang of the perfectly-executed sear, and the sheer delight of worrying the yielding meat with as many teeth (and gums) as I can bring to bear. No sauce required – the steak is that good. Only minutes later do I ponder, for my next visit, the premium sauces, going at $5 per dollop.
On the side, a tuna tartare, a masterclass in the blending of flavours and textures. Subtle dashes of wasabi aioli broaden the flavour profile. Togarashi crisps and garlic add crunch to the smooth tuna chunks. The wines, expertly paired, are drawn from the extensive and visually impressive “cellars”: The bottles line the walls of the massive private room and the rear area. We’re told the room, which can seat 20 easily, is often booked out by titans of industry who know how to have a good time. We certainly did.