We had a family birthday dinner here last week because we all like the Palm and it is a classic steakhouse. However our experience suggests it is getting a bit tired. First of all the wine list by the glass at the bar was relatively limited and most of the wines were really pretty mid-range, nothing really good except by the bottle. While I can understand not having a bunch of topnotch wines open and unpoured at the end of the night, you would think they could have at least one top of the line red and one white open for those willing to pay for it. Then came our dinners. I can't complain about portion size--one of us had the chicken Parmesan and it was so big it covered the entire plate--or the quality of the meat--the steaks were excellent. but I had a Caprese salad and the tomatoes tasted more like Styrofoam than any tomato I've ever grown. C'mon, this is California; if you can't get a really fresh tomato here, where else are you going to? And I couldn't believe it when my steak came and it was overcooked. I ordered it "blue" and after a snarky "You mean black and blue?" from the waiter I said "I mean cold and dead". My steak arrived medium rare! I have eaten in lots of steak houses and have never seen one not understand the "blue" means rare and cold in the center, not even the Palm. I didn't bother sending it back since everyone else had already received their meals and it would only have delayed things. The steak was, however, really of excellent quality so I guess it could have been worse. It's just that I expected a steak house with the provenance and experience of the Palm to have gotten a straightforward steak order right. I would have taken two stars off for the disappointing by-the-glass offerings and for the pathetic tomatoes as well as my overcooked steak but my other experiences here have been good., It's just that it seems the old girl is fading a bit and with The Grille a couple of blocks away, Wolfgang's nearby, and Mastro's across the street, they'll need to step up their game if they want to survive
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