Ushuaia: A Taste of Argentina in L.A.
I don’t write about restaurants often here on the blog, but I definitely want to start sharing more of my local food finds because I think that we can all appreciate a good food post here and there – right? Plus, as Jave and I patiently anxiously await the start of our fall and winter travel plans, I figure that eating and sharing restaurant reviews is a good way to pass the time. Yes?
After spending the day out in Malibu in celebration of our anniversary, we headed to Santa Monica nearby for dinner at Ushuaia, a well-reviewed Argentinean steakhouse. I’m not a big red meat eater, but every now and then, I crave a proper steak, and I figured that a splurge on a steak dinner at Ushuaia was in order to celebrate our seven years of togetherness.
Arriving on a weekday in the early evening, it was refreshing to walk in and see that we had the entire restaurant to ourselves. So we took advantage and snapped some pics of the photography hanging on the walls, grateful that we didn’t have to pester any other diners to do so. It wasn’t until we sat down and started reading the menu that we realized that we were actually photographing photos of Ushuaia itself.
And while I knew that Ushuaia is an Argentinean restaurant, I was surprised to learn that it’s named after an Argentinean city that happens to be the southernmost city in the world sitting at the southern tip of Tierra del Fuego. Ushuaia’s menu provides quite a bit of context about the city, the roots of its indigenous name, and how the Santa Monica establishment came to be.
In keeping with the Argentinean theme, Jave ordered an Argentinean beer and we kicked off our dinner with an order of empanadas – one stuffed with chicken, and the other stuffed with spinach and ricotta. They were served fresh out of the fryer – perfectly crisp on the outside, savory on the inside, and served with a small, colorful salad on the side.
For my entrée, I opted for the Entraña a la Parrilla, a grilled prime skirt steak with chimichurri, and Jave ordered the Costilla de Cordero, a pan-roasted Australian rack of lamb. While my steak was delicious, I have to admit that it wasn’t as lean as I’d expected and the overly chewy texture was a turnoff. Also, the meat was cooked medium and not well as I’d requested, but seeing that my cut wasn’t unforgivably pink when I cut into it, I decided to let it slide. With that said, the flavors were good, and the chimichurri didn’t disappoint. And Jave’s lamb was a winner as was the side of Fideos, Argentina’s answer to mac ‘n cheese with rich, Manchego fondue, green peas, and truffle oil.
Strangely, Jave doesn’t crave sweets, so dessert is rarely a consideration for him. But anyone who knows me knows that no meal is complete without answering the yearnings of my sweet tooth, so I ordered an apple tart for us to share. I asked to replace the rum raisin ice cream with vanilla, and the tart was the perfect bittersweet ending to our meal.
The bill for our meal including tip was just shy of $130 which wasn’t too bad for a splurge on our special occasion. Overall, Ushuaia is a restaurant that I’d return to and definitely one that I’d recommend.
*To learn more about Ushuaia and to check out their menu, click here.