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Tuesday
Jan242012

Yosemite Ranch, Fresno

A few friends and I ate at the bar recently on a Thursday night. Prime time at 7pm, busy as can be. In terms of service, I have no complaints. The bar staff hustled like crazy to keep up with our orders and the other patrons.

"When the bartending staff spoke to our party in particular, they were never rushed, never hurried in their conversation. Kudos for the level of training the bar staff receives in handling its customers."

For dinner, I started with their heavily pushed, ahi tuna appetizer. I’m generally a fan of ahi and a simple seared piece of quality ahi is a nice way to start. Simple is far from what was delivered. There was a lot of stuff on the plate.

Generally Asian themed, the plate was awash with sauces and sides. This generally worries me. Fish, when seasoned and seared properly, should taste wonderfully and with a minimum of accompaniments. Sides of wasabi cream, ginger, drizzles of this and that, just overwrought. I expect this level of dazzle at some sushi restaurants in mini-malls, but not here. Generally, steak houses will treat ahi the way they treat steak, with some reverence. I say, skip the flourishes and give me a well prepared ahi steak. Yes, I finished the ahi, but tried to avoid the flourishes.

So I decided to be difficult for the next round. I asked, in a Nicholson Five Easy Pieces sort of way, for just the USDA Prime Rib-Eye they were featuring. No sides, no starter salad, no nonsense, just the meat on a plate, cooked medium rare, of course. The bartender spoke to the floor manager and promptly returned to say, “Yes” and they’d charge me simply for the price of the steak, not the full meal. Even better. Let’s see what they deliver.

As requested, a beautiful Prime rib-eye on a large white plate. Nothing else. No garnish even. The steak was well-seasoned and well-rested. The steak was cooked exactly right, evenly medium-rare from end to end. Not a single scorch mark or burnt area. The wood fire grill they use certainly is additive to the flavor of the steak. This steak was exactly right.

I’m happy to eat at the bar again at Yosemite Ranch. I will probably stick with simple dishes, like steak on a plate and salad. I have a feeling that the flourishes and "bedazzled" nonsense don’t stop with the ahi.

Yosemite Ranch on Urbanspoon

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