Ugly Delicious (2018) s02e03 Episode Script


1 Oh, oh, oh - What is this? - Steak.
- What is in it? - Cow.
- # Sometime, I like it cold # - Pure beef.
Sometime, I like it fresh Where's the steak? Burnt to a crisp or bloody as hell? Bloody as hell.
And, oh, yeah, look at this Vanilla Coke.
Medium rare.
An aristocrat.
I'm gonna want the milksteak boiled over hard.
I just like it Like I like it Don't overcook it.
You overcook it, it's no good.
It defeats its own purpose.
- What's that? - That's well-done.
That is well-done.
So, stop bringing me shit! I just like it like I like it I don't know why steak is considered manly.
It's not as if hunting a cow was ever that hard.
Ew! Let's just hear about today's prizes.
Well-done steaks.
If I see a speck of red, it's goin' back.
It's what's for dinner.
You got a steak? Ah, yes.
You got any A.
? And don't forget the ketchup.
When my parents immigrated to this country, they ate so much beef.
My brothers call me a product of bovine growth hormone because I'm so much bigger than everyone else in my family.
But, uh, you know, it's funny.
It's like, growing up, steak was something that my mom would cook in a toaster oven.
And when it was, like, a special occasion, it was a steak house.
- This is dining.
- Mm-hmm.
It's the ritual.
Steak isn't a food; it's an experience.
Everybody wants to say they've made it, and if a steak means we've made it But it's also, like, as a cook Mm-hmm.
when someone puts an order in, it tells you so much about a person.
- So much.
- So much.
- And I - I fully agree with that.
I fully agree with it.
I do, but I was reading this thing that they were attempting to argue that people who ordered well-done steak were more risk-averse.
Was I the one who wrote that? Wait a minute.
Yes, yes! - Yeah? - And it turned out not to be so clear.
I've seen every kind of disrespect - to the well-done order possible.
- Yeah.
I've worked in restaurants where, uh, someone has ordered well-done, - and we just threw it in the fryer.
- Wow.
I could never.
I would die.
I don't know, I think that, like, the well-done/rare debate is the obvious one, which we should get into, but I also judge people by which steak they order.
- Yeah.
- You know, I mean, you've got the filet-mignon crowd.
I mean, I don't even serve filet mignon here.
- Why? - And if we do Because I like the fat.
I have a friend I'll just say it.
It's Bill Simmons, right? And he loves loves the bone-in filet, and I give him a lot of shit for it.
Might I say a few a words in defense of the the suddenly humble filet? I do like the filet.
He's just taking this absurd position for the sake of argument, right? I like being ridiculed.
This is why I'm taking this absurd position.
No, I love filet.
I I don't think you can actually judge anyone, - Mm-hmm.
- but we do it all the time.
Smells delicious in here.
How do you guys like your steaks? - I like medium rare.
- Yeah, rare to medium rare.
- Um - Medium well.
- Medium well? - Yeah.
I'm that I'm that asshole who, if you ask me and I'm honest, I'll say "well.
" - It's okay.
It's okay! - Yeah.
I feel like, when I was a kid, we would order things well-done, but I grew out of that once I became a man.
We should've just gone real hard the other way and said we liked it raw.
- Oh, thank you.
- Yours is still cookin'.
- It looks great.
- It'll be ready tomorrow.
Is that You want it more or less? - More cooked? - More cooked.
- Yes, please.
- God damn it! I'm going to the cool side of the table, guys.
- Mm-hmm? - Mm-hmm.
All right, let's dig in.
When all the orders come in, like, you know what kind of person it is by the orders of food that they're - Yeah.
- You really Pretty accurately, I think.
- Mm-hmm.
- And one of the big markers for, like, judging someone, just reading a ticket, is "well-done.
" - Yeah, like - "Whoa! This is not acceptable.
" You're like, "Alert the back.
We have a murderer in here.
" It takes courage to be like, "Fuck it.
I like it well-done.
" I do think a lot of people, when they say they want it rare, they don't really mean it.
"Rare, because I'm I understand how this should be eaten.
" Yeah, you want to be seen as, like, intelligent.
These are well-done.
- Those look delicious.
- You think this is delicious? Oh, come on, that's so good.
Right? You just love it, right? - Mm, it's so good.
- Oh, my gosh.
Mm! I'm privately, like, trying to not judge all four of you right now.
What are your thoughts on steak sauce? Is that taboo? I don't think it's taboo, but I always try the steak - before I dip it into a sauce.
- Yeah.
And if you go to, like, a fancy, three-Michelin-star restaurant - and you ask for hot sauce, - Mm-hmm.
I can imagine the chef, like, throwing the plate across the room, you know? - Mm-hmm.
- Have you guys gone to steak houses in other countries? There's a killer steak place in Sydney - that I that I love.
- Yeah, that place is awesome.
It's in Bondi Beach.
It's called Macelleria.
It's fast-food steak.
You order at the counter.
All the steaks are right there, and you can pick in the room, like, "I want that one.
" You can get a steak for like ten, 12 bucks.
Of all the things I've seen you do, your Australia commercials were my favorite thing.
All right there, mate? Just gettin' a clean shave with my machete.
That's 'cause I was fueled on Macelleria the whole time.
Danny McBride says this is one of his favorites, if not favorite, places to eat steak.
So, we prepare everything.
We dry-age it.
We have the portions ready.
You just pick your steak, you pick your sides.
I'm gonna get the McBride, the Wagyu rump.
I want the Cape Grim Angus.
- I want a bone.
- Well, the T-bone.
Have you ever seen a steak house like this? For me, growing up, steak was, like, celebratory.
We only ate steak when it was A special occasion.
I didn't have like proper, proper steak until I moved to the States.
Any time we would eat, like, a proper steak, that's our attempt at being, like, white.
It's like, "We're real Aussies now.
Here's my steak.
" That's the T-bone.
That's the Wagyu rump.
Your regulars, do they come in all the time? - Yeah.
- Like every week? Every day? Multiple meals? My average customer comes in multiple times a day or week.
So, this is almost like a canteen.
So, this is not seen as a celebratory thing, right? Not here.
It's Bondi.
People want to sit down together and eat communally, meet a stranger next to you.
You don't have a choice.
You gotta sit next to someone you don't know.
Guess what? They love it that way.
It's a good steak.
What are our thoughts on Wagyu? - Do you rate Wagyu above other - Meat? meat? - I'm more - Or is it like a status thing? I don't know.
You know, a lot of high-score Wagyu is just so rich.
I also find it doesn't taste as, for lack of a better word, "beefy.
" At least, a beef that I'm accustomed to.
- So, $200 for that? - Yes.
It's really good.
Currently, Japanese beef is expensive not because it's tasty, but because the quantity of available cow is limited.
I don't know.
Has it become like an expensive steak? Like, a Wagyu is, like I don't know feels like you're driving - a yellow Ferrari or something.
- It's a status thing, yeah.
It's like, are we actually eating it because we think it tastes good, and it's 'cause it's, like But sometimes, it does taste fucking good.
It really is like It is, like, now being brought blown so out of proportion that people don't know why they're eating it anymore.
- I know.
- Because it's, like, this buzzword.
I feel bad because when Danny says, "Oh, you gotta come here," my snob, foodie person was, like "Danny might as well have said, 'I like Outback Steakhouse.
'" But I'm I'm happy that I'm here to check it out with my own two eyes and my taste buds, 'cause it's really good.
It's, uh, accessible.
This is the thing, we all hang out with food people.
We What our reality is, is not everyone's reality, too.
That's pretty much what I'm realizing, too.
It's like, I'm actually Maybe we're the problem.
And maybe we've lost that ability to just, like, not judge, but just say, like, "Is someone leaving happy?" Yes.
"Is someone leaving happy?" After I wrote that article about how we can judge Donald Trump for eating his steak well-done, my mom e-mailed me, and she's like, "You know, your grandfather always ordered his steak well-done because he was an observant Jewish man, and kosher law says that you can't eat the blood of an animal.
" Even though we know that the redness that you see in meat isn't blood, he was terrified of any trace of blood being in there.
And it really opened my eyes that there are cultural reasons and religious reasons that I might not have access to why someone might want a steak that's well-done.
- All right, cheers, everyone.
- Oh, my God.
- There it is.
- Oh, yeah.
All right, so this is all of the dry-aging that we do in-house here.
A rib eye, dry-aged for 60 days.
So, no specialized technique, just beautiful, dry-aged beef.
And this is the whiskey-aged beef.
So, this is actually 160 days old.
- Wow.
- Yeah.
- So, this is a lavender-aged - Wow.
- Mm! - 103.
So we It We smoke this in French oak, - Mm-hmm? - and then bury it in lavender, and then it ages for 90 days.
I'm sitting here, thinking, like, "Oh, my God.
How much money is the inside of my stomach worth right now? This is extraordinary.
" The question is, do replicas, the things that hint at the actual luxury, like the Costco steaks Do those devalue our ability to appreciate - the Beatrice Inn rib eye? - One-hundred percent.
But how do you argue against it when you want a steak and you want it affordable and you buy it from Costco, which is the same reason why someone thinks you know, a chain steak house is their best version of a steak house, right? Like, it's so hard to tell them, "You're wrong.
" Well, we're talking about democracy here.
The question of the extent to which we're all equal, and therefore should all have access to these things.
- I have a confession for you.
- Yeah? I've never been to an Outback Steakhouse before.
- What? - Yeah.
As a kid, I remember that's where you get the onion that I'd never seen before, the Bloomin' Onion.
I have a confession to make.
I have been to an Outback.
'Cause I've had the Bloomin' Onion before.
Where would I have had that? - We gotta get the Bloomin' Onion.
- Yes! I'm gonna go for a bone-in, natural-cut rib eye.
- Medium rare.
- We're ordering steaks.
I'm getting the filet mignon 'cause filet mignon's the best.
- How did you want your steak cooked? - Medium rare.
I don't know.
Is that weird if I eat off your plate? - Just get a steak.
- Yeah.
- I'll get the - It's super weird.
We're adult men.
I'll get the Melbourne porterhouse and the potato, loaded up with the fixings.
- It's like a Memphis-Australian accent.
- Not even.
It sounds like apartheid-era South African.
- Can you do - He's like Leo DiCaprio in Blood Diamond.
- Can you do an Australian accent? - I can't.
That's not a requirement to work here? No.
Yeah, load that shit up, the potato.
- All right, thank you, guys.
- This is great.
- Some warm honey wheat bread for ya.
- Ooh.
Do you know if they cooked my steak yet? - Not yet.
- Can I get it Pittsburgh style? Absolutely.
- You like that shit? - What the hell? You know that? Its like, they burn the shit out of it, and then it's raw in the middle.
- It sounds disgusting.
- Yeah, you're a dumbass.
So, Choe and I, we don't understand this dry-age thing.
What was wrong with steak that we had to dry-age it for 380 days? Dry-aging steak is a more delicious way than quote, unquote, "fresh steak.
" I don't even know But is "more delicious" an opinion, or is it a fact? Because what if I just like steak? It is a more delicious thing.
- That's your fuckin' opinion, dude.
- That feels like an opinion.
Oh, shit, there it is.
Bloomin' Onion with our famous bloom sauce.
This is really great.
Whoever made this is a goddamn genius.
I love it.
I think they should make up a whole story.
This, uh, aborigine went on walkabout, and on his spiritual journey, he came up with a Bloo Like, I mean, they should just come up with a full myth.
His name was His name was John Blooming.
All the steaks are cooked in, like, a marsupial pouch of a kangaroo.
I'm, literally, in my head, - "Why did we invite fucking Choe?" - Food is here.
I have the Pittsburgh-style charred steak.
- Yes! Did you load up the potato? - Yes, extra loaded.
How many people order it Pittsburgh style? - Yes.
- No one.
No one? I'm sure you've had more difficult customers before, but would you put him in Like, when you go back, and you're, like, refilling water, you're, like, "Man, table eight is, like, a nightmare.
- No, not at all.
- This fuckin' guy.
" - Thank you.
- Not at all.
Do you guys have a steak knife? Yeah, this is it.
That's not a knife.
This is a knife.
Why'd you That's a knife.
Dude, I waited the whole day to do my Paul Hogan joke.
- Oh, my God.
- You never seen Crocodile Dundee? - No.
- What's wrong with you? - You brought that with you? - Yeah.
You're so ridiculous.
That's, like, perfect.
That's nicely cooked.
Oh, this is really nice.
It's really good.
- This is really good.
- It's really good.
We've taken something that's been a very special thing, and now it's something that people can eat on a regular basis.
- That means - It probably costs one-third as much as My steak last night was $600.
- Seriously? - Yeah.
- You're such a rich asshole.
- I'm just saying, like, when Why was it $600? Dry-age.
Someone told me to come here and look for a guy named Rambo.
- Who told you that? - Is that Is that you? - Yup.
- David.
Nice to meet you.
David Chang.
Tell me a little bit about this Schvitz.
We used to have orgies back in this place, bro.
Today, if I go in there, there's no orgies happening.
No, no.
What's the most fucked-up shit you've ever seen here? I used to get paid to fuck guys' wives when I was younger.
So you're saying, I could've got a schvitz, watch you fuck my wife, - and then got a T-bone steak? - Yup.
- Paddy Lynch.
- Dave Chang.
Nice to meet you.
- Good to meet you.
- How's it going? Good, come on in.
Whoa! - This is the Schvitz.
- Okay.
- That's cool.
- Detroit's original traditional bathhouse.
People have been coming here for nearly 100 years.
Mostly men, but we have two days a week that are women-only, now.
Two days a week, men and women can come here together.
Has this place always been a steak house? Yeah, the reason this one survived is because it was associated with the Purple Gang, and they were responsible for about 80% of the booze coming into the country during Prohibition.
They couldn't wear a weapon here, and they couldn't wear a wire, so they knew every conversation that they had was confidential.
These fuckers never thought to just wear a hat? They wanted to sit around and smoke and drink.
And what did they want to eat? They wanted to eat steaks.
But, really, down here is the heart and soul of the place.
Nothing has changed down here in almost 100 years.
Oh, wow.
Oh, shit, this is awesome.
This is a real cast of characters.
- Dr.
Big P, my father.
- What's up? Hey.
- Scott the Master.
- Hey.
- Daniel the Stocky Soviet.
- Oh, man.
This is what we're gonna start you off with.
Where's that gonna go? - It's gonna go all over your body.
- All over your body We call this a "raw dog.
" I'm gonna get raw-dogged by the Master? It's my first time.
Be gentle.
The oak does possess minerals that are blood thinners, anti-inflammatories.
It's like nature's aspirin.
Just, everything you guys just said sounds like complete bullshit, man.
Ah, fuck.
Yeah! I'm trauma bonded to this place.
I'm starving.
Oh, my God.
Is that what's for dinner? The way it was described to me was, "The heat is the foreplay, the cold dip is the orgasm, and the steak is anal after," so I like it! - How you doing? - the original dressing.
Oh, you made the original dressing? - What is that? Steak sauce? - Yeah.
- You put steak sauce in the dressing? - Yeah.
What do you think? This is the fucking manliest salad I've ever had.
I appreciate it.
I got you something.
- You guys know what this is? - Kimchi.
The only Korean guy I've ever seen in Detroit just gave me a jar of kimchi for dinner.
- I love kimchi.
- This place is amazing.
- Thank you.
- You're welcome.
- Very nice.
- Yeah.
All right, who wants some steak? All right.
All right, let me try this.
Here goes.
Here you go, guys.
Oh, shit.
This is, like, one of the best steaks I've ever had.
Maybe it's 'cause my body's in, like, complete shock right now.
That's a man bite.
- I love it.
You guys are like a family.
- Yeah.
This is a place where men can come, and they can be gentle with one another.
I think that's super-important because when you use the word, like, "intimacy," it's usually referred to in a romantic - with, like, a man and a woman or - Whatever it might be.
But just to be intimate with men, and not in a romantic way, but just like, "You're my brother.
" - "You're my brother.
" - "You're my friend.
" It all kinda comes back, at the high-end especially, to this masculinity thing.
So, I go to Keens all the time.
- I love Keens.
Love it.
- It's the best, right? It's the oldest steak house in New York.
You can feel the history as soon as you walk in.
The ceilings are covered with the pipes of thousands of people who used to go there.
And until 1905, it was a men's-only restaurant, and they still, to this very day, have on their menu a burger, and then a Miss Keens burger, which comes without the bun.
There's such inherent gendering - to all of this.
- Mm-hmm.
If you associate steak houses and meat-eating with dudes and bro-y and man test like, testosterone culture But it also, to me, is synonymous with unwillingness to accept "new.
" Feminine is, "We're open to change, and we're open to thoughtfulness and critical thinking.
" Well, this is the real selling point for modern feminism.
The pursuit of feminism makes life better for men, just as much as it does for women.
Honey, I'm home.
Welcome home, Dave.
Do you want to watch some TV with me? - I'd love to.
- Let's go.
So obviously, steak, unto itself, isn't a gendered thing.
It's a food, but in culture, it comes to be understood as masculine and that eating meat is how you prove your manliness, and sort of become masculine.
It is such a powerful signifier.
Whenever I start teaching food and gender with my students, the easy one you start with is "steak is masculine.
" Bon appétit.
- Salad is feminine.
- Oh, good God.
So, this one is for Burger King.
I am man, hear me roar In numbers too big to ignore And I'm way too hungry To settle for chick food So, the idea that fine dining is not enough.
It's "chick food," My stomach starts to growl And I'm goin' on the prowl - "Prowl," like he's hunting.
- # For a Cheesy Bacon XXL # Man, that's good! Eat like a man.
Literally, "Eat like a man," right? Then like, that becomes the tagline of how to sell a cheeseburger.
When you see a commercial like this, do you get angry? Yes! When you market to men with misogynistic messaging, then it has this oppression of women baked into that sort of strategy.
They're not just selling to dudes; they have to denigrate women and femininity - in the process of doing it.
- Can you explain that some more? So, instead of just selling soap, right? It's like, "Use this, and you won't smell like a chick!" Like, it has to make fun of women in order to sell you soap that would just make you clean.
All of these things in the world, particularly in food, women have to constantly fight for equality - when it should just be a given.
- Yeah.
The traditional New York City steak house with the mahogany wood and the sort of cigar-like smoke It just, like, reeks of dudes.
Yeah, you feel like it's an eating experience - that's from another time.
- It really is.
I feel like I go to steak houses for the sides, you know? So, we have cornbread, a wedge, - a little coleslaw here.
- Wedge salad, coleslaw.
We got your mashed potatoes.
Ah, yes.
What are your go-to sides when you go to a steak house and you want something classic? Glazed carrots.
I think some kind of spinach, right? Sautéed or the cream.
Then you have all kinds of potatoes: home fries, french fries, - rÃsti, purée.
- Yeah.
- Always gotta go shrimp cocktail.
- Always.
- With strong horseradish.
- Oh, yeah.
- Some things are just delicious.
- Give me that Bloomin' Onion.
You gotta get the obligatory wedge salad.
Yeah, the wedge.
Like, crab cakes, macaroni and cheese, potatoes au gratin, or something like that, in some skillet that will give you third-degree burns.
- Bacon with the steak house sauce.
- Ugh.
If you think about it, the caloric intake so far, - you should be theoretically done.
- Yeah.
That's what happens at every restaurant.
That's Isn't that part of a steak house excursion is, like, to go all out.
- Like, "What have we done?" - Yeah.
I don't think I've ever been to a steak house where, by the time the steak comes, people are like, "Ah, I'm already full.
I can't even eat this.
" Totally.
It's part of it.
Somehow, you find that second stomach.
- Oh, yeah.
- What about dessert? - Do you even make it to dessert? - Oh, yeah.
We've gone this far.
Why not? We knew.
We knew what we were up against.
The American steak house experience is what I grew up eating, and you think that's the only way to eat steak.
It's cultural.
Like, for example, if we were to go to London, and I would grab a lamb chop, they're gonna want their lamb well-done.
But, like, the whole US vocabulary of meat consumption has been collapsed.
- To like - Yeah.
You know, there's a porterhouse, there's a filet mignon, and there's a boneless, skinless chicken breast, - and that's all there is.
- Right.
But the Denver cut is a new invention by the meat industry.
What the fuck is a Denver cut? - Right? - Well, also, be careful, though, because Argentina and France and England, - they cut steaks differently.
- Right.
The only constant that I see in steak around the world is that it's a celebration.
At Firedoor, Lennox is making it hard, and that's what makes it so fuckin' beautiful.
There's no gas.
You can't even boil water without starting a fire.
So, this is as pure of cooking that you could possibly do.
I haven't had a better expression of cooking a steak than over fire.
And the beef deserves the highest amount of respect.
So, every fortnight, when they slaughter the animals, uh, only about three or four percent make this really high grade.
This is fat aging.
We dry it for two weeks, and then we render the fat down.
So, what you see around the outside is actually the fat of the animal.
- Right.
- So, it's sealed in its own fat.
By the time it comes to us, it's already an amazing piece of beef.
You realize that once you eat it, you're not gonna want to eat any other beef, right? I I'm good I'm totally good with that.
I've ruined steak for quite a lot of people.
You've actually got to immerse yourself in the process.
And everyone's gonna You I'm gonna grill differently to the way you grill.
And that's the beautiful thing about it is, at the end of the day, it's an expression of the human heart.
- So poetic.
- It is.
- And the accent makes it really nice.
- Yeah.
Fuck you, guys.
This is really really good.
It's really, really good.
I have nothing more to say.
I don't sound poetic.
"Really, really, really good.
" Dude.
This is good.
This is clean.
For certain, this is the best bone I've ever had in my fucking life.
We're at We're at a critical stage where beef's gonna disappear, - and we're gonna have to - What do you mean? It's It's not good for the environment.
It's not environmentally friendly.
It's not the future.
But this is about celebrating the now and what we have now.
So, the future is no steak.
- It really is, right? - Not beef.
That's for sure.
The future, to be honest, in Australia, is gonna be camel and kangaroo.
There's camels everywhere, and there's kangaroo everywhere.
I don't want it to go to kangaroos, man.
And now we take you to our protein alternative correspondent, Walter Green.
We're here today in the east wing of my Brooklyn home, and we're tasting alternative meats.
The best part about alternate meats, I would say, is sharing them with someone that you love.
Coming, sir.
Good evening, Bob.
This evening, your first meal is vegan black pepper steaks.
Would you like to share a bite with me, perhaps? It's against union rules, sir.
I give it two meats out of five potential meats.
I'm ready to call it on this one.
- Bob.
- Was this to your satisfaction? Just being here and experiencing it with you was all the pleasure in the world.
Traditional seitan.
I believe it's pronounced "traditional sei-tan.
" Perhaps, sir.
Could we lock arms? I'm putting the food into my mouth, and you're putting it into your mouth? It violates union law.
Sorry, sir.
Can we do something where your arm is at least there, and I'm just wrapping around it and putting it into my mouth? Perhaps that would be fine.
Was that satisfactory, sir? Thank you, Bob.
That'll do.
There's barely any flavor.
I don't want to be rude to anybody, but Two nuggets out of five for seitan.
- Good day, sir.
- Oh! Ooh! This is known as the Impossible Burger.
Oh, okay.
To me, it tastes like a McDonald's hamburger.
Yeah, it's a pretty convincing alternative.
I give it a vegetarian Big Mac out of one regular Big Mac.
You know, I don't eat a lot of alternative meat, but it might be something that we should all strive for.
How delicious does something have to be to kill the earth over it? It's undeniable that cattle ranching is extraordinarily destructive to the planet.
The way it's currently done, and the scale at which it's done, the methane emissions and the environmental impact I mean, it's it's massive.
But there are ways of making these things manageable, I think, that we haven't explored.
Because the American ethos is, "More is better, and unless I'm making more profits with each quarter, then I somehow have failed.
" Mm-hmm.
There are a lot of other approaches that are possible that don't mandate us tearing something out of the the food chain.
So, this is where you grow the steak? Yup.
Nice to have you here.
Climb on here.
- Oh, there's feathers! - These are the only two horses that we have on the ranch.
A Honda and a Suzuki.
Where are we headed? We're gonna go out in the field, and we're gonna move a group of cows from one field to the next field.
They get moved every day.
- I should have worn a cowboy hat.
- You shoulda worn a cowboy hat.
- Okay.
- By the end of the day, you might have one.
- All right.
- Yep.
This is a lot Oh, my God.
- This is like Ponch and John.
- Yeah.
All in! So, how old are they when they have their one bad day? Uh, around 24 to 28 months, usually.
Compared to the conventional industry, those cattle are 14 to 18 months.
Cattle ranching is not the greatest for the environment, right? We're carbon neutral we're carbon positive on this operation.
- And - Carbon positive? Like, not even "neutral"? - Yeah.
- You're fixing other people's problems.
We're workin' on it.
We're trying our best to have bigger groups of cattle.
We rotate 'em around.
They rest the soil, so we have lots more biodiversity in the soil, - lots more plants growing.
- That's amazing.
The cattle basically harvest the grass for us, turn into protein, and that's what we sell.
It's so efficient.
It's such a logical, beautiful, natural system.
- I think it's nature's way.
- Yeah.
About ten years ago, I had sent a group of animals to a feed lot, and about 30% of 'em got sick.
And at the same time, we started to have a family.
And it made me think, like, "Oh, there might be a different way of doing things.
" We put a line in the sand and said, "We're gettin' certified organic.
We're selling everything direct to consumers, and we're gonna do our best to help the planet.
" They're born and live in the field their whole life.
There's no barns, or Nothing but grass? That's pretty amazing.
A lot of times, feedlot beef will taste more bland and greasy, and grass-fed beef actually has more flavor.
So most of our customers say it's the best grass-fed beef they've eaten.
Because you taste, not just the grassiness, but sort of a clean, floral flavor.
We get the message all the time that we're not supposed to eat steak 'cause it's the worst thing for the environment.
And I've always felt like, as long as it's happy cows that are raised in a sustainable way, that steak's not so bad.
I kind of live by the by the example of, "Eat less meat.
Eat higher quality meat.
" This is the future of cattle.
Green hills, blue skies.
I think so.
As meat becomes more scarce because of environmental issues, because of cost issues um, you know, that easy, low-hanging protein source is not gonna be cheap anymore.
And the future of steak maybe looks something like what we see in Japan more than anything else.
Smaller, sliced is the future of steak houses.
When I really want to have beef, this is the place I get the max out of the beef.
There's a lot of people that Instagram or do social media about food, but there's a small, small list of people that actually know what the hell they're talkin' about.
Little Meg is one of them.
She eats an extraordinary amount of food, and she knows where all the delicious restaurants are in Japan.
So, quick question.
Why do you never show your face or your identity? You know, uh, at first, I was still working in an office.
And I just don't want my boss to know that I'm on Instagram.
And I just feel more comfortable if I can walk into a restaurant and just be one of the customers.
Yakiniku is what? Grilled meat? - Fire-roasted meat, right? - Mm-hmm.
Personally, I like it, actually Yakiniku more than steak.
Just on technical cooking, it makes more sense to cook Wagyu thinly because the Maillard reaction, and you get caramelization, - the whole thing.
- Exactly.
And then you can still wrap it up and have the thickness of a thicker steak.
That The mouthfeel's there, but it's just more balanced.
And there's so many variations.
- Tongue.
- Tongue.
- Heart.
- Heart.
- Shoulder.
- Shoulder.
- Shoulder.
- Mm.
He's looking at this grill, he's moving around the meat.
Without any, like, equipment, he knows the temperature.
Like, he, like, you know He literally know it like it is like his baby or something.
He is the one who know, for each piece of meat, what is the best usage of the grill - to make the perfect, optimal outcome.
- All right.
It's really good.
Wait until the signature.
So, he's going to grill it on the grill very quickly and then fold it.
And then, he'll put it in the middle sauce and then put it in your egg.
So, look at how And then you bite into it.
- In here? Or just - Oh, no, no, no.
I want to see you eating, actually.
Isn't that, like Fuck.
This is I had that exact same reaction when I first had it.
That's insane.
That's insane.
That's really one of the best bites - I've ever had in my life.
- If you Unbelievable, right? Unbelievable.
This is why it's the signature here.
- It really is unbelievable.
- Yes, right? I'm trying to act cool right now.
All right, kicking things off with the lavender.
- Mm.
- Wow.
Oh, my God.
- Are you putting truffles on that? - Yeah.
I feel like the guillotine is right outside for us.
- It's right here.
- Yeah.
Can someone get some cake for the people outside? I know, they seem hungry.
Oh, my God.
So, we just finish this with a little bit of langoustine butter.
Because, like, the funky shellfish flavor it's, like, so sweet, and it's got all these beautiful, like, high notes.
What did you finish this one with? It's got a bit of anchovy crust on it.
So, this is your idea of surf and turf? - Yeah, and then - That's not what that term means, - you know.
It's not.
- It is here.
It's really interesting to me that you add so many additional complimentary flavors to cuts like this that have been aged like this.
Because I feel like there's such a focus on purity.
Like just salt and pepper, and that's it.
It's not the traditional fine dining that I grew up going to.
We're expanding our ideals of what fine dining is.
And, um, especially with this restaurant, I wanted to create an environment that had all those fine dining ideals but was fun.
- Mm-hmm.
- Because food should be fun.
- You good? - It's so good.
It's actually - It's actually amazing.
- Mm! It's, like, destroying me.
Like, oh, my God.
- I've never had anything like this.
- No? Good.
That's the idea.
That is a totally unfamiliar - Try the bone.
- All right.
And pass it around.
We're talking about food a little bit, but what we're really talking about is how a guest is made to feel.
And we can pull away from that, like, "What is the best possible state for this piece of meat?" But that's inherent to the piece of meat itself.
And when you put it in the entire economy of a person sitting at a table with someone that they love, at a certain time of day, on a certain day of the week, at a certain time of the year, spending a certain amount of money, it's so much more than just the meat on the table, right? But it's the experience.
It's everything.
And, at the end of the day, it's like, yeah.
Is it about this? Yeah, it is.
But it's also about all of this.
One of my favorite restaurants in the world is called Shima Steak House.
And there are probably places that serve better or fancier steaks, but it just it has an emotional thing for me.
It's, like, one of the first expensive meals I ever had, and it's beef that is raised a certain way.
And I think, for me, so much of a steak house has to be tied to the nostalgia.
- Yeah.
- It has to mean something to me.
I've think one of the reasons I love it is that it defies my understanding of what a steak house can be.
When I look at that oven, and the fact that he designed it himself, I see someone who, like, strives for independent thinking.
If he's gonna build this oven that's one of a kind, this is about feeding someone and making them full of, like, - warmth and love.
- Exactly.
How do we push the idea of food forward? I think that the solution is I don't know.
I mean, if I had an easy solution, I'd be a billionaire, - and I'd be running the world - Eating well-done steaks.
It's It's to make meat special.
I just had my first son about six months ago.
- Oh, hey.
- And so, I imagine the possibility of a family diet which is vegetarian two, three, four, five days a week, and steak, or whatever meat, becoming a special thing.
Which is to say, the conception of luxury may be evolving.
You look at places like France and like England and Ireland, and it's a focus on actually raising the beef.
They're working animals.
When you go to Europe, and you experience the way that farmers and ranchers and butchers and cooks relate to a cow, it's as a cow, not necessarily as, like, one of 7,000 animals that is being processed on the kill line today.
I have about 15 different breeds.
Uh, they're all Iberian breeds.
I like to let them eat everything that they need to eat.
They're here to enjoy, they're here to rest, to eat, and and to be as happy as possible.
Is your passion for the cows, or for the beef, or for both? First of all, I had the restaurant.
I always wanted to have the best products.
I was obsessed with having the best product, and I learned that, in order to have it, I should make it myself.
Does the meat of an older cow taste different from the meat of a younger cow? Yes, I think that the age is key.
We're going to visit a bull that's 14 years old.
Hi, Bonito.
Hi, Bonito.
Pretty boy.
Pretty boy.
Good boy, good boy.
Good boy, good boy.
He's very noble.
"Noble" is that it's that he's never going to betray you You can stand by this animal without fearing that he may play hard, that he may hit you.
Why have you kept this bull for 14 years? Because I have a huge bond with him and I.
And we should have slaughtered him a few years ago, but in the end By now, I haven't.
I don't know.
I can't And in front of him, we can't talk about that.
Maybe he understands us.
Is it difficult for you to eat the meat of an animal that you've had this kind of bond with? No, we must honor them.
We must honor them somehow, and this is the best way in which we can honor them, enjoying their welfare, enjoying how well they lived It's going to give us its good energy.
- Cheers.
- Cheers.
Mm! Now, how did you learn to cook? My mother taught me.
During times of austerity, she could make great food with few ingredients.
Tell me about this meat.
What are we eating? We are eating roast beef made from the sirloin cap.
The best part is mixing this fat, which is part of the beef, which is delicious, in my opinion.
Mm! Even the fat is good.
This is one of the most traditional and special dishes from here.
It's aged for over three years.
Mm! Smell it.
It smells like cheese.
We have a saying here, "It smells of everything and of nothing.
" This bull was six years old.
And it was aged for 140 days.
Oh, man.
Six years old.
It's beautiful.
In the US, we say we don't want to eat an older cow because it'll be tough.
This is not tough.
This is due to the aging process, but I also think that everything has a role to play.
The way it was raised, the way it lived, the way it died.
What I've learned about cooking is that generosity always comes back.
People have cried at the table, due to the emotion caused by the food.
And they will say, "Thank you for your work.
" And that's the best thing that can happen to someone.
Here's my terrible confession, after I've spent all this time judging people for ordering meat well-done, is, like, after years of being a "medium rare or or die" person, - Mm-hmm.
- I have come to terms with the fact that I like my steak done medium.
- Mm-hmm.
- And, like, I spent probably a solid two years knowing I wanted my steaks medium and ordering them medium rare anyway, because I felt - uncomfortable with the truth of myself.
- You had to? I didn't want to be the person that I had judged for so long.
We're talking about changing people's conceptions - of who they are.
- Mm-hmm.
And that is hell.
Because I cling to that, as unimportant or as wrong as it might be, I cling to this notion of who I am, and goddammit, you ain't gonna take it away from me.
That's the truest thing that's ever been said on this TV show.
- How you doing? - Good.
How are you? - Pleasure to meet you.
- Nice to meet you.
I I just met your husband, and he said RBG married you guys? - Yeah.
- That's amazing.
I grew up in the suburbs of Virginia with all of these prejudices.
One of which was, "Don't hang out in Dupont Circle," because it's where all all all the gay people live.
My experience at Dupont Circle is the exact opposite of yours, 'cause when I heard Dupont Circle is where the gay people are, I was like "I wanna go to Dupont Circle!" This restaurant's been here forever.
Since, what, '48? It started off down the street, a couple blocks.
A lot of gay guys just kind of gravitated to the place.
All the people who worked there as servers were older, middle-aged women who were motherly.
Annie kind of became the face of the place.
Now you can buy a bobblehead of her behind the bar.
There's a famous story that was told and retold about Annie, especially after she died in 2013, that two guys were holding hands under the table, and she told them, "You can hold your hands above the table here.
" It was just that kind of environment.
- Good afternoon, gentlemen.
- Hi.
Welcome to Annie's.
What would you like, please? What type of steak would you like? The biggest porterhouse.
- Yeah, a porterhouse.
- Two porterhouse.
And how would you like it cooked? - Medium rare for me.
- Medium for me.
When you tell people, "Let's get dinner or lunch at Annie's," are people thinking of it as a steak house? - They think of it as Annie's.
- You know, it's funny.
I grew up thinking that steak was the ultimate dining experience.
My first restaurant job was at Sam & Harry's Steakhouse.
Mine was at Sir Loin.
Where is that? It was in Pittsburgh.
So, what do you think that steak represents today? Uh uh, I have to say, there are steak houses in my mind where I I would probably stay away from them because of what I think is Come on, let's name names.
Capital Grille, for instance, is a place where Republican men congregate to do business, and that is not an environment that I feel comfortable in.
When it's put down in front of me, and I look at the steak, I'm like, "Wow, that's really thin.
" Like, "Oh, and it's not medium.
It's well-done.
" - Yeah.
"Oh, it's well-done.
" - And, like And I'm eating it anyway.
- I love the fact that we - I'm eating I'm Like, I would eat the whole thing.
It's not - This is not what we ordered.
- It's not what we ordered.
- And I'm completely fine.
- And I'm fine.
And I'm not gonna send it back, and I'm not I'm fine with it.
That's not why we're here.
Like I don't really care how this steak tastes.
The halo effect is kind of kicking in already.
I mean, this is a place where I feel comfortable and I'm gonna be more forgiving.
I thought a steak was a very easy way to talk about someone's politics, without talking about politics, economics, and socioeconomics, without talking about it.
And, uh, I proved nothing.
I think we've lost what it means to eat steak.
Some caveman was like, "Hey, I just finally got this wildebeest.
This is a celebration.
Let's cook it over fire.
" It's gotta be in our DNA, even if you're a vegan, right? - Life is hard - Thank you for having us.
but we're gonna celebrate this moment, and the time we have with each other.
And that is so fuckin' beautiful.
Community is the most important part of the food experience.
Which, ultimately, I think, why restaurants - were created to begin with, right? - Well, yes.
I mean, without community, a restaurant is just what? Eating.
- Cheers - Cheers.

Previous EpisodeNext Episode