Izzy’s Steaks & Chops is a family-owned restaurant in the heart of the Marina District in San Francisco. 21-day aged steaks and Izzy’s Own potatoes await.
A few weeks ago I was in San Francisco for my Association of Luxury Suite Directors conference. Every summer the conference is in a different city. Of course we do the usual conference meetings during the day, but what is so wonderfully unique about ALSD is that each evening we visit a sports venue. Not only do we get to tour the entire space, the caterers go all out to showcase what they can offer in terms of both food and beverages. I usually add one more day at each end of the conference, especially if it’s a city I’ve never been to, so that I can fit in a little sightseeing.
This year our conference ended on Thursday, and I had a late lunch at Tadich Grill. Because of that, I wasn’t planning to eat dinner at all. But who am I kidding? I never do that. Besides, dinner was my only chance to see my friend Joel. We met a few years ago at the Big 12 basketball tournament, and he lives in San Francisco now. My friend Reg was still in town and was staying with a friend, so we all decided to meet for dinner. Craig recommended Izzy’s Steaks & Chops, in the Marina District. I later learned that there is another location in San Carlos.
I wish I had more time to spend in the Marina District. There are so many cool bars, restaurants & shops in the area, and I could easily spend the entire day exploring. It’s definitely on my list of places to visit on my next trip to San Francisco.
Izzy’s is another San Francisco institution, a family-owned restaurant in business since 1932. I was the first in our group to arrive, so had a few minutes to check the place out. The restaurant was packed, not a surprise during the height of dinner on a Thursday evening. There is a hostess stand immediately as you enter the building, a large bar to the left, and seating both upstairs and downstairs. The dining room seating is a combination of tables and booths. Like many old restaurants, there is so much history on the walls. Photos of celebrities who have eaten there, and old signs and prints are everywhere. There are clearly a lot of regular Izzy’s customers, because the staff and managers were calling guests by name. I love restaurants like that.
The booths are almost fully enclosed, with tall half walls behind each bench. We were seated at one of the booths.
It’s so unique how they have all of the sauces on the counter at each table, and they have pretty much anything you could possibly want.
Izzy’s is open for dinner only, and then the San Francisco location also has weekend brunch. The dinner menu is simple, featuring appetizers, steaks & chops, seafood, sides, and dessert.
Sourdough bread arrived at the table first
At many steakhouses, the meals are a la carte, so you have to pay extra for salads and sides. Izzy’s breaks that mold, because entrees come with 2 sides.
I had looked to see if Izzy’s had any deals on restaurant.com. There were none there, but I did find one on Groupon. However, there are 2 catches to using a Groupon: there is a separate menu, and not all of the entrees are available. I had never encountered that in a restaurant before. The price includes soup or salad, entree, and a dessert, so depending on what entree you want, it can be a good deal.
Reg got the Groupon, and we split the Caesar salad
I’m not sure if they gave us each a larger portion since we were splitting the salad, but I was very surprised at the generous size. The salad was good, and the sourdough bread croutons were delicious.
Reg and Craig both got the marinated skirt steak. Reg got the creamed spinach and Izzy’s own potatoes on the side
I had only ever had skirt steak in tacos, so I was looking forward to trying this one. One bite was all I got, but that is all I needed. This skirt steak was delicious, and gave me a whole new appreciation for this cut of meat. The marinade had a wonderful depth of flavor, and the meat was incredibly tender. I tried a bite of the creamed spinach as well. I’m usually not a fan of creamed spinach, but it was really good.
Joel got the prime rib, and ordered his rare.
I’m pretty sure if you got close enough you would hear it mooing. This is exactly why I don’t do rare. Joel said he usually doesn’t either, but decided to be adventurous. He said it was the meat was good, but he was definitely too adventurous.
Ribeye is by far my favorite cut of meat. It has more marbling (fat), but that lends flavor and keeps the meat more tender. The only ribeye at Izzy’s is an 18oz bone-in steak. Even if I hadn’t eaten a late lunch, I certainly did not need that much food. I narrowed my choices down to the thick-cut pork chop and braised lamb shank, and our server said pork chop before I even finished asking which one he recommended.
Our server was correct. The pork chop was fantastic. With such a thick cut, I was concerned that the ends might be dry. However, that wasn’t the case at all, and the entire chop was tender and juicy. The marinade helped that, and lent a very good and light flavor to the chop. Izzy’s Own Potatoes is one of their legendary dishes…one bite in and I understood why. It’s like scalloped potatoes, but creamier and cheesier than others I’ve had. I had ordered the broccoli, but a few minutes before our food arrived our server came and said they had run out. I made a quick change, and went with the asparagus. It was okay, but I’m quite sure they had to cook the asparagus super fast to get my food out on time, so they were undercooked. I considered sending it back, but then decided not to.
Since Reg had gotten the Groupon, we had dessert as well. It was just the 2 of us eating it, and we went with the cheesecake
This was a pretty big piece, perfect for sharing. Cheesecake is usually on the heavier side, but this one was light and fluffy. It was also much lighter than cheesecake typically is, and I really enjoyed the flavor and texture. I almost wished I had it to myself. Almost.
Will I go back to Izzy’s? No question. This was a really great experience, and I understand why there are so many regulars. If I lived there, I would be too. The prices are much more reasonable than fancy steakhouses, the food is delicious, the servers know their stuff, and the atmosphere is really fun.