Flagship OC upscale steakhouse opens in San Clemente
I was going to try and weave a little pun in about Rare Society’s inspiration coming from Las Vegas’ vintage upscale steakhouses, but the modern aesthetic and sustainably-sourced seafoods that complement Chef & Owner Brad Wise’s wood-fired grilling style for meats is impossible to make light of.
The new 5,500 square foot restaurant on San Clemente’s Avenida Del Mar – Rare Society’s flagship Orange County location – pays homage to the infamous retro steakhouses with an ambiance and culinary offerings that invoke the lore of Rat Pack gatherings and raucous Sinatra dinner parties. The gorgeous space features a classical Spanish take on California architecture with an over-the-top interior complete with arched motifs, brass finishes, and gilded opulence to spare.
Chef Wise serves his signature family-style Executive and Associate protein boards on custom-designed wood lazy Susan in order to effectively showcase the best cuts of dry-aged ribeyes, Australian wagyu, classic filet mignon complemented with house-made sauces (bernaise and horseradish), and Santa Maria salsa. These premium proteins, grilled on an open flame inside an exhibition kitchen, are the heart of Rare Society’s menu are my husband’s dream dinner. His filet paired with the crisp iceberg wedge salad and grilled asparagus was grilled to perfection and mouth-wateringly delicious.
I am our family’s seafood aficionado so I was equally thrilled to sample the Society’s seafood specialties including the Old Bay seasoned jumbo shrimp cocktail and the skin-on King Salmon enhanced with salsa verde. Diners at the next table were enjoying Ahi tuna tartare and chilled Maine lobster so much I’m going to have to make a return trip soon to try the beautifully presented dishes for myself.
Don’t sleep on the bar while you’re drooling over the 30-40 day dry-aged cuts or the bedrock specialties that complement them like Oyster Rockefeller, the grande seafood tower or Parker House rolls with truffle butter. Instead, further elevate your experience with a signature Old Fashioned or an offering from the extensive wine list, which ensures the best blend of old and new world taste and charm. Open for dinner 5 days a week means there are no excuses to miss out on the bold, sophisticated charm Rare Society has to offer.