A flatiron steak is usually compared to skirt or flank steak, but it’s actually a better cut that tends to be much more tender than either. When it’s properly done, it can be great. It’s a cut with nice marbling from the beef shoulder (chuck), and sometimes called “top blade,” a reference to its blade-like shape. The shape resembles a flatiron. (For more about this cut, visit Certified Angus Beef and click on the “chuck” portion of the diagram halfway down the screen.)
At $28, Oola’s flatiron steak is priced on par with more expensive steak cuts, but it is definitely the best flatiron steak I’ve eaten in 2009. Baring its flesh like a fashionable summer sunburn, the grilled slices skate up from a pond of peppercorn gravy: simply sumptuous morsels. The peppercorn sauce is wonderful, both rich and surprisingly light. The potato gratin is also great, and well-balanced with cheese that’s mild and doesn’t show up the beef. Again, Chef Ola Fendert takes something that is often traditionally heavy and lightens it without sacrificing any flavor. Some grilled asparagus spears add a jolt of crunch and color.
The waitress kindly shared that Oola’s medium rare is a bit more rare than usual, which I’ve found to be how French and French-trained chefs interpret medium rare. I recommend the flatiron medium rare (as shown).
The Grade: Excellent
The Damage: $28
The Inside Tip:
Don’t order a flatiron steak past medium or you will lose the juicy flavors; go for rare to medium-rare.
The Skinny: Oola Restaurant & Bar
860 Folsom Street (between 4th St & 5th St)
San Francisco, CA 94107
Phone: (415) 995-2061
Make reservations at Oola directly via OpenTable.com