House of Prime Rib, San Francisco

Hello everyone! Did you miss me? I definitely missed you, or well I missed you in particular, my dear bloggie. So much so that here I am, all the way from The Bellagio in Vegas, sitting by my wall high window as the famous fountain light-show plays below me to Bach, to Christmas music and occasionally to some rock ‘n roll.

Oh, just to keep you up to date so far we’ve spent 3 days in San Francisco, drove for 9 hours through the Mojave Dessert and arrived in Vegas on Tuesday night. Vegas, baby, is holy-crap-amazing. But more about that later.

I’ve been absolutely itching to find five minutes of peace to blog since Monday night, after having an incredible meal in San Fran. And this post, this very special post, is all about my life altering meal at The House of Prime Rib.

I realise that I throw the phrase “life altering” around a little too much. Boy who called wolf, I know, because not everything can be life altering right? Right. But this is life altering ok, because here we go: the steak here, or more correctly the prime rib, absolutely canes any steak I’ve ever had. It blows Hawksmoor clear out of the stratosphere and Gaucho? I’m sorry, what? Gaucho does not even come close. It is that good.

And this, my friends, is life altering because from now on, imma be complaining a hell of a lot more about steak in London. Such is the power of The House of Prime Rib that I think your life might also be altered. Mute me now.

So. Having been recommended The House of Prime Rib by some foodies and re-affirmed by my San Fran friend who’s been there “like, 50 times”, I really hoped I wouldn’t be disappointed.

And I wasn’t.

My fears were put to rest once we were seated in this very full (on a Monday night) restaurant and presented with the menu ~ there are no starters (you just don’t need one), and there are no choices. Oh wait I lie, you can choose from four types of cuts: the City Cut (neat), the House Cut (on the rib), the English Cut (thin, urgh), and the King Henry VIII Cut (enormo).  That’s it for choice (everyone gets the same sides: bread, salad, cream of spinach, potatoes and a Yorkshire pudding).

The lack of choice basically tells me that this restaurant does one thing, and they do it well. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

House of Prime Rib, San Francisco

There is honestly so much I want to say about The House of Prime Rib but I’ll try and limit my verbal vomit to the actual prime rib. First of all, they don’t cook steak the same way here as they do in London. They don’t cut a slice of steak and cook it, searing the outside and leaving the inside medium-rare. Here, they cook the whole damn cow.

The entire mid-section, the whole torso, the rib – ah, the prime rib – of the cow is slow cooked to what I assume is rare in the middle. The meat is more cooked on the ends so it doesn’t matter how you like your meat (for me, medium rare all the way), there is a portion of the cow that is perfect just for you.

And at The House of Prime Rib, all food is served up at the table. The waitress prepares the salad by your side, and similarly the chef wheels a stainless steel cart to your table, unleashing upon you the torsos of three cows and wow the essence of meat is so powerful that vegetarians would keel over right there into their cream of spinach (well, I guess it would take a very lost vegetarian to be there in the first place).

The chef then carves a perfect cut, cooked in the perfect way, and completes the plate with mash, spinach, gravy and three types of horseradish. I take my first bite and… heaven. Pure heaven.

The meat is so immaculately tender… two chews and it’s dissolved. The small modules of fat melt in my mouth and while I thought I couldn’t possibly finish this staggering piece of steak, each mouthful I ate was honestly more pleasurable than the last, and God almighty I am going to be so fat, I ate the whole thing.

House of Prime Rib, San Francisco

So this is life altering because I don’t know if I can go back to Gaucho, and for those who know me, you know how much I adore that Argentinian beef.

But given that San Fran is a tad further to travel (Gaucho is now open on Charlotte St, right in my hood!) I may still hit them up for a steak fix (I am a food slut), but people, honestly, I don’t tell you to go many places, but if you’re ever in San Francisco, please please do yourself a favour and head to The House of Prime Rib, you will not regret it.


House of Prime Rib
1906 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 885 4605

House of Prime Rib on Urbanspoon

12 Thoughts on “The House of Prime Rib: a carnivore’s sweet sweet heaven

  1. Did you find out what kind of cow it was?

  2. I didn’t actually. and that’s kind of an important question huh? I was just gobsmacked by the carts being wheeled around and so intent on eating the piece of prime rib that I completely forgot any decent questions. Only one I asked was “what if someone orders well done”, and they explained how the prime rib is more cooked on the ends, so in theory somewhere along the length of the torso, you’ll find your perfect cut, cooked exactly how you like it.

  3. Type of cow: It went moo. Tasted good right?

  4. what? no dessert?

  5. Mark: LOL very true. It used to go moo. And tasted farking fantastic 🙂

    Ying: hell yes dessert, do you not see the vanilla and raspberry sorbet in the photo?

  6. Isabella on October 10, 2009 at 10:18 pm said:

    Wow, sounds like you guys are having a great time! loved your blog on STEAK! mmmm….

    Was it better then the filet mignon you had at my place? 🙂

    Isa xx

  7. Isa: Nothing is better than your fillet mignon… speaking of which, I think we need to have dinner again very soon! 🙂

  8. Damn, that’s a beautiful cow. I shouldn’t be reading this at midnight.

  9. Thank you,
    very interesting article

  10. kang: It probably used to be a beautiful cow! 😀

  11. Keith McColm on June 20, 2012 at 6:59 am said:

    Odd question: I heard those stainless steel carts came from a famous old closed casino. Do you know which one?

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