Some historic eating enthusiasts may view the exterior of George Petrelli’s Steak House, scratch their head and wonder: “Is that roof really blue tile?”, “Is this a Chinese restaurant?”, “The sign proclaims it’s an Italian-American Steakhouse, open for 80 years no less, but I’ll be damned if it looks it…” And so on and so on. Although the exterior aesthetics cannot be easily explained, once safely inside and holed up in a booth, the patron is most likely to forget their confusion outside and focus instead on the unique experience inside that is George Petrelli’s Steakhouse.
First known as Joe Petrelli’s Airport Café and Steakhouse, the restaurant served folks on their way to and from Mines Field (now LAX) and later fed workers and pilots from the nearby Hughes Aircraft Corporation (located on the site of today’s Playa Vista development). Though Petrelli’s recently celebrated their 80th anniversary as a restaurant, the place was moved across the street from its original location in the early ‘90s into the building it currently occupies. The old site is now home to an Office Depot. Go figure. Although the building is new, the interior replicates the look of the old location, complete with black vinyl booths, long wooden bar and salty regulars who’ve been coming to Petrelli’s since way before the transition.
The food is classic steakhouse (t-bones, prime rib, pork chops, etc.) with a smattering of red-sauce Italian choices thrown in. All entrees come complete with freshly baked bread, soup, salad and main course so there is no question that you will leave Petrelli’s full to bursting. Beer includes some of the larger craft breweries (think Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams, etc.) along with the full cadre of the usual domestics. The spirits and wine menu is not terribly extensive but each fits with the establishment and remains fairly reasonable. Cocktail pours are stiff and work well to build an appetite. All told, a good example of historic eating and decor in non-historic digs that won’t break the bank.