Trabuco Oaks Steakhouse

This favorite of Nixon’s, where they will cut off your tie and keep it as part of the decor, is 100 percent serious when it comes to steaks: choice cuts are well-aged and mesquite-charcoal grilled to order. From the 2-pound Cowboy Steak to the 8-ounce filet mignon, the smoky, charred flavor shines through in every bite. Small-but-select wine list of California superstars.