See no evil.
Hear no evil.
Speak no evil.
And do no evil.
That’s the light-hearted theme of Damon’s Steak House in Glendale, CA. It’s a land where tiki torches meet up with old school meat and potatoes. And the combination is nothing short of delicious fun.
Restaurant owner Patrick Campbell (pictured, below) is a big part of that fun, with a self-deprecating humor that goes well with the simple menu. He bought the restaurant five years ago, taking on a heritage that has been part of Glendale since 1937.
“The original owners sold after 67 years,” says Campbell. “They wanted someone who understood a family business—someone who would come in and care for it the way they did.” It didn’t take long for Campbell to become closely identified with the Glendale landmark. “When people introduce me now, first they say Damon’s, and after that they say Patrick,” he jokes.
While the restaurant is what Campbell calls, “an important place in the community” due to the number of families that consider it a second home, he knows it’s the food that keeps them coming back.
“The house salad was a dressing Mrs. Damon developed,” he says. “It’s unique; all the flavors just sort of ‘go’.” He goes on to talk about the tenderloin, calling it “a great piece of meat,” and says that, “We make our own soups, sauces, and dressings. We don’t cheat on anything.”
We sampled the tenderloin, which is a large filet mignon serviced with twice baked potato and a salad, and which was just as thick and juicy as promised. Same for the prime rib, offered in a 10 oz. cut, or double that for just a few dollars more.
Seafood selections include Broiled Shrimp, Crab Legs (on certain nights), Grilled Salmon or Mahi Mahi, and several steak and seafood combinations.
Campbell recommended the house Mai Tai, served up by bartender Aaron Geyer (pictured, below), who’s claim to fame includes an appearance on Jay Leno’s “Speed Dating” segment. And you can’t leave without dessert, like the Killer Chocolate Cake or the Eight-Layer Orange & Cream Cake.
Meat and potatoes never tasted so good.
The restaurant itself hasn’t changed much over its 73 year history, other than the addition of free WiFi service. Decor still includes large murals depicting tiki, the mythological “first man,” complete with Polynesian flowers and huts.
The term “throwback” comes to mind, with the ambiance of murals, bamboo lighting embedded with pieces of colored glass, and a mix of booths and tables in long hallways. In the middle of the central dining area is even a thatched roof.
How can you not have a good time here?
Campbell says most of his business is from repeat customers. “We get people who come in because it’s tradition for their family. Some of them grew up here, and come straight to the restaurant from the Burbank Airport,” he says. “People fly in for family reunions.”
The family atmosphere extends to involvement in the Glendale community. The restaurant supports the Glendale Centre Theatre, the oldest private running theatre in the nation, as well as the Alex Theatre.
“We benefit from those theatres being here,” says Campbell. “For a place that is known for tradition, it’s a good fit.”
They also support Glendale Healthy Kids as a way of giving back to the community. “A lot of what we do in the community,” says Campell, “is because it’s our opportunity to serve the person that is going to be our patron.”
He genuinely enjoys those patrons, too. “The people are great,” he says. He adds that one of his challenges is “attracting new customers to a place that is 73 years old. As a business owner, the biggest thing you want to do is DO something. Restaurant owners are sensitive and always want to make it better.” But, he says, he bases his business on the philosophy of, “Stick to quality and stick to your people.”
It’s that philosophy that has earned the restaurant awards such as Best Steakhouse for three years in a row, and a plaque from the governor of Hawaii saying they have the best martini’s. Even better, it has earned what Campbell calls, “Loyal customers. A lot of families have been coming here a long time.”
Do no evil.
At Damon’s, it pays off.
See our blog from the Los Angeles tour, here.
Visit Damon’s when you are in the Los Angeles area:
217 N. Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA 91203
This is a Raves & Faves Featured Restaurant.