By David Minsky
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By Doug Fairall
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So, in fact, does Angus' sangria. My friend Maryanne and I split a half carafe of the ruddy concoction ($9.50), which was tasty and punchy despite being loaded with canned fruit cocktail as opposed to fresh apples, oranges, and grapes. Still, after a few glasses of the stuff, the otherwise Spartan restaurant seemed to take on a slightly attractive glow. That's a good thing: The space definitely lacks the rustic, dark-wood charm that Beef Eater once had. In place of the wood are vaguely creamy walls, paisley carpeting, and a smattering of Argentine "flair" such as cowhides and football posters. The tightly packed tables and broad, open design don't help either. A meal in that dining room feels more like eating in a cafeteria than a steak house.
My best advice: Sit outside, order the sangria, and stick to the cheaper cuts. Angus has a wide variety of steaks to choose from, from short ribs to sirloin to chorizo sausage. The aforementioned skirt steak, $14.95 at dinner, is a great way to go, pocked with char and grill marks and oozing juice onto the plate. Paired with some of Angus' house-made tagliatelle pasta, it's a meal fit for a cattle rustler. The pasta — one of the many sides that come with each steak and easily my favorite — is creamy-soft and rich with silky tomato-cream sauce.
Good too is the sirloin ($14.95), a well-muscled wedge of beef so thick that you can practically feel the bull bucking on the plate. Cut off a throbbing red hunk (cooked to a spot-on med-rare) and coat it with a shellacking of chimichurri and you'll be in beefy heaven. Tira, or short ribs ($11.95), are grilled so that the fat renders off, leaving behind succulent meat. They also have the benefit of giving you a bone to gnaw on afterward.
1917 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, FL 33020
Not all the meat is prepared as well. Grilled sweetbreads, another Argentine classic, are usually my favorite. But the balloon-like offal that Angus serves ($7.95) were more gristle than anything else. And a rib-eye steak (the most expensive cut at $21.95) was composed mostly of fat. My friend spent most of his meal dissecting the steak, and what meat he excavated was unevenly cooked.
I felt so bad that he had to put up with that sad rib eye that I kept slipping him pieces of my vacio to compensate. Also known as "flap" or flank steak, vacio is one of the cheapest cuts on Angus' menu at $11.95. It's also easily the tastiest — a thick strip of beef with well-articulated musculature, little fat, and a deeply resonant beef flavor. The secret is the cheap cut, one that's immensely popular in South America but not so much here. Dollar for dollar, I'd put vacio up against almost any steak out there. Not to mention, it just seems to soak up that chimichurri better than any other cut.
That's really what Angus does best: turning the cheap into something extraordinary. There's a lot of flavor to be had here, and you don't need to spend a fortune to get at it. Just don't call it Beef Eater. At least, not in front of the staff.