Restaurant Review: Hunter’s Steakhouse

Welcomed by the restaurant’s cozy, log cabin exterior, guests are presented by an unexpected clash of themes. On both the lower and upper levels of the steakhouse, old country paraphernalia is posted up on the walls of the dimly lit establishment. Although the wooden furnishings match the western, country atmosphere, this ambience is quickly disturbed by the wait staff’s tropical-themed attire, complete with plastic leis.

The best way to dine is to prearrange a group and order a selection of dishes to share. Hunter’s caters to both diet-conscious and gourmet diners, offering items ranging from shrimp cocktail and seasonal vegetable sides to bacon-filled potato skins and decadent chocolate tortes.

On the lighter side, Hunter’s Steakhouse serves their house salads in an unusual way. Using a device similar to a Lazy Susan, the wait staff presents and piles on the numerous toppings to your tableside salad. While ensuring personalization to the diner’s salad, the restaurant adds a touch of class with dressing in a silver gravy boat on the side.

For the main entrée, diners are welcome to choose from a slab of the restaurant’s famous prime rib ($22), a large fist-sized sirloin steak ($21), and a generous filet of salmon — each with a side of their choice ($20). Although fish is not a specialty, the flame-broiled salmon was a welcome surprise. Seasoned with a hint of garlic, the salmon possessed a buttery consistency. The sirloin steak was comparable to any other steakhouse — a standard steak seasoned with salt and pepper. Finally, the not so petite cut of prime rib truly stood far above the rest — maintaining its standing as the star of the establishment. Encrusted with herbs and paired with its rich ruby port au jus and creamy horseradish sauce, this melt-in-your- mouth delight is guaranteed to satisfy any steak-lover’s craving.

For dessert, diners can’t go wrong with either the carrot cake or the Chocolate Oblivion. The carrot cake’s flavors are far from compromised by its light, airy texture and whipped cream cheese frosting. However, with a rich, dense body, the Chocolate Oblivion is no doubt an indulgence worth trying.

Despite the confusing ambience, Hunter’s Steakhouse still delivers. Even after all these years, its prime rib is the star of this rustic establishment. And while the long-awaited San Diego Restaurant Week occurs only twice a year at the end of September and January, Hunter’s Steakhouse offers its Restaurant Week menu year-round on Monday and Tuesday night for a reasonable $23. (3.5/5)