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Jazz Mondays at the Lincoln Steakhouse

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For the past few months we've noticed a trend with restaurants and the many inventive and interesting ways they've put a twist on dining out on Monday nights. Santa Monica's Lincoln Steakhouse is one such place, and their Jazz Mondays is one sure way of losing those weeknight blues. The Lincoln, which opened just over a year ago, is a top notch steakhouse offering high-quality cuts of prime grass-fed California beef, along with a number of tasty side dishes and steak alternatives. Our favorite is the Cowboy Steak, a savory 16 oz cut that pairs perfectly with sides like the grilled asparagus wrapped in proscuitto and drizzled in Hollandaise sauce, the Logan Turnpike White Cheddar grits, or the savory Mac & Cheese made with gouda and sprinkled with light Japanese bread crumbs. We'd started out with some thin slices of seared Ahi tuna complimented by cucumber sorbet, which was an intriguingly fresh surprising taste. The Lincoln has an excellent wine menu, and their servers are well-informed and able to make a suggestion to match your preferences. The southern twang to the classic steakhouse fare menu is thanks to their chef, Jack Melson, who spices things up with a Bayou and bourbon flair.

Inside the Lincoln's dark walnut walls mingles the blue-haired and the belly-shirted; there's a hipness quotient in a sort of old-familiar milieu that allows you to feel as though you've stepped into another world for the duration of your time there. Once the Lincoln's in-house Jazz band stikes up the mood is complete, and their easy tone fills the darkened rooms with a mellow but vibrant tone. We managed somehow to save room for a little dessert, and sampled their Bananas Foster and their Peanut Butter Skillet cookie, both of which floated a satisying mound of vanilla bean ice cream. Granted, things are not picture-perfect at the Lincoln; our side dishes weren't served very hot, and a chance encounter with another patron revealed that perhaps we'd gotten the last of the Mac & Cheese, as they were told the kitchen was completely out. There seemed to be a lot of servers buzzing about the small room, and the patron we struck up a chat with vouched for their attentivity and accomodation despite the lack of Mac. The folks seated right next to the band in the bar area seemed to be having the most fun, as they swayed and clapped along with the infectious beats. We rode out on a wave of Jazz, full of flavors and good cheer, our Monday blues cured by a lovely meal.

The Lincoln Steakhouse 2460 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica (310) 828-3304; Jazz Mondays start around 8:00 p.m., reservations suggested. Photo courtesy of the Lincoln Steakhouse.