Everything in the Bay Area is expensive, and San Carlos restaurants are no exception. One can easily spend $30+ on an entree, drop some serious coin on a high-end bottle of wine, or even spend $15 on a burrito! Dropping a few hundred dollars on dinner (even if just for two people) was never that difficult, especially if you got steaks from Town or spent decent money on alcohol.
Until recently, Yelp didn’t list any San Carlos restaurants with four dollar signs (it has a scale of 1-4). But in late 2019 just before the pandemic hit, Taurus Steakhouse opened in the location formerly occupied by long-time San Carlos restaurant Piacere. Taurus specializes in steak, specifically both domestic and Japanese Wagyu. Wagyu beef is famous for both the specific breed of cattle and the way they are fed and raised. Wagyu beef is more tender and juicier than standard beef, with lots of marbling, the streaks of fat that run within the muscle and not just around the outer edges. Japanese Wagyu is particularly expensive and hard to find outside of high-end steakhouses in major cities.
American Wagyu steaks (beef from cattle that are a cross between Japanese Wagyu cattle and traditional American cattle) go from $49-$95 depending on the cut. The Japanese Wagyu are sold by the ounce, anywhere from $25-$27 per ounce. So a cut of this meat could range between $150-$300 depending on the selection and size (the wait staff seem very knowledgeable about the subtleties of the different cows and cuts, so definitely ask!). There are a few non-steak entrees, including a rack of lamb, scallops, fish, chicken, and a vegan risotto!
If you just want to dip your toe in the Wagyu pool, you can order a 3oz Japanese Wagyu appetizer for $75. There are also a few salads and other appetizers to choose from. If you’re already taking out a second mortgage to eat here, why not try the caviar — it’s only between $100-$195 per order. Like most big city steakhouses, everything is a la carte, so you can separately order side dishes such as fries, shishito peppers, corn, and a few others.
They also have an extensive (and not surprisingly, expensive) wine list, so it’s definitely the time to pair that full bodied Bordeaux or American Cabernet or Zinfandel with your steak.
Although we’re not huge steak eaters, we did try both the Japanese Wagyu appetizer as well as an American Wagyu steak. The Japanese version has lots of fat (that’s why people seem to love it), so it was a definitely a different experience eating it. We also tried the lamb (which was quite good) as well as the vegan risotto (which was good but definitely out of character with the rest of the meal). There were also a few tempting dessert options.
Although we ate outside, the restaurant does seem to have a spacious and very nicely designed space inside.
No doubt that this was a tough business to run during the pandemic (not sure if to-go caviar and take out Wagyu worked), but now that Laurel Street is hopping again, they seem to be attracting a steady (although not mobbed) clientele, particularly in their outdoor parklet. It’s definitely not an everyday place to go, but for steak lovers and those who just cashed out their stock options, it’s a fun place to try out.