Wine aficionados are well acquainted with the effects of age. It’s easy to buy a few bottles of a favorite vintage, lay them down in a cool place, and drink them at different intervals to understand and appreciate the influence of time on wine. It’s more difficult for steak lovers. Most likely, every time you eat aged beef, it’s coming from a different cow. With so many variables from animal to animal, it can be hard to decipher if it’s the age or something else that’s affecting the taste.
That’s why one of the world’s great Zen masters of meat, Adam Perry Lang, has created his exclusive Beef Club at APL Restaurant in Hollywood. “You talk to someone who loves beef and they’ll say, ‘I’ve tasted at 45, 90, and 120 days,’ but that’s from different animals at different times,” Lang says. “I wanted to create an exclusive, customized experience where I could provide a constant with the same beef aged in the same place and say to steak lovers, ‘This is your beef, now see the evolution.”
Beneath his ode to the turn-of-the-century steakhouse, Lang has built a 1,000-square-foot aging room. That allows him to offer to a select few a place to age a whole rib roast that patrons can then enjoy over multiple visits to APL. The side you purchase for $1,800 will be around 50 pounds to start, and after evaporation and trimming the fat, that roast will yield about 10 to 12 tomahawk chops. He’ll manage the aging process as the gift recipient can drop in at different time intervals.
“It’s really for the connoisseur,” Lang says. “You get to experience what happens to your beef as it ages. It’s a way for someone’s taste buds to become expert in terms of what they like because the beef is a constant.”
Over time, evaporation and oxidation will concentrate the flavor of the beef and allow it to develop notes of mushrooms, truffles, and an intense umami. For Lang, he’s found that 100 to 120 days of aging is his sweet spot. Beef Club members will get to use their rib roast to finally find out what’s perfect for them.