Restaurant of the Week: Pinnacle Peak

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Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse, 269 W. Foothill Blvd. (at Cataract), San Dimas; also in Colton, Santee and, believe it or not, Shanghai

I’ve passed Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse and its covered wagon sign many a time on Route 66 but had never ventured in until a recent visit with three friends. The restaurant, the first in a mini-chain, opened in 1967. It’s in a ranch-style building with a cow statue on the roof. They’re famous for their Western atmosphere, affordable steaks and no-tie policy, the result of which is hundreds of sliced neckties hanging from the rafters.

The interior has dark wood paneling, a cowboys and Indians motif, hanging lanterns as lights and red checkered tablecloths. Some of the seating is picnic style. We got a table.

I got the 8-oz. sirloin with baked potato ($19) and my friends got a full rack of pork ribs ($18.50), barbecued chicken ($11) and half-pound Wrangler burger ($8). The entrees came with a serviceable salad. My steak was delicious — steaks here are grilled over mesquite charcoal — and perfectly sized for a good but not heavy dinner.

The chicken was tender and moist and the barbecue sauce tasty. The burger was enjoyed. The ribs weren’t bad but were coated in a thick, goopy sauce. “It’s ribs at a steak place,” someone said with a shrug. We finished off the meal by sharing an apple cobbler a la mode ($5), which was very good. Check out the menu here.

Overall, we liked the experience, atmosphere and food, so-so ribs aside, and the price was right. Service was attentive and friendly. Tables get complimentary bread and a bowl of beans.

Why there’s a Pinnacle Peak in Shanghai, I don’t know, but if I’m ever in China, I’ll have to visit it. Not only do they clip ties there, but they have “swinging saloon doors” and their own mechanical bull.

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  • DebB

    I remember my dad and some business associates driving all the way out Foothill Blvd. from Glendale to Pinnacle Peak back in the late 60s, wearing old ties just to get them cut off and hung on the wall! I’ve eaten there myself, but not for a really long time. Every time I drive by I think, “I’ve got to go back there!” Maybe I should fly to Shanghai (or Colton)…

  • Bob House

    Hard to believe they lasted 40+ years or that it’s been 40 years since I ate there.

    Regarding other “Peaks”: there’s one here in Scottsdale, AZ, located in immediate proximity to an actual hill actually named Pinnacle Peak, with the same “cowboy” set-up and menu. I notice they recently changed the name to Pinnacle Peak Patio Steakhouse, so maybe they were once part of the chain, but no more.

    There is a Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse in Tucson, AZ as well — website indicates it’s very much the same as San Dimas — even the menu, but I’ve never been there.

    In the 80s I ate at a direct knock-off of the concept, “Trail Dust” Steakhouse in Denver. Same menu, tie cutting, etc. They are still in Denver (and I believe in Dallas too).

    [Maybe Pinnacle Peak needs to round up a posse and chase down these mangy steakhouse rustlers using phony branding irons. — DA]

  • Derek

    David, I hope you wore a tie. After all from what I hear they are very formal there.:-)

    [Even though I rarely wear them anymore, I prize my ties too much to let one be cut in half. — DA]

  • Sandra

    Love your blog, always loved Pinnacle Peak, always had the best flavor and fun to eat there. Read through some of your posts on some of my faves.

  • DAve

    Drive up the road a piece (Foothillx”D” in La Verne) to the Tenderloin. You’ll be surprised by the prices — bacon-wrapped filet for me = $13.

  • Bob Terry

    Been to Pinnacle maybe twice in 40 years, I’ll stick with Cask n Cleaver any day. The Tenderloin in La Verne is the sister to Tony’s Spunky Steer in Chino…literally, two siblings own each restaurant.