So, I tend to get in something of a rut going to restaurants I know and love over and over. Not a bad strategy in my opinion. However, Cindy encourages me to try new, more affordable places and we have found a few gems doing that. Jaks Grill with outposts in West Seattle, Issaquah, and Laurelhurst is highly rated in Zagat's and elsewhere as an affordable, neighborhood steak house that has "very high quality beef - perfectly grilled". We have now tried both Laurelhust and West Seattle on casual outings and I am ready to weigh in on the subject. Jaks grill indeed uses high quality beef and does have reasonable restaurant prices for it. They do a great job cooking the beef if you like the "mid American - don't show me any blood approach". No matter how rare you order it my 2 experiences have been a bit past medium. The salads and side are also raved about in the likes of City Search - especially the garlic mashed potato's. While not horrible they are certainly nothing to rave about, especially the limp salad, unless you are comparing to Sizzler or some low end chain.
The atmosphere in Laurelhust is fine for a Steak House - in West Seattle it is definitely "ill conceived neighborhood 1980's". I have not seen Issaquah so have no comment there. Service was just ok in both places. The wine is not great this is more a beer kind of place. My overall conclusion is that if you want to go out to a neighborhood Steak place and have a midweek kind of normal meal I would recommend Jaks. It is wildly better than most low end steak chain places but it is certainly not in the class of food, service, ambiance of a high end Ruth Chris type chain or any better chef/owner food spot like Spring Hill. I know, I am a food snob - but there is a difference between ok and something to be excited about.