If you are looking for a loud, boisterous LA experience in the heart of the Sunset Strip, check out The Saddle Ranch. Not known to satisfy the snobbiest of pallets, the food (BBQ) is decent and if nothing else the dining experience is more about the LA experience. The crowds lean more on LA locals who live either in the Hollywood Hills above the Sunset Strip or in the apt/condos below Sunset with a decent contingent of tourists.
The Saddle Ranch Chop House is set up as an old BBQ style eatery. From the curb it looks almost like something out of an old west movie set and the interior matches that sentiment as well. Its center piece is a mechanical bull rider where on any given night someone works up the courage (usually liquor inspired) to ride while the restaurant patrons roots them on. The staff is usually younger (in their early 20s) and usually on the more attractive side. At night time the atmosphere is festive with giant TVs at the bar displaying sporting events, loud music playing, the occasional bull ride and the heavy traffic, lights and sidewalk crowds of the Sunset Strip outside.
Diners who want to be a part of the Sunset Strip action can get a table outside on the patio (really nice in winter or on those warmer fall Santa Ana days) and enjoy the spectacle of the strip pass by or watch various patrons arrive, many in luxury SUVs.
The food at the Saddle Ranch is American with fried chicken, steaks and ribs. It hits the spot but the restaurant doesn’t strive to be a culinary hit.
The crowds at Saddle Ranch are a mix of younger LA types and tourists. Some LA locales shun the joint based on the perception that it is either TOO LA or TOO touristy-the ladder perception probably fed by fact that there is also a location at Universal Studios Hollywood. However any visit is always a good time. Occasionally celebrities frequent Saddle Ranch and is at times a filming location for reality TV shows including a VH1 series that followed the lives of the employees over several episodes.
There is valet parking for a $5.00 charge (if you show you ate there) and or street parking along Sunset (if you can find it, on any given evening it can be sparse).