The Original Steakhouse
By Andrew C. Stone
"We may not be the prettiest girls, but we're the one with the real boobs," says Bruce Bozzi Jr. of his family dynasty. The Palm steakhouse empire. "There are a lot of pretty new steakhouses in LA, but we wrote the book." Strong words, but after 80 plus years of spectacular service, it's a statement he can make with confidence.
Bruce Bozzi Sr. and partner Wally Ganzi took a single Palm in the '60s to a worldwide empire— 29 locations strong— and the business continues to branch out into new venues, cities and countries. Known for spectacular cuts of prime-aged beef; classic Italian dishes; the finest Clearwater, Nova Scotia, lobsters; and award-winning wine service, Palm Steakhouses are as much a feast for the eyes as thy are for the palate. The caricatures of national and local celebrities adorning the walls are a Palm signature and a nod to the powerhouse clientele that flock to the establishments.
Generosity is also among The Palm's traditions. Its charitable organization, PalmCares, raises money for local and national charities ranging from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Dress for Success to the National Cancer Prevention Fund and the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Bozzi directs the company's marketing, culinary and human-resources teams and is an ideal ambassador for the brand— charming, handsome and devoted to his family and the restaurants. "I grew up in The Palm," he says. "I always worked in the restaurants during the summers, and by my late 20's, I realized I was good at it— it was in my blood."
Here in LA, Bozzi is working on plans to give the West Hollywood outpost of The Palm a face-life. While there's a devoted, influential crowd that has long considered The Palm its second home (The Palm's loyalty program, the 837 Club, boasts more than 100,000 members), he insists this is more of a touch-up than an overhaul. "We won't screw with the history, just clean it up slightly," he says. "Our regulars want to come in, be treated right, have a good meal and then get out. We know how to deliver that experience."