When Del and Helen Johnson opened the first “Sizzler Family Steak House” on January 27, 1958 in Culver City, they had $50 in the cash register. Families were filling the big, vinyl booths after ordering from massive signage menus behind the counter. Steak dinner was $1.19 and steak and lobster was $2.99. A children’s top sirloin was 60 cents.
Fast forward 56 years later, and on January 6, Santa Clarita became one of the newest of Sizzler’s 152 restaurants in the United States and Puerto Rico. For anyone who remembers the Sizzler from “way back when,” they can recall it was sort of known for serving what was mid-century trendy (what we now consider mostly bland, processed food reminiscent of the age of “TV dinners”). Now, the franchise is a new generation Sizzler.
“Everything is made from scratch, our meat comes in fresh and we cut them into steaks,” said a representative from the Sizzler corporate office. “The prep on our seafood – we cut it in house. There’s nothing here where we open the bag and pour it into the container.”
The restaurant is known for its steak and seafood, plus the endless salad bar, where its offerings, such as crisp Romaine lettuce, are fresh. Almost all of the salad dressings are also made from scratch, on site. In an interesting twist, the bleu cheese dressing is the same recipe used in the first days of Sizzler’s existence more than 50 years ago.
“We have a few things that are old school and a lot of new – now we have penne pasta, linguini, fettucini,” he added. “We used to do tri-tip, and now we’re back doing tri-tip in house again.”
Your eyes will also tell you there have been changes. “Years ago, we had peach and teal with brass. And in the ‘90s we had ‘mean green’ booths and lots of wood,” said the Sizzler rep. “Now it’s in the 21st century – LED TVs, nice décor, LED lighting. And the marketing has changed…signage is new, upbeat, farm fresh. It’s not low grade. It’s hand made.”
Sizzler is located at 19013 Golden Valley Road in Santa Clarita; (661) 250-7300 or visit www.sizzler.com.