Directly across the freeway from NorthPark Center, Steakyard touts cheaper cuts of beef cooked over an oak wood–burning grill, a sort of “hearth” in the restaurant’s open kitchen. Owners are Evandro Caregnato and Vanderleia Mallmann, Brazilian natives who created, and then sold DeLucca Gaucho Pizza and Wine, an all-you-can-eat pizzeria. Now they’ve formed another concept around one dish: steak frites. Lower prices (prices for the signature dish start at $25) certainly took the sting out of our dinner, where nearly everything was “so-so,” as a dining mate phrased it. The bistro filet was actually more tender and flavorful than the aged ribeye, and a potent brandy peppercorn sauce pleasingly amped up both steaks. The fries, described as “thin” on the menu, were neither crispy, salty, or addictive, but rather thick, gummy, and skippable. Aside from the filet with the peppery brandy sauce, most everything else was a washout: The corn creme brûlée was just blow-torched corn kernels mixed with jalapeño slices; the lobster risotto was more like Rice-A-Roni with a petite lobster tail; and the trend-following penne pasta with classic vodka sauce in no way achieved the gloss or kick of other popularized versions.