(Update: Oz appears to have closed in August 2009. At the time, the talk was that it will be replaced by a steakhouse by the owners of Ranazul and Jordan's.)
oZ Chophouse is a steakhouse where I haven't eaten a steak, but it's still a place that I enjoy going back.
oZ is one of the three upscale restaurants that anchor the Maple Lawn developement in Fulton. They're all classy places. More like city restaurants than almost anything around. We go to oZ's bar because it's a great place to walk in on a whim. We make our own dinners from the appetizers and salads.
It's an up-and-down experience. The calamari and the crab dip are delicious, but my favorite dish -- the tuna tartare -- was actually off the menu last weekend. The house salad and the shrimp/scallop skewer didn't replace the tuna, which I remember as an imaginative twist on sushi. We also go because the bartenders and the waiters are really nice, letting Mrs. HowChow sample a wine before we order or letting us sit in peace when we're just enjoying ourselves. But then we realized after our last dinner that no one had brought us a bread basket, one of the highlights of an oZ meal.
People do talk up the steaks. With a few detractors, oZ gets good reviews, and you can customize your meal with the cut, the sauce and the side dishes that you prefer. I'm just inclined to eat different food when I'm ready to spend $30 per person. I enjoy oZ as an imaginitive joint. Good beers and wine. Good food. Friendly people. On a quiet night, it's a nice, upscale dinner -- even better if you can enjoy a cool evening at an outdoor table . On a Sunday afternoon, the bar is a great place to watch sports.
If you're in Maple Lawn, also check out Trapeze and Ranazul. We created a progressive dinner one evening -- grazing at all three in a single night. Also check out the i.m. Wine liquor store, which is in the same building as Trapeze. Or click for a working list of the best restaurants in Howard County.
8191 Maple Lawn Boulevard
Fulton, MD 20759
NEAR: The Maple Lawn development is on Rte 216 just west of Rte 29. From Rte 29, you pass through one traffic circle. Then you'll see the development on the right and enter from the second traffic circle. There is parking behind any of the restaurants.