Zagat: What are some of the elements of SHe that make it female-friendly?
EL: I’ve always found steakhouses to be annoyingly masculine - they’re dark; they’re loud; they have heavy, dark furniture; the serving sizes; etc. It always felt like a boys' club to me, it always felt like everybody should be smoking cigars. I wanted to create a new modern take on the steakhouse. It’s not that men can’t come; it’s a high-end dining experience that’s elegant and exclusive but intimate. We have runway fashion shows during your meal, we have a mirror on the dessert menu for you to reapply your lipstick. We have different portion sizes - He-Cuts, She-Cuts and We-Cuts. So there are a lot of fun things where we thought, "Let’s cater to women coming in." I’m a steak eater, so this is something I would have liked.
Zagat: Is there any particular experience that inspired you to do a female-friendly eatery?
EL: Well, I’m immersed in the women’s community, and I actually heard a lot of "Ugh, I don't want to go [to a steakhouse]." And I was like, c'mon, because I wanted a good steak, and what we were doing was something new with the Morton’s brand that would be different but classic. So it's got the best of both worlds.
Zagat: Have you received a positive response from female clientele so far?
EL: Women love the service. Women are very acute to service - our service is bar none some of the best in Vegas. They also love the dessert menus, the lipstick thing, the fashion shows - they love that when you walk in it immediately feels sexy.
Zagat: Would you ever want to franchise or expand the concept nationally?
EL: I would, actually. With Beso, I was trying to contain it locally, so it was Vegas or Hollywood so I could be involved. But since we have such great operators with Morton's, it has the ability to be a really great chain and not lose its integrity.
Zagat: Do you have any other restaurant plans in the works?
EL: Nothing right now. I've got my hands full.
Zagat: SHe's nightclub closed a few months back. Any plans for a relaunch?
EL: It was never supposed to be a nightclub - it was always going to be an extra space for events, and we just opened it to have people in. We weren't planning on it being open for a long time. Landry’s, who owns Morton’s, are not club operators.
Zagat: You seem very food-inclined. Would you ever want your own cooking show or food TV show?
EL: Ha. No, definitely not, but I am a fan of them.
Zagat: What’s your favorite cut of steak?
EL: God, I like prime rib. I like a really great marbleized piece of meat. I like some fat on it. I like it juicy, and you know, I like a lot of filet mignons.