e3rd Steakhouse & Lounge is a restaurant that balances its contrasting downtown setting with its high-end, plush interior. Sitting pretty amongst an array of artist lofts, closed down restaurants and manufacturing plants, e3rd’s fusion cuisine is enveloped in a quiet darkness.

Though many of its dishes revolve around steak and ahi, e3rd has a vegan option for almost everything. The Traction Ave. Wrap consists of rice paper wrapped around carrots, spinach, Asian “crunchies” and drizzled with a deliciously inconspicuous sauce.

A deep fried potato filled with marinated tofu and vegetables is a dream come true if you dodge the other tempting indulgent menu options. (Good thing the dessert side of my stomach still had room for that chocolate mousse cake at the end).

Unlike most upscale restaurants, e3rd does not deal in tiny food portions, sacrificing neither quality nor quantity in their array of choices. The ahi salad was evidence of this, made up of large cubes of ahi, chunks of tomatoes and spring greens with a vinaigrette dressing perfectly enhancing, not overpowering, the fresh ahi taste.

If you go with your parents or other such patron with a bank account larger than your own, it would be in your interest to spring for the rib eye steak entrée. A full 13 ounces of hearty meat so juicy even the hungriest college student would take the time to savor it in small bites, with side choices of steak fries, sautéed mushrooms, green beans, kimchi mashed potatoes or onion rings.

In addition to your old favorite spirits and expansive wine list, e3rd embraces its Asian fusion aesthetic with Soju cocktails that use sake as alcoholic base for every indulgent combination you can imagine. To enjoy the incredibly unique setting of e3rd while still being able to pay rent for the month, head out with a couple friends and pass around your pink lemonade martinis.

With prices of generously portioned appetizers and salads ranging from $6-$15, you can sample the eclectic cuisine and capitalize on the best part of the restaurant which happens to be free – the atmosphere.

For more information, call (213) 680-3003 or visit www.eastthird.com