The new Golden Ox has the bull but not the balls of the original.

Cowboy Lite 

The new Golden Ox has the bull but not the balls of the original.

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Everyone ordered steak, and no one was disappointed. A hunk of fork-tender prime rib was sensually satisfying; a bacon-wrapped filet was almost silken in texture and came with shrimp prepared scampi-style, lolling in a pool of garlic butter; a pair of exquisitely juicy medallions of beef were topped with a swath of melted brie and a bordelaise sauce thick with chopped mushrooms.

The restaurant is still "experimenting" with the six desserts. (Only the crème brûlée -- which tastes like vanilla pudding -- is made on-site.) Although the servers seemed programmed to extol the virtues of the Golden Ox Brownie à la Mode, the sugary dish could have passed for a Little Debbie Snack Cake, and the scoop of à la mode couldn't have been stingier. À la Miserable!

If the original Golden Ox still conjures up cowboys and ranchers, the new offshoot has a way to go to find its own identity. But given that the new place has set up camp on a street that already boasts two successful rival steak houses (J. Gilbert's to the north, J. Alexander's to the south), will the Golden Ox be able to wrangle a place in the sun? Absolutely. They brought along the bull from the original restaurant; now it just needs the balls.

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