I went to 8 oz last night. My recommendation: wait a few weeks before going. I think that they need to iron out some of the kinks here, but once they have, I think this will be a fixture in the LA burger scene.
1. The focus on "everything homemade," including the heirloom tomato ketchup and the house cured bacon. This means that that assortment of burger toppings is varied and outstanding.
2. The room itself - spacious and airy, reminded me of a New York bistro but without being cramped.
3. The prices -- extremely reasonable with burgers starting at $8 and burger, fries and drink combo at $13 -- given the quality and the space.
4. The fries and onion rings. Absolutely excellent. I am always partial to Kennebec fries when they are properly made, and these are.
5. The grass fed beef - declicious.
6. Lots of little nooks and crannies on the menu to explore, like the "three sliders and three drafts" for $15 (I think) which apparently come with exotic meats which aren't listed.
7. Desserts - didn't blow me away but the chocolate cupcake was fine.
8. The drinks -- all made with fesh juices and carefully concocted.
1. THE BUN! Others have mentioned this, and apparently last night the way they were doing the buns was even worse. The bun is hard and large (apparently supplied by La Brea Bakery) and overwhelms the burger. I think that they were heating the buns in the oven, making them even harder, and then toasting them - turning them into something resembling a hard hockey puck. My sense is that they are aware of this issue and hopefully will fix it. I haven't run into anyone who thinks that this is an appropriate burger bun.
2. The service - last night although service was professional, it took something like an hour to get the food. This again is clearly something that they will figure out, but the ktichen staff is probably overwhelmed right now by a fairy complicated menu (for a burger spot), with multiple beef types, multiple patty sizes, numerous sides and toppings, etc etc.
3. The non-grass fed beef - it was hard to tell because my "8 oz" patty was actually overcooked, making it somewhat dry and dense. My friend's grass fed patties were perfectly cooked and not dry. I wonder if the 8 oz patty is simply not as good, or if it just wasn't cooked properly - I'm not really sure about this.
4. Topping ratio. I could barely detect the lettuce, for example. Were there onions on the burger? Not really sure. I personally like a bit of a detectable crunch. On the other hand, they were somewhat heavy handed with the mustard.
5. The veggie burger - I didn't try it, but my friends thought it was inedible.
6. Can you believe it - if you order french fries you don't get ketchup with them automatically? You can have it for $1. The ketchup is expensive stuff, but perhaps this should be spelled out on the menu.
Overall, I am guessing that once they streamline the menu and service a bit, and find a decent bun, Govind will have a winner on his hands.
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