If I've learned anything from a recent dining experience, it's that I must listen more closely to the wisdom of the Hounds. I've read here more than once that the hamburger at Father's Office in Santa Monica is fantastic (maybe even heavenly), but just how incredibly wonderful I didn't realize.
As you enter the place the wondrously tempting perfume of beer and beef that pervades Father's Office hits you, and any thought of ordering anything other than a burger, the burger, is immediately forgotten. You glance at the small food menu that sits before you, mostly out of curiosity and habit than any real chance of choosing something else. By now there is no willpower left. YOU MUST HAVE THAT BURGER NOW! You can already taste it, or rather you think you can, but in reality no burger you have ever eaten can possibly prepare you for what awaits. So you muscle your way to the bar and place your order. A cold, cloudy, delicious pint of a locally made Hefeweizen... and a burger.
My watch says that eleven minutes and seven seconds have passed since placing my order, but this seems wrong. I know that I've been waiting for at least twelve or thirteen hours. But wait! The waitress is walking towards me with a plate! Could it be for me? YES, IT IS!
The first bite is indescribable. Aged beef, cooked to a perfect pink medium rare. Blue cheese. Gruyere. Caramelized onions. Bacon compote. Fresh arugula. All on the most perfect, oblong shaped, crusty roll. The flavors all mesh together in a way that tells you that at some point some higher being intended them to be joined in burger form. To even think of ketchup is utter blasphemy of the highest order. I cannot even fathom that some heathen at a nearby table has asked for mustard without even a taste. Fortunately, the waitress denies this request, explaining that no condiments are available. The justice at Father's Office is harsh but fair. Returning my attention to matters at hand, I am amazed and horrified to discover that someone has almost completely devoured my burger. I glance around for Wimpy, but alas, he is nowhere to be found. I am forced to conclude that I must have been eating the entire time my mind was wandering. One bite left. I attempt to extend the experience of this last morsel as long as possible, but it is gone. The plate is empty. My glass has been drained.
As I count out the bills to satisfy my tab I am struck by a feeling of melancholy. Although I know that I will return to this place someday, I will never again experience the thrill of my first burger at Father's Office.