In an unusually fast turnaround, the former Bodrum Cafe, at 383 Castro St. (corner California St.) in Mountain View since 2008, recently closed, and soon re-opened on Saturday as a different restaurant (retaining one of Bodrum's partners and adding new ones).
When I poked my head in and quizzed them (shortly before Steakout opened), the partners kindly explained a modest but passionate vision. Grass-fed hamburgers from "whole-cow" beef (i.e. not ground from scraps), from a dedicated farm supplier, served with interesting garnishes at moderate prices (regular around $6, 21-day dry-aged beef, supply permitting, around $10). Within that definition they have been aggressively, even visibly fine-tuning their recipes like perfectionists, toward the "best, most memorable" burger possible at their price.
I saw taste tests underway when we talked. One partner is a baker and has developed a custom bun, recognizeably a hamburger bun but more substantial and satisfying than the commercial article. I heard about the importance (to the resulting "crunch") of grilling rather than toasting the buns. The dough uses a local wild-yeast rather than commercial starter (so even the yeasts are local!). Kitchen was operating well before the new business opened (many Bodrum staff remain), with incessant cooking experiments. Pedestrians at this busy corner (across California St. from Scratch) were offered pilot-batch samples, or asked for taste feedback, in the several days before the opening. Likewise with the French fries, French-bistro style ($2), which so far have been, in my experience, outstanding,
The hell of this is, it's all very real, and it works! I've now had some _excellent_ flavorful hamburgers there. Folks I know who live nearby are starting to email testimonials. Though the menu concept entails some obviously trendy elements, I've seen no hint of preciousness or over-hipness at this down-to-earth new restaurant. The partners seem to be focused, knowledgeable,, and sticking to their knitting. Because the business is barely open, interior layout and menu are still pretty simple, but Steakout seems to've been rather busy ever since it opened Saturday.
401 Castro Street, Mountain View, CA 94041
383 Castro St., Mountain View, CA 94041