This burger has been rec'd to me a few times and I was looking forward to trying it.
Novel Cafe is in Westwood. It's on Gayley, a long block from Wilshire.
I went today with my wife.
I ordered the turkey burger with grilled onions, avocado and bacon. It had mayo on it, ketchup on the side. Pickles were on it, too. I asked for no cheese, which I always do.
It was a very good turkey burger, juicy and well-seasoned. Turkey burgers are always cooked the same pretty much (never rare or well or anything), this one has a softer texture than most. Not sure if I prefer that, I think I prefer firmer, but it was not a problem.
The bun was sesame (there was a choice), pretty good, not outstanding. Toasted a bit, but not hot by the time it arrived.
Overall, a fine turkey burger that I would recommend. Not as good as SF Saloon or a few others I prefer, but a good burger.
The service today was not very good at all.
The restaurant was crowded. We were seated right away, though, there were a few empty tables. We sat outside.
The waiter took our drink orders (just water, actually) brought them over and we ordered. I had the turkey burger, the wife a chicken sandwich. I had fries, but should have had the salad selection. The fries weren't that good, soggy and salty.
I'd say it took at least 20 minutes for the food to arrive. A long 20 minutes. Maybe a little more. Could have been 25 minutes. Food finally arrives, with a bottle of ketchup.
We never saw a waiter or anyone else again. No one checked to see how we were doing. It's food you eat with your hands and we needed extra napkins but no one was around to ask.
We finished our food, then sat and waited for the check and a take out box for leftovers. No one ever came. Eventually, I had to hunt down the waiter and ask for the check and a box. That took some time.
All in all, a fine burger experience I'd like to have again was sort of wrecked by a chaotic vibe and very little or no service.
Also, the whole bill for two sandwiches and no drinks was over 21 dollars. Not a fortune or anything, but a lot for what we got.
Very good sandwich, but very low marks for service. And I've low standards for the most part.
I will give them another shot, maybe on an off hour, but I can't recommend the Novel yet.