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Restaurants & Bars 17

25 Degrees Huntington Beach

OC Mutt | Sep 13, 2009 02:51 PM

I tried 25 Degrees for the first time last night, at the HB location. Our party of 3 ordered a watermelon/heirloom tomato salad, half and half (onion rings and french fries), a Turkey burger with jalapeno, portobello mushroom, and caramelized onions, a #1 burger medium rare (prelibato gorgonzola, crescenza, caramelized onions, arugula, bacon and thousand island dressing), and a #4 medium rare (yellowfin tuna, crispy fried onions, spicy aoli). Since I had the #1 burger, I will first report on that. It was amazing. One of the best burgers I've ever had. It, arrived hot, on a rich toasted brioche-like bun, had a rich beefy flavor, was perfectly cooked and was perfectly seasoned. The toppings were superb, particularly the bacon, which was incredibly generous in portion, and amazingly crispy yet not over cooked - bursting with bacony goodness. The combination of the cheeses and the sauce was perfect - providing rich creamy flavor melding as a perfect counter note to the delicious salty bacon. I didn't get much hint of the onions with so much going on, but I can't ask for the moon here. The fries were terrific - though I prefer thicker than the shoestrings, these were hot, crisp, well seasoned and generously portioned. The onion rings' coating was among the best I've ever had, but the onion itself, was either a bad one, or dried up a bit. Still, quite good. Now, for the ugly. The service is abysmal. It starts out by walking into the place and there is no apparent podium, or table at which one can put one's name in. In fact, there was no person at the door at all and it seems like this is their policy. Moreover, it is almost impossible to discern people who work there from the rest of the patrons. I walked up to the bar, and asked what to do, they said that there is a wait, and then called over someone who led me over to a table that I saw was sitting there empty. As we waited for the server, I saw two other parties just walk in and sit down at empty tables without speaking to anyone first. Even worse, the fries and onion rings arrived as an appetizer, then a couple of minutes later, the burgers arrived, but no salad. The turkey burger was ordered with caramelized onions and none were on the burger, and the tuna burger was ordered medium rare, and arrived medium to medium well though my #1 burger was perfect. The watermelon/heirloom salad inexplicably arrived 3/4 through our burgers. And it contained literally one slice of heirloom tomato (a round singular slice cut in half to mimic two slices). It was kind of sad. To add insult to injury, one of our party was sitting with her back to the bar, and a female patron with what could've quite possibly been the most capacious backside I've ever seen, literally knocked into my dining companion several times attempting to maneuver into and onto a single bar stool. An airplane hanger might have been a more appropriate parking spot. Actually, this qualifies as assault, more than insult - assault by buttock. I really enjoyed the burger, and usually food trumps all, but I have to say that the service and the unpleasant atmosphere leave me unsure if I will return.

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