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Restaurants & Bars 42


lapizzamaven | Jul 20, 2014 08:09 PM

FO opening in Culver City 5 or so years ago filled me with excitement...not because of their burgers but because stupid me thought some of those hordes of hamburger hipsters might stroll 200 feet south and walk into the Jazz Bakery to hear really hip jazz...but no, im fairly sure not a single burger stuffed fool ever did...meanwhile every time i went to the Bakery early, FO was so crowded there was no way i could even try a damn burger! Today, the Jazz Bakery is only a memory, though the amazing Ruth Price has not only been successfully fund raising to resurrect this beloved jazz space, but Frank Gehry has designed it, gratis! anyway, today i headed towards CC with the goal of trying to get into Bucato for a first try of their touted pasta...i couldnt find it but, as i strolled up Helms ave, lo and behold, I saw that FO was only 1/2 in i went. Id heard all the hype as well as the terrifying chatter about the burger joint"s fascist "rules." I found an empty table near the exit, in case i needed to make a hasty escape, went up to the bar to order a FO burger, basket of fries and a diet cola and sat down, nervously. The wait staff seemed pretty friendly and the clientele was chatting away. My fries came first...i ordered the basket because i figured this snooty joint probably would serve a handful of anemic spud slices but this basket was filled with tasty if too thin for my taste fries...the garlic aioli mayo worked well with get enough potato flavor i resorted to cramming several at a time into my hungry maw. quite satisfactorily...then the burger was first reaction was one of deep disappointment. Literally, there was no sign of the was completely obscured by spinach and the bun...oh my friends, i thought to myself, "I knew it. All fuckin' hype...overpriced dreck!" but lo and behold, once i lifted it out of its basket, i saw a very nice, juicy and pink patty of beef calling to me with that familiar siren song, "eat me eat me"...the first bite unleashed all kinds of flavors...slight sweetness from the carmelized onions, juicy salty beef and a nicely textured bun more than strong enough to survive my assault. and the soft drink was a nice 12 oz bottle of diet cola not the 6oz variety i expected. I'll add i asked them how the medium rare was cooked and they quite accurately suggested that for my preference, pinkish, not bloody, i should go with the was perfect...the other pleasant surprise was that i was neither frisked nor subjected to a full body xray in order to ensure i wasnt smuggling in ketchup...damn, none of my fears were realized. FO was a perfectly tasty and delightful experience which i hope to repeat soon. It was way better than my only visit to the original Umami which turned me off in every way possible! the other good news was that as i walked back to my car, i passed Bucato and learned that ,though id read it was a tough res, in fact except for the peak hours of 6:30pm-8:30pm it was quite accessible. Great news! and one of these days when the Jazz Bakery is reborn in quite an ambitious new space next to the Kirk Douglas theater, i can look forward to burgers and pasta in 2 very diner friendly spots...Amen

Musicians Institute
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