8:05pm. restaurant full. not 1 single burger in sight. partner in burger chompin' goes outside to play with american bulldog. so cute!
8:15. still first day of soft opening. no one has taken 1 single bite of food.
8:20. first burger served to a cute couple behind me. now they're the only ones eating. wanna go over and take a picture.
8:24. neighboring table got their burger. now I wanna take a bite.
8:27. my telegraph white ale finally comes. server apologizes profusely.
8:29. no other burgers in sight but the beer is hitting the spot...
8:39. burgers arrive.
8:50. Manager Alex arrives to inquire on our experience. an overly serious discussion of bun vs. beef weight ratio vs. "authenticity" ensues. my summary: LA has a LOT of good burgers. Alex bribes me with free desserts.
8:57. Trevor, our really nice (but stressed beyond belief) server reminds us we're getting comp'd desserts. say bring it on!
9:01. Instant dessert-"o"-face.
9:07. Neighboring tables pulls "When Harry Met Sally" I'll-have-what she's-having move. We become fast pals. (Hi Becky! Hi Talia!)
So, what about this burger from Mr. Govind Armstrong, who, btw, was indeed commandeering the kitchen last nite?
Bun to beef ratio is ALL wrong. The bun, nay, roll, ruined the burger. This fact really boggles my mind as the first thing I inquired was the use of ice berg in the "8 Oz". Why iceberg? "Because it's classic". Someone tell me how a 2" roll w/ a split top crust is a traditional burger bun? I get that Burger Bar is trying to be the next Bowery (see Eater LA's side-by-side), but by god, why did you have to copy the funky carb structural support? If you want "height", you go brioche.
Highlights: house pickled cucumber - FAB. house made heirloom tomato ketchup - I THINK it's FAB, but the farked roll stole al the ketchup away from my burger !#@^*( $1 for funked Humboldt Fog cheese. WOWSA that's some putried errr.. "sharp" goat cheese. ABFAB!
Other notes: contrary to its name, the only burger that's actually 8 Oz is the 8 Oz burger. the grass-fed Estancia is only 6 Oz, as is the "Classic". Nancy Silverton herself said the "perfect burger" should be 8 ozs and thick in height: http://tinyurl.com/5kwgho , 8 Oz Burger is no perfect burger.
Dessert: we had the banana sundae without the banana. Stupendously good yet simple. Chewy brownie layered over a thin spread of caramel. No banana per menu, but creme fraiche + strawberry + beyond creamy vanila ice cream floored us.
Final Verdict: skip the burgers, stay for beer and desserts. We had a fantastic time. The staff was wonderful, the crowd ebullient, the room convivial, the desserts panty droppers.
Current "gourmet" burg preference:
Bar Marmont (a burger designed by a Spotted Pig alum, yah, you can't touch that)
25 Deg (who says bad things happen after 2am???)
Bowery with a very lightly grilled Eng. muffin
FO2/Lucky Devil/8 Oz on par. Basically last place.
Current "ghetto" burg pref:
The Burger Stand
7661 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046