I’ve been to Howard’s a few times since moving to Culver City since it’s literally a block from my place, but I thought I’d officially add it to the hamburger tour. Couldn’t convince Dizez to go along with me, so I got my order to go.

When I got back to the apartment Diz had put on Total Recall, his “fourth or fifth favorite Arnold movie.” Yeah

Behold, the famous bacon and avocado burger! … Yeah, I wasn’t that impressed on first sight either. It kind of looks like a burger you’d get at a barbecue.

David had a hummus and cheese on naan, um, sandwich? I’m told it was delicious. Ladies and gentleman, 2008 roommate of the year!

Avocado tastes really good on a burger… Am I showing too much thigh in this photo?

Topping off the cheese and hummus sandwich with a glass of milk? Priceless.

Easily the best burger within 1 mile of my place. 3 stars.

Get to the chopper!

Carney’s

May 5, 2008

It’s been a while since the last hamburger review, so I called up Danny to see if he was available to catch a bite somewhere in the dreaded valley. He mentioned Carney’s in Studio City, which he described as “a cheap place that has great chili dogs and is housed in an old fashioned box car.” He had me at cheap.

Danny got a chili dog and chili burger. That’s right. Jackie (not pictured), broke a year long beef hiatus, her new year’s resolution, and I’m pretty sure the Sabbath for the BBQ burger at bottom right. She wasn’t impressed.

Danny seemed to enjoy his selections, and promptly announced after consumption that he could eat another dog right there. His enthusiasm kind of made me regret getting…

… Carney’s signature 1/2 pound burger. Note that my cardboard container was the same size as all the others.

“This isn’t that big…”

“… ok, it’s big.”

Jackie to Danny: “You’re doing something with your lips.”

“That’s better. Kind of.”

You know you’re in too deep when you have to hold the burger with both hands.

Overall I give the place 3 stars. It was 3 and 1/2, but as I write this I think I’m having a minor heart attack, so …

Previously: Father’s Office, The Counter, Apple Pan

Father’s Office

March 22, 2008

Stop #3 on the greater Los Angeles Hamburger tour takes us due west to Santa Monica’s famous Father’s Office, where I was accompanied by stat genius Brizz and film aesthete Elena.

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The only real downside to eating at Father’s Office is the requisite hovering, which is somewhere in between awkward and annoying. Count on a half hour wait.

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Don’t be alarmed if you’re carded at the front door, this place is actually a bar that’s better known for serving great burgers. We all went with fruity beers, none of which I can remember the name of now, but I would stick with that decision again.

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The sweet potato fries come in a tiny shopping cart, I’m still not sure why. These are much better than The Counter’s, and they’re not too salty.

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So the burgers here come one way, your only choice being rare/medium/well done. Guess which one Brizz went with.

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Make no mistake, this is a big burger, served on a sub roll to boot, but it’s actually not that heavy. Oh, and if you were wondering, that’s arugula, spelled with an a.

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Elena supported my vote for Once as the best movie of the year. She also, apparently, really enjoyed her fruity beer, which was the only one that came with a slice of lemon, what’s the deal with that? I wanted a lemon too…

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Brizz kept the second half of her burger for dinner, the review of which I am now anxiously awaiting. Something tells me the bun’s going to be a little soggy.

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Seriously, why doesn’t every burger place serve beer, this is a great idea. I’m going 4 and a half stars.

The Counter

February 15, 2008

Next stop on the LA Hamburger tour, The Counter in Santa Monica. Less words this time, more pictures. Danny, of dan rubenstein dot com fame, came along for the ride.

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The cool thing about The Counter is that you have a ton of options to choose from when picking your burger. I mean, when gruyere is one of the cheese options (at no added cost! This cheese is like $20/lb. easy), you know you’ve got a lot of variety. Needless to say, I ordered gruyere.

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What’s not cool about The Counter? These boards lining the wall. I don’t get it.

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I specifically asked for a number not comprised of digits that add up to a prime, come on!

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Danny opted for a Turkey Burger because he didn’t want to experience the joys of childbirth (sans kid) approximately 2-4 hours later. I should note at this point that you can order a 1/3, 2/3, or full 3/3 (that’s 1!) pound patty of whatever meat you choose. We both played it safe and went 1/3.

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Apparently I ordered a grilled onion sandwich. Oh, no, on closer inspectiongthere was 1/3 lb. of beef under that heap. Try eating this thing without spilling, it’s not happening.

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Sweet potato fries! Here’s the thing with these, they start out great, and then you slowly start to look around the restaurant at what other people ordered and think, “hmm.. maybe we should have got that.”

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The sad thing is, I’m pretty sure the entire time Danny was thinking about Bojangles chicken. The guy has a one track mind.

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Our neighbors were skeptical that we’ll be able to get to all of the hamburger places in LA, listing off at least 10 places we’d never heard of, but I don’t care if I have to eat a burger a week for the next year, it’s going to happen. Although I should add at my current pace, it’s not going to happen that fast. Still…

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God I need a haircut. (and yes, the fries are magic)

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The aftermath. I’m going 4/5 stars with this place.

The Apple Pan

January 27, 2008

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Yesterday marked the inaugural trip in what I hope will become a tour around Los Angeles, a hamburger tour. That’s right, LA’s got a lot of different places to get burgers, and dammit if no one’s going to go to a handful of them and rate them on some incongruous and highly suspect scale, then I guess I’ll just have to do it. So we start with the Apple Pan, almost 24 hours later I can still taste the sauce from my hickory burger — it was a good start. Me and Domestic couldn’t decide between Father’s Office or the Apple Pan, so we ro-sham-bo’ed for it, and rock won, and that meant the Apple Pan — Father’s Office will be the next installment I guess.

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The place looks empty and kind of run down from the outside, but once you get inside you’re greeted by a line of people running alongside the wall, waiting for one of the twenty stools that surround the grill to open up. Due to the fact that we were relatively hungry, and not so sure what the practice is, we decided to just order some burgers to go. Maybe this was a rash decision, since by the time our orders were ready we started to understand how the seating went, but oh well, next time I’ll eat it there. So not wanting to wait to grab a seat, we made the next most logical choice, walk across the street and eat in the food court of the westside pavillion. Yeah, that’s right.

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I had ordered fries with my hickory burger, and domestic got the steak burger (those were the only two kinds of burgers they offer), but we neglected to order drinks (next time), so we both got lemonades from Hotdog on a Stick. The first thing Domestic said when he took a bit of his steak burger was “hmm.. this is good.” The hickory burger was pretty good too. Since this is the first installment, all I can really compare the burger to are the chain stores: In N’ Out, Johnny Rocket’s, etc., but those places aren’t that bad, so it’s no insignificant statement to say that this was the best burger I’ve had in maybe the last two years of sporadic LA dinning. It definitely gives the other burgers in LA a run for their money, and frankly sets the bar pretty high for the next stop on the tour.

Domestic’s Rating: 4 stars

Esa’s Rating: 4 and 1/2 stars