For a Wednesday, the place was HOPPING, but then again, maybe it was because it was so shiny and new. We waited in a line just to get in. After being let through their beautiful wooden framed doors, it was confusion everywhere. No host or hostess. But I'm here for the food?
I guess it doesn't matter, and part of the "appeal" of the place - again, it's a bar. You order at the bar, everything, beer, food, whatever, and then pray to high heaven to get a seat before you get your food. We managed a small cramped seat for three, sharing the table with 2 other people. The seating on the patio/open air area is nice, but again, everyone's vying for any seat available, so it's mercenary.
I ended up ordering for the boys, as they saved my seat, and after a longer than average wait (total wait time at this point was about 45 minutes from starting to wait in the line to get in to when we finally got food to the table) they finally set down the fabled magical food.
The sweet potato fries, "a la carte", served in a mini cart. Cute. These fries are really good though. Some of the best I've had. And no dipping these holy fries in ketchup - they only have aioli (blue cheese kind or regular kind.) I didn't mind at all - with aioli that good, ketchup was the last thing on my mind.
And HERE is the oh so talked about Father's Office burger. It's a really juicy, delicious, dry aged beef patty, molded in an oval shape to fit the bun, which is more sub sandwich style than hamburger bun style. The bun keeps the caramelized onions (cooked down to a sauce more than anything else - the onions were a shadow of their old oniony selves), maytag blue cheese and gruyere and peppery arugula all together in a perfect package. The fries were super tasty as well, dipped with more aioli.
Here's how half a burger at Father's Office fits into Owen's hand. A hefty burger, to be sure, but every single bite of this burger is something to be savored. Check out the pink medium cook of the meat, the way the juice of the burger gets caught by the bottom of the bun...it's a thing of beauty.
The cheese, especially, has quite a note in this burger - sharp, distinct, but mellowed out by the onion soup topping, and offsets the arugula. It's just a masterpiece. I managed to save half for later, which took all my energy to not just go to town on both halves of this burger in one sitting. The meat, is just SO good. This high quality of meat used for burgers is such a treat.
I just had some fizzy water for a drink, but I wanted to mention that this was some of the best fizzy water I've had - they use the same carbonation system for their beers, I think, so the water is especially bubbly and delicious - plus, it's free. Hooray for that.
So the burgers meet all expectations, but the difficulty of getting this burger is daunting. I can't just order a burger to go and eat it at home - I'd have to wait in line JUST TO GET IN, and then wait in another line, order and pay, and then wait for them to make it, and then wrap the thing up myself, and slink outta there. A lot of trendy people come to drink here, and don't leave (completely understandable, after all it is a BAR...) I just wish they had a restaurant or takeout window or something, ANYTHING for the people who just want a burger and not drinks. But it is not so, so we just follow the rules and wait in line for half an hour just to get a chance to get this mystical burger. I guess if anything, that prevents me from having this burger more than once every season, which is probably better for my heart, hah. Until next season, I will dream of this burger...
3229 Helms Ave., Los Angeles