beer

Let’s talk about the best burger you ever stuffed your face with. I still to this day am still looking for the best burger. Sometimes, an In-n-Out Double Double will do — Animal Style, with grilled onions, raw onions, and secret sauce. As good as that is, it doesn’t scream out gourmet. And every good burger needs the perfect batch of french fries on the side, and In-n-Out is far from it. The Office Burger at Father’s Office is acclaimed by many to be the best burger in Los Angeles. I know that may be a shock to diehard In-n-Out fans, but Sang Yoon’s Office Burger is quite delicious. The gastropub offers some of amazing beer selections and pairs well with the menu. For this blog post, it will only concentrate on the burger and fries.

The Office Burger received a lot of criticism because some say it’s not a burger, but a sandwich. Instead of a traditional bun, they use a French roll of a sort. My question to you is, what makes the sandwich, the patty or the bun? For no reason whatsoever, let’s just call this a burger. Come on.. it’s a burger. The melted gruyere and Maytag blue cheese ain’t enough of a reason to call this a burger? How about the dry aged beef patty? What sandwich has grilled onion bacon compote? Honestly, the reason I like the Office Burger is because of this onion bacon compote. The sweetness of the onions and savory bacon create such a perfectly “umamic” flavor profile. (I don’t know if umamic is a word, but I will try and see if it’ll fly.) This went perfectly contrasting to the arugula in the burger. Everything together with the patty, cheese and compote perform a perfect symphony on your taste buds.

As I mentioned, a good burger needs an equally good side of fries. Father’s Office fries are quite delicious. Maybe it’s because I like shoe string fries, and I like my fries crispy. Dipping it in their tangy aioli puts all other sauces to shame. I see why they still to this day don’t have ketchup at the restaurant. Crispy and firm, the fries are something to reckon with.

I’ve had a few Office Burgers in my eating career, but never really blogged about it. The question remains though, is The Office Burger the best burger in Los Angeles. It possibly is, but tastes vary between people and time. I was surprised to find the waiter ask me how I wanted my burger cooked though. I guess forcing people to eat burgers medium rare like back in the day doesn’t fly anymore. The Helm’s location is second to the original Santa Monica location. Still though, the gastropub offers amazing beer and a burger to compete with anything around.

Father's Office on Urbanspoon

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Mohawk Bend – Echo Park Doing a Complete 180

by Franklin on July 18, 2013

Echo Park is getting there. In the past years, the sub city has been making strides to beautify and clean up the mess. Echo Park in the 80’s and 90’s was terrifying. As a child, I remember visiting my grandparents who lived in Echo Park. Those were some rough memories, but still fun. Today, the remnants of that era still linger, but in a beautiful way. Boutique shops and restaurants popped up all over Echo Park — on Sunset, west of Alvarado at least. One such restaurant, Mohawk Bend is one of many that turned something ugly into something amazing. Owner Tony Yanow turned the 100-year old Vaudeville Theater into what Mohawk Bend is today. For awesome pictures and to learn more about the architecture, check out Freshome. Mohawk Bend is a restaurant and bar that sources everything locally. They appeal to meat eaters like me, to vegans and vegetarians. It opened it’s doors on August 1, 2011, and has been a popular spot of the neighborhood ever since.

A good buddy of mine and co-worker decided to catch happy hour — beer was in order. My buddy, @joeschai had the Victory Golden Monkey, a Philadelphia brew that he is more familiar with. It was full bodied and had a great taste. It made my beer seem like water.

Nachoes were on the happy hour menu and it was a great start. The nachos were quite standard though, and the pico de gallo and guacamole were fresh. I’m glad it didn’t have any chili or beans in it, but the cheese could have been more gooey. I am a fan of more of a cheese sauce than just melted cheddar on my nachos. That way, the cheese won’t harden and make it nearly impossible to enjoy. Other than that though, the nachos were quite nice.

The Buffalo-style Cauliflower was interesting. I felt we were ordering everything standard bar food. Beer, pizza, burger, and nachos? I wanted something to spice up our regular items and this seemed interesting enough. For a guy who hates cauliflower, this was a gamble. The cauliflower was a great blank vessel for the buffalo sauce. The most interesting part of this dish was the vegan “bleu cheese” dressing. Blue cheese was made of some kind of soy cheese. It tasted like plastic blocks, but the dressing itself was good. The dish was salty, zesty and full of flavor — not a bad veggie dish, fit for a vegetarian looking for some buffalo wings.

I appreciate a good pizza with a balance of flavors and textures. This flatbread had an amazing balance. The short rib and blue cheese gave the pizza a rich flavor to it. All was countered by the red onions and greens. The kicker was the smoked grapes. This gave it a nice subtle sweetness that this pizza needed. The balsamic reduction on top finished it off perfectly. The crust was decent — not all that great actually. The toppings helped with masking the shortcomings of the dough.

Every bar, gastropub, whatever you want to call it needs a burger. From all of their selections we opted for the one with bacon, short rib, and cheddar. The beef was nicely seared cooked to a medium. The beef was the star — the pure beef flavor from the patty and short rib shined through the burger. The bacon and everything else seemed like an afterthought. The bun was actually better than I thought. Though a burger isn’t a must order at Mohawk Bend, you wouldn’t be doing wrong by it.

I hate to say this, but the concept and interior design of it all is the most impressive part of Mohawk Bend. For them to have carried out a great interior with all of the amenities in a such a rundown property is amazing. Sorry to say though, the impressive interior is not reflected onto the food as well. Nothing I ate was amazing. The only thing that really stood out was the burger, and maybe their selection of beers. Other than that, their dishes were uninspired and boring. This may be a gem in Echo Park, but in the grand scheme of the City of Los Angeles, they are just “okay.” It was still great to catch up with my friend and coworker. Good company always makes things better.

Mohawk Bend on Urbanspoon

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The Pint House – Oktobeerfest Is On And Poppin’

by Franklin on October 25, 2011

I was in Downtown Fullerton, and I came across The Pint House.  From the back, where the parking is, there were lights outside streaming across the dining area. There was a smokey smell coming from this place and it looked nice.  We wanted to give it a try.

The inside was like an upscale pub with a bar and nice seating area.  I was surprised to see all of the prices so low.  The interior was really nice.  You can get the nice quiet and quaint inside or the live music filled air, a little rowdy outside. Check the bottom for the video of the live band playing fun German style music.

Lucky for us, Oktobeerfest was going on.  Every Sunday in October, from 4 to 8, they had a special going on for food.  $6 got you parmasan fries and a bratwurst, and all appetizers were 25% off.  Awesome if you ask me.

The bratwurst was really tasty.  It was juicy on the inside and it had a nice snap. I did not like the bread they used — too much bread for the amount of sausage.  Also, the bread was a bit chewy.  I kind of liked the chewiness, though others might not like it.  The parmasan fries were tasty as well.  It was nicely seasoned and the cheese was a great addition.  For 6 bucks, you would expect just regular fries, but the fact that they give you parmasan fries was a plus.

What is better with bratwurst than some beer.  We ordered a beer in the take home pint class mug. They surprised us with any kind of beer, but we had an inkling it was Blue Moon.  We got to take home the mug as a souvenir.

You can also substitute the parasan fries for onion rings.  Their onion rings were surprisingly tasty.  The batter was light, and the flavor was definitely there.  Dipping it in the ranch dressing was great.  I was expecting maybe 6 to 8 pieces, but the plate was filled with onion rings.  This too was only 6 bucks. Amazing.

We were a bit hungry so we ordered the cheese quesadilla.  This was only 5 bucks, plus 25% off.  That is less that 5 bucks, if my math is correct.  The quesadilla was supposedly grilled, but that was not the good part.  Their fire roasted salsa was amazing.  It made this normal quesadilla taste so much better. A quesadilla is a  quesadilla — melted cheese between tortillas.  The fire roasted salsa had a deep dark color from the char, and it was amazingly delicious. If not, I would come again just for that salsa.
I was surprised at this place.  The menu was was impressive and the prices for the Sunday Oktobeerfest was even more appealing. What was cool to me was the live band playing Planning where to eat isn’t the best.  You sometimes stumble upon something new and something great.  I tried The Pint House, and I was happy to find their menu to be tasty and cheap.  The food was delicious and the salsa was memorable.

The Pint House on Urbanspoon

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Walking around the Orange Circle in Orange, CA, I stumbled upon The Bruery Provisions.  Entering, I was amazed by the wall of beer bottles.  They had so much, I don’t know how anyone can choose from such a wide selection. They sold different kinds of wines and drinks.  What fascinated me the most was their interesting cheese selection.  We were thrilled to find out they offered a beer tasting.  It was only noon and planning on drinking was kind of exciting.

The 5 flights were all on tap.  The menu pictured above, these beers were kinds I have never heard before.  It was fun trying out these exotic beers for the first time.  I think my favorite was the first one.  I like beer that is light and crisp, and the citrus and fruity notes in the beer were really nice. It was a great eye opener to different kinds of beers.  I think I can benefit from trying more beers.  Heck, I think anyone can.

We also got some bread and butter so that our stomachs wouldn’t be so empty.  The best part was the truffle salt on top of the butter. I don’t know if it was the truffle or the fact that it was Danish butter, but the butter was very rich.  It had such a depth of flavor, and it was really wasn’t your ordinary butter. The sourdough slices were a perfect match for this.

This is a really nice shop.  They have a wide variety of beers all over the world.  The wine selection was broad, and the fact that they have cheese and other goods was a plus.  It would be heaven for anyone trying to host and wine and cheese party or any exotic beer enthusiast. The prices are affordable and trying out a cheese tasting or wine and beer is really fun.  I am glad I stumbled upon this place walking around Orange Square.  Also check out Felix Continental Cafe down the street if you want something more after your bread and butter — just don’t forget to take home your favorite beer and wine before hand.

The Bruery Provisions on Urbanspoon

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Los Angeles Beer Fest 2011 – It is on!

by Franklin on April 8, 2011

The LA Beer Fest is here!  On Saturday, April 9, 2011 Sony Studios will host the event.  There will be food, music, and of course, BEER!  Look out for international and domestic beers as well as LA’s gourmet food trucks.  It will be from 12PM – 3PM and 5PM to 8PM.  As for that 2 hour break in between?  No clue.

The admission price is $40 and that includes unlimited beer!  So drink up!    Be safe and have fun.

Check the link for more info.

Los Angeles Beer Festival 2011

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Slater’s 50/50 – A Pig and a Cow have a Baby

by Franklin on February 18, 2011


Imagine you have in front of you a perfect burger. What condiments are on it? Is the meat cooked rare or medium rare?  You also got to have cheese right?  Is there bacon?  At Slater’s you can have any of that.  This burger joint / bar lets you fill out a form (pencil and paper) and choose from different patty sizes, cheeses, sauces, and extra condiments. They even let you choose what kind of bread you can have that on. With all these combinations, you can have any burger you want, any way you want it. Their beer selection is pretty impressive as well. Having that perfect burger and the perfect brew to go with it is sometimes a difficult endeavor for some.  At Slaters 50/50, it is all there.

What makes this place special is what they do with their patties. You may be wondering to yourself, what is that 50/50 for? The 50/50 is their specialty patty made with 50% ground beef, and 50% ground bacon. You add that with their never ending list of condiments, and you have yourself a hamburger you won’t forget. The meat has that familiar bacon taste; it’s almost like bacon flavored hamburger patty. I think the patty itself won’t be what it is without the condiments.

As for the best burger combination, wrap your taste buds around this one — Take a 2/3 lbs. 50/50 patty on white bread, goat cheese, garlic aioli, sprouts, baby greens, grilled onions, and an over easy egg. Perhaps even adding thick cut bacon on a 50/50 burger would be in the cards (Yes, bacon on top of a bacon infused burger patty.). Well, remember that perfect burger I was talking about before? This should come in pretty close to that for any burger lover.

For some odd and unexplainable reason, some might say this is a bit of over-kill. “Who would want ground bacon in my patty?”, they would ask. For purists, they have a 100% beef patty option. The pure beef is just as good, especially for those who like their patties rare — with that said, the 50/50 is a must for first timers. Where else can you get something like that?

A good burger can’t be enjoyed without some kind of sides — Slater’s got that covered. Fries (sweet potato and regular), fried artichokes, fried pickle chips, vampire dip (melted garlic cheese and fried pita bread), bacon mac and cheese, and the list goes on. Other than the fries and sweet potato fries, the other appetizers seem a bit greasy.  You can’t go wrong with a burger and fries anyways right?  The bacon mac and cheese was bacon(ful), but lacked that cheesiness that everyone loves about mac and cheese. Coming here, stick with what they are good at and known for — their burgers.

If you are in the Anaheim Hills area in California, stop by for lunch or dinner.  They are always friendly and love serving new customers.  This establishment keep growing in popularity by the minute — it is clear as to why this is.  They give you a burger mixed in with arguable one of the best cures meats in the world, and let you have it any way you would like.  Add with some great sides and a plethora of exotic beers and you got yourself a pretty perfect meal.

Slater's 50/50 Burgers By Design on Urbanspoon

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