1018 Montana Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Adequately Fed: $20
Sweet Potato Frittes***
Red Seal Pale Ale****
(Out of Five Stars)
When Joel Stein mentions you in a TIME Magazine article, you know you've made pop culture status. This week's TIME had an article about famous chefs new focus on gourmet burgers. Chef Sang Yoon of Father's Office treats his burgers seriously.
Father's Office is a bar, with elements of a restaurant. You must be twenty-one to enter the tightly packed room with over thirty beers on tap. Overwhelmed? I was. That's why I asked my bartender for a recommendation. The Red Seal that she gave me was very drinkable with a fruity after taste which I enjoyed. For the uninitiated, the scene is rather intimidating. Once you go inside, find an unoccupied bartender and ask for a menu. They have their beers listed along with their food selections. Order directly from the bartender, pay for your food, and take your plastic number placard to whatever free space you get.
Stein's article describes Yoon's $12 burger as having caramelized onions, Gruyere, Maytag blue cheese, bacon compote and arugula. Frankly, I could not taste much beyond the sweetness of the compote and the occasional leaf of lettuce. Combined, the sauce just tasted like a simple barbecue sauce and not much more. The meat was tender and cooked to order, but it lacked the meaty taste that I expect when paying so much for a burger. It went down well, but having no ultra distinguished tastes made it not worth my money. In my opinion, burgers should be simple. Made with wholesome ingredients of the finest quality, just a patty, bun and cheese can beat all the other creative things people put on ground beef nowadays.