Many of you who have been reading me for a while know I love burgers. In fact, I’m forever questing for the perfect burger.
Remember my friend Cindra and our semi-annual birthday lunches often in “in,” chic-chic, celeb & “industry”-riddled restaurants like The Ivy…
… or Thomas Keller’s Bouchon?
Well, Cindra loves burgers as much as I do (neither of us could resist the burgers at Bouchon). We’ve been comparing notes on burgers for years. I discovered the drippy, juicy experience of fast food Fat Burgers because of her – she discovered the savory burger w/ special relish at The Village Idiot because of me.
So when she suggested she wanted a ‘burger birthday’ lunch, I was all over it like melted cheese on a perfectly grilled, medium-rare patty. But, where to go for this ‘burger birthday’- that was the question? For a while, she has wanted me to try the 8 ounce burger at – where else? 8oz Burger Bar on famed Melrose Avenue. So, the 8oz Burger Bar it was.
The restaurant itself has a pub-y, saloon-y, bar-ish vibe, with some tables outside on the sidewalk. We ate inside by sliding French doors and, instead of ordering one of the featured shakes, malts or floats (they also have sundaes and banana splits – but this is no malt shoppe), we ordered Bloody Marys (it’s been our tradition to start our b’day lunches w/ a Bloody Mary) – and ‘perused’ the menu which proudly states on its cover:
“Menu items are made in-house utilizing the season’s finest local produce and hormone free, humanely raised meats, reflecting our commitment to quality and sustainability.”
It then went on to list sandwiches which included a short rib grilled cheese sandwich and a tuna melt, and small snacks including mini Kobe corndogs (really, Kobe? – yes, really!) w/ purple mustard, fried olives stuffed w/ chorizo and Buffalo drumettes w/ a blue cheese sauce and celery. Also on the menu was an arugula & endive salad w/ seasonal citrus, avocado, radish, walnuts and a champagne vinaigrette, an escarole Caesar, and a 8oz iceberg lettuce wedge w/ blue cheese, garlic roasted tomato, balsamic grilled onion, house cured bacon and blue cheese dressing (be still my heart!) – but the ½ pound we wanted was the 8 ounce burger…
But which one? There was a turkey burger, a Niman Ranch lamb burger, a pork blend burger called “Three Little Pigs” – a veggie burger and a fillet of fish burger – all w/ a variety of delicious sounding toppings... but we wanted a real old-fashioned burger, burger – and that means ground beef. We decided on the classic 8oz ‘house-blend’ burger that included iceberg lettuce, tomato, white onion and a special sauce. Cindra had the works w/ melted white cheddar (there are seven cheeses to choose from). I chose the white cheddar, too, but asked for everything, except the patty and the melted cheese, “on the side.” I’ve never really understood why one would want anything encumbering the flavors of grilled burger and cheese on a roll, but the special sauce made a nice salad dressing for the lettuce, tomato and onion.
From the sides which included roasted baby broccoli, fried pickles, truffled potato skins and chorizo mac and cheese, we opted for the Kennebec fries. Kennebec, I discovered is a type of potato.
The potatoes were good – the Bloody Mary wasn’t too spicey (which is how I like them)… but the burger was the best… grilled to a perfect medium rare w/ no skimping on the cheese which oozed like molten lava over the patty. A very HAPPY BURGER BIRTHDAY!
8 oz Burger Bar
7661 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90046