Saturday, August 9, 2008
Father's Office in Santa Monica came with a formidable reputation as one of the best burgers in L.A. Pat and I steered in around noon to its shi-shi Montana Street location amongst the designer shops and restaurants. Its retro sign stands out along the block. Upon entering the greeter told us that it was open seating. The tiny place was already packed. A row of wood tables on each side of the restaurant led back to the bar where we grabbed two of the last three stools.
39 beer taps arrayed the wall behind the bar with no beers that I have ever heard of. It was obvious this wasn't just a burger bar, but a serious beer bar as well. Insistent as they are about "no substitutions", we each ordered the hamburger ($12). We also agreed to split a basket of fries ($5).
The fries came right out in a clever miniature grocery cart. They were matchstick small and crisp. Pat loves the "crispies" in any batch of fries, so she was very excited that these were all crispies. They came with an aioli for dunking, but didn't really need it. I didn't ask for a ketchup substitution out of fear of ejection before my burger arrived.
The burgers did arrive. A massive 1/2-pound, but seemingly bigger burger was stacked upon a french roll. The burger is made of organic, grass-fed beef. Ground from a combination of chuck, sirloin and New York strip according to our server. The roll was grilled, firm but fresh. The hamburger patty itself was covered with a thick concoction of bacon, gruyere, maytag blue cheese and grilled onions. Also on top was a stack of fresh arugula. The burger was red and moist medium and already cut in half when it arrived. It was superb. The onions were sweet but not overwhelming. Everything blended with the burger in one great taste.
As we ate, the local young and hip crowd continued to pour into the restaurant. They all seemed to know the beers, comparing their fruitfulness, bitterness and all the other subtleties that beer experts know. I don't know whether the beer came first or the burgers, but both seem to attract their crowd at Father's Office.
Burger 5 spatulas (out of 5)
Fries 4.5 spatulas
1018 Montana Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90403