Monday, April 30, 2012

The Gorbals

I have been wanting to try The Gorbals for a while now. Once I found out that they had bacon wrapped matzoh balls, I was in. The restaurant is located in an old hotel. I actually had trouble figuring out where it was at first. It is very strange when you walk in from an old building to the clean modern look of the restaurant. The menu is very eclectic and has some interesting takes on old classics, including the matzoh balls. We also tried the popcorn chicken gizzards, roasted marrow, and the mofongo. All of the dishes had distinct flavors. The menu also changes every so often, so I may need to go back to check out the fried chicken and ribs which are supposed to be amazing but were not on the menu when I was there.
 On to the burger. My first observations was that this is a messy burger. I went to cut it half and the burger fell apart! The bun was nicely toasted sesame seed bun. The meat was well seasoned but wasn’t the great meaty flavor of the burgers I have at the top of my list. The burger is listed on the menu as “Burger, onions six ways”, and they were not kidding. There was some sort of onion mayo, onion slices, chopped ions. I think there were pickled onions. I don’t even know if I figured out all six ways.  Even though the burger was good, I don’t think it is why you go to The Gorbals.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Local Peasant

I have been wanting to try The Local Peasant for a while now. There are so many great gastropubs in the city and when I found one in the valley I had to check it out. The restaurant is very unassuming from the outside. I actually didn’t know it was there until I looked it up. Inside the décor is standard upscale pub, with beers on a chalkboard on the wall and some communal tables and a long bar to grab a drink and some food. The rest of menu looked very good and the waitress said the short ribs are the best thing on the menu. I will have to go back to try other things.

There are two burgers on the menu. One has egg and the other doesn’t. I took the waitress’ opinion and got the one with the fried egg. The meat is all natural grass fed beef and the flavor really showed. Even with the egg on top it had the really good meat flavor that I look for in a burger. The bun may have been almost as good as the meat. It was a brioche bun that had a good chewy texture and didn’t get soggy with the egg yolk dripping all over. The burger also comes with onions and a choice of cheese, I chose cheddar. The burger was very good, but not elite. My one change would be more onions. It was really great when I got all of the flavors mixed together with the meatiness from the patty to the sweetness of the onion and the gooey egg yolk. I want more of that.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Hole in the Wall Burger Joint

I have had many people tell me about Hole in the Wall Burger Joint. Many claimed it to be one of the best burgers they have had. Naturally, I had to check it out. It took me a while to get around to it, but it was worth the wait. The place is aptly named. I went to the West LA location. It is located behind a strip mall off a side street. Normally the driveway would lead to the loading zone or an alley behind the mall, but in this case it leads to meaty deliciousness. The place is not that big. There are a few tables inside and a couple more right outside on the “patio”. The order process is similar to The Counter where you fill out your sheet. There are a lot fewer choices, but they are all quality choices.

As you can see above, I chose the beef burger. The beef is grass fed angus meat. The burger was cooked to a perfect medium, a little pink on the inside and a little char on the outside. The meat was fresh, but didn’t come through as much as I would have expected. They have 5 different choices for bun, including brioche, pretzel and even no bun. Of course I had to go with the pretzel bun. On first glance it looks impressive.

When you get that full pretzel taste included with all of the other flavors it is really tasty. Unfortunately, it seemed to get lost a little bit. I think because the bun wasn’t salted, the flavor got a little lost. I got my burger topped with onion mayo, cheddar cheese, lettuce, sliced red onion, mustard pickle relish, and sautéed onions. The sautéed onions were very sweet and plentiful. Almost made the burger hard to pick up. The mustard pickle relish was the flavor that held it all together. I recommend adding that to whatever combination you choose.

Overall the ingredients are fresh, the place is cozy and chill. If you happened to be in west LA and can find it, I highly recommend trying Hole in the Wall Burger Joint.