Quick Bites :: Ink.Sack

Quick Bites :: Ink.Sack

I could have slept in this past Saturday and further nursed my wicked allergies/cold (that I would later find out was a sinus infection), but why do that when the Work Son was offering a ride to LA to pick up sammies and ice cream? Only condition was that I had to busy myself for about 45 minutes while he got his haircut. He added that there was a popular coffee shop just around the corner where I could hang/read/write while he got snipped, I was all in – just had to load up on the OTC drugs.

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The shop was Urth Caffe – which proved to be a little too well known, as I spent William’s hair cutting time waiting to order, and then waiting again for my drink, a Spanish latte that was delightfully rich and bold, just sweet enough, but teeny. The 35 minute wait to 2 minute swig ratio is just wrong.

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The sandwiches were from Ink Sack, another short walk from the barbershop; a shop owned by Michael Voltaggio of Top Chef fame, known for general badassness. From here, I got the cold fried chicken sandwich on wheat and a bag of crab chips. The sandwich fared much better than my coffee in its ratio; add to it that it was affordable at five bucks and was packed with bright flavors (moist chicken, a creamy sauce with a slight tang) and robust texture (the chicken had a good bite to it, the bread balance soft and crunchy). And I didn’t ask what made the chips crabby – they looked like ordinary potato chips – but I finished every last greasy, crunchy crumb left in the bag. This place was definitely worth getting out of bed. (Work son William went for the turkey melt and the pork shoulder banh mi).

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But then there was ice cream. Salt & Straw was our destination. I’ve been to one of the Portland locations but never to LA’s first outpost. After samples, I almost went with the gritty, unapologetic Stumptown Coffee & Burnside Bourbon, but opted instead for the indulgent Salted Malted Chocolate Cookie Dough. Honestly, I think the odds of going wrong at Salt & Straw are 0 to none – they just make quality ice cream. And they’re so cute!

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Outing done, I spent the rest of the afternoon and the next day in bed, finally getting myself to urgent care on Monday with a trip to Northern Cali planned for the next morning. Happy to say I’m 90% recovered with a 100% chance that I’ll be eating lots more once I’m fully back.

Baxter Finley Barber & Shop
515 N. La Cienega Blvd.

Urth Caffe
8565 MelroseAvenue in West Hollywood
and other locations

ink.sack
8360 Melrose Avenue

Salt & Straw Larchmont
240 N. Larchmont Blvd.

Tasty Places :: TLT Food

Tasty Places :: TLT Food

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of watching my second oldest daughter’s volleyball team, the University of San Diego, take on the beloved team of my hometown, Cal State Long Beach, during the first round of NCAA playoffs at my alma mater, UCLA – just a game in a big arena for everyone else, but quite an event for me with so many of my worlds colliding, causing me to reflect and twaddle on, my youngest kid rolling her eyes, tuning me out at every mention of where I used to live, hang out, and get my hair done; how all my favorite stores and restaurants had been replaced.

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I’d hoped to return to my old college campus today for San Diego to take on the winner of the second game (which turned out to be UCLA). Instead, Long Beach swept USD in three, bringing our tournament hopes and my daughter’s last season to a close. [Sniff]

But why not take advantage of being in such proximity to so many new and remote restaurants (yes, I know UCLA is only 25 miles or so away from the LBC, but traffic to get there is a u-know-what). After some deliberation, I made my way to TLT Food, the storefront of the much-hyped winner of Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race.

And it was there that I officially named Friday, December 5th Sandwich Day, with me as the Earl, as I took down my third sandwich of the day (see Black Sheep GCB) with my trip to TLT. Okay, I suppose three sandwiches isn’t exactly a binge, but it did send a message to me that perhaps I have a thing for protein between two slabs of crusty carbs. The only thing that might have made Sandwich Day better is a breakfast item of some sort – perhaps next December 5th, I’ll begin with a visit to Burger King for an egg and cheese Croissan’wich.

My choice at TLT Food was the Bangkok Chicken, a lively dish flavored with the spices and textures of Thailand. Most enjoyable for me were the bits of cashews that dazzled and delighted me every few bites, surreptitiously tucked into a zippy slaw. The sliced chicken was delicate, kicking you in the taste buds only once you’d found the sweetness, the juiciness of it. What brought (and held) it all together was the bread, a perfectly crisp Ciabatta roll toasted just enough, and proportioned right for the sandwich stuffings. As tempted as I was to throw into my order a taco or their Chimi Wings, I honestly was still pretty full from sandwich #2. Instead, I asked for the two-buck side of roasted corn – a half cob slathered with chipotle-honey aioli and cotija cheese. The sweetness of the honey emboldened the already luscious corn, but the cheese and aioli curbed things nicely, providing quite the quixotic combination.

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The only unfortunate thing about TLT Food is their lack of a liquor license, one I didn’t realize they didn’t have until after I’d ordered their spiked limeade, made alcoholic not with tequila but a tequila-flavored wine. A cold beer would have been a better choice, but I didn’t want my 12-year-old (who begrudgingly joined me because I was her ride home) to give me the frowny eyes. Still, the fact that I downed my limeade means I can’t complain too much, even if the downing only served to speed along the agony that is tequila-flavored wine spiked limeade.

Overall, TLT Food amazed and awed and left me wanting more once I fully digest these three sandwiches. Perhaps by next December 5th? Let’s hope.

TLT Food in Westwood (there’s a 2nd location at the Irvine Spectrum)
1116 Westwood Blvd.

*Note to self and the other 7 readers of Dianderthal: TLT also offers a brunch that appears un-pass-upable, featuring breakfast burritos, breakfast tacos, and breakfast nachos; a sourdough French toast, and bottomless mimosas – feel free to hit a sista up if ever you want to roll early on a Saturday/Sunday afternoon. You can drive. 🙂

Burger Quest :: Burger Lounge

Burger Quest :: Burger Lounge

Earlier today, I managed to disappear shortly from Day 2 of my daughter Kourtney’s dance convention. Dance conventions are the purest form of parent torture; as a mom, I’m expected to sit in a congested ballroom watching choreographers cycle through a new dance routine every hour, each using a song you can’t shake out of your head even if you jump up and down like there was water in your ear; and what’s worse, I don’t even get to join in (it’s hard to keep myself seated during the hip hop rotation). When you exit the ballroom, you’re faced with vendors hustling dance apparel and bows and turning boards (literally a 3-by-3 board used for dancers to practice turns) that you’ll be peer pressured into buying if you don’t make a firm commitment to hold on tight to your dollars. On Day 1, I was a good girl, getting work done on my laptop despite the music, going for a 6-mile run around the hotel’s adjacent neighborhood, limiting myself to just one item purchased at the stands, being gracious in offering one floor sitter an empty chair next to me that I’d been using to hold my purse, and only eating the healthy food packed in my lunch bag.

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Today’s experience was quite the opposite. I chatted when I should have been writing, talked myself out of my run (my knee ached from the frigid room), glared at the woman who kept sitting in the chair next to me despite half of my sweater settling on its edge (a clear indication not to sit there), bought yet another item for daughter – one she didn’t even asked for, and rebuffed my healthy lunch of apples and peanut butter, fresh raspberries, and trail mix, deciding instead to find a nearby burger to make up for the awful and dry burger I’d had the night before at a nicer chain restaurant where my husband wanted to go for his birthday dinner.

So my craving warranted a Burger Quest type of burger, and I was happy to find Burger Lounge via a quick search for locations within walking distance from the hotel (if I was going to spend money and skip my run, the least I could do was burn a few calories with a mile-long walk). And so the decision was made: once I made sure Kourtney was fed at the lunch break, shoed-up, and ready for her next round, I’d set out, asking a couple of the other parents to keep an eye on her (because I had very important work to do).

My walk took me through a tiny stretch of Beverly Hills, where I hoped to bump into a celebrity or two (I did see a limousine pull over in wait of a passenger at a fancy house but nothing more exciting than that). My hunger was fierce so I kept my feet moving briskly, removing a piece of clothing after each long block to keep cool (I’d layered, as the ballrooms were cold – and if you’re concerned about my public stripping, I stopped once I got down to my running tank). It took less than 20 minutes to arrive, and thankfully the line was short.

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I’m sure there are times when their line is out the door. Burger Lounge sits on a corner along Beverly Blvd. with passersby ranging from realtors yapping loudly on Bluetooth to ladies bold and brazen enough to leave the house in head-to-toe leopard to hungry cops to hipsters walking their dogs. With burgers of free-range turkey or lamb or grass-fed beef; of quinoa veggies or longline caught albacore, it’s easy to believe this place would garner big business for variety’s sake alone. I chose turkey, of course, and was pleased that, for once, it wasn’t packaged for some super conscious health nut; you know, with avocado and sprouts and without cheese (while I can be a health nut, when I eat a burger, I go big with it). This turkey came Lounge Style – with grilled onions and cheese (American or white cheddar) and 1000 Island dressing. I ordered the ¼ pound version, not realizing how tiny a ¼-pound would be. But it proved the right choice, a burger that when paired with fries filled me up quite nicely. If I’d gone with the bigger burger, I would have kept eating but been forced to stroll back to the hotel bloated and slow and with a bellyache.

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Yes it was small but gratifying. The turkey was succulent and dense, the sauce and cheese melding nicely for that perfect balance of sweet and savory. It was amazing. It was wonderful.

And then there were the fries. The wait staff who’d brought my burger asked if I’d like a side of their house-made Ranch dressing to go with my meal. Certainly, sir. So glad he asked, because THOSE fries with THAT Ranch was potato madness. And when I say potato madness, I mean potato GOODNESS. The fries were excellent, at once limp and crisp while being just the right kind of greasy and robustly russety (made-up word).

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Feeling guilty for trying out a new place without my partner in burger crimes, I returned to Burger Lounge with Kourtney after her convention ended. She’s a pretty harsh judge of burger joints, but she gave this one a thumbs up, equivalent on her scale to a primetime Emmy or a platinum record (do they still do that?). The second visit meant more cash exiting my wallet, but at least I was able to steal a few of her fries and slurp down more than my fair share of her rich chocolate shake.

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Next time, I’ll get my own shake (and I’m not even a shake person, but this one was worth carrying on about) and, after peeping a batch on someone else’s plate, will add onion rings to my fry order. It’s a given that I will be Lounging again very very soon.

Official Dianderthal Burger Quest Burger List:
1. Hawkins House of Burgers turkey burger with everything (mayo, mustard, pickles, tomato, red onion, lettuce), cheese added
2. PCB (Plan Check Burger) at Plan Check with americanized dashi cheese, ketchup leather, schmaltz onions, mixed pickles, crunch bun
3. 25 Degrees Number One Burger (turkey subbed for beef) with caramelized onions, crescenza, prelibato gorgonzola, bacon, arugula, thousand island
4. Burger Lounge’s Free Range Turkey Burger, served Lounge Style with organic white cheddar, grilled onion, lettuce, tomato, and house-made 1000 Island
5. Father’s Office Burger with arugula, caramelized onions, Gruyere, applewood bacon, and maytag blue cheese
6. Island’s California Flyer turkey burger (BBQ sauce, “Island Reds” – fried onion straws, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato & mayo)
7.Golden State turkey burger with provolone, lettuce, tomato, red onion, aioli, and ketchup, (added grilled onions)
8. Oh My Burger BYOMB (Build Your Oh My Burger) turkey with OMB sauce, ketchup, pepper jack, and onion rings
9. Holstein’s California Turkey Burger with sprouts, tomato, avocado, cucumber claw, pepperjack cheese, and Russian dressing
10. Yeah! Burger (Make It Your Own – turkey patty, whole wheat bun, pepper jack cheese, sriracha mayo, ketchup, grilled onions, honey mustard)
11. The Habit (Veggie burger made like a Charburger, with mayo, pickle, tomato, lettuce, caramelized onions, cucumber, and sprouts)
12. The Counter (Build Your Own – turkey patty, grilled onions, cheddar cheese, chipotle aioli, ketchup)
13. Burger City Grill (The BCG, turkey patty, pickles, grilled onions)
14. The Dallas at Bobby’s Burger Palace – spice crusted ground turkey patty with coleslaw, jack cheese, BBQ sauce, and pickles

Fry Factor
1. Island’s fries with ranch dressing
2. Golden State fried sweet potato wedges with garlic aioli (and a few with curry ketchup)
3. Burger Lounge’s fries with house-made Ranch
4. Holstein’s sweet potato fries
5. 25 Degrees Half & Half (sweet potato and regular fries)
6. Father’s Office sweet potato fries with blue cheese aioli
7. The Counter 50-50 fries (half regular, half sweet Ps)
8. Oh My Burger sweet potato fries
9. The Habit french fries
10. Plan Check sweet potato waffle fries and regular fries
11. Bobby’s Burger Palace sweet potato fries
12. Burger City Grill fries
13. Yeah! Burger sweet potato fries
14. Hawkins House of Burgers fries

Burger Lounge
281 S. Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills and other locations

Tasty Places :: Willie Jane

Tasty Places :: Willie Jane

Sometimes you don’t get to pick your restaurant; sometimes, it picks you.

I hadn’t intended on a Sunday supper in Venice, but late in the week I was happy to receive an invitation to a birthday dinner for one of my dearest friends. Wonderful as it was to have a bit of a getaway from the LBC to look forward to, the chance to try out a new restaurant was the real thrill. Right away, I googled the name, familiar to me for some reason – Willie Jane. Quickly I learned that it was another restaurant of Post & Beam‘s Govind Armstrong (I’m quite the fan), a freshly touted location serving what my birthday pal referred to as hipster soul food. Just before heading out that evening, I flipped through my restaurant notebook to add this spot when I noticed it was already in my book – starred!; and I couldn’t help but wonder how I could have forgotten about it. Perhaps Willie Jane knew I was coming. Maybe Willie Jane picked me.

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If I didn’t think I’d maim some flip-flopped pedestrian as I drove, I would’ve spent more time taking in in the bustle that is Venice’s Abbot Kinney Blvd. It’s a happening piece of street busy with beach goers, boutique shoppers, pressed juice drinkers, and satiated diners. It has presence. When Willie Jane finds me again, I’ll arrive early to check out its neighbors and to people watch; to purchase a plant from the garden next door, a place that adds life and delight to WJ’s lovely patio. The entire area is primed for savoring.

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Once there, I caught up with both old friends and new acquaintances, then settled in behind my plate, studying the menu in distress, stuck between a few choices. Thankfully, someone ordered a couple plates of sumptuous appetizers, including a crusty sourdough bread that I lathered with pimento cheese – why haven’t I been eating pimento cheese all my life? And it was here and then that I enjoyed likely the moistest, tastiest, most excellent cornbread ever whipped together. Really, it couldn’t help but be great with all the butter I painted on the first, then another slice. There would have been a third piece eaten but I was too slow. I might have cried about this but then the birthday girl arrived!

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With the merriment of the night, I was a little off my game, not taking a quick pic of the drink menu so I don’t recall the name of the cocktail I ordered once, then ordered again after sucking down the first one so easily. But you could taste the freshness of it; its sweet and herby simplicity, which made sense with Willie Jane harvesting produce from its own garden, the scratch-made culture of the place evident with even a cocktail. You can imagine how psyched I was becoming about my dinner plate.

The catfish ended up being my choice, a popular one among the table. Same with the macaroni and cheese side, but how could I go to a “hipster soul” Govind Armstrong place and not get the mac & cheese? And so glad am I that I did – rich, gooey, and breadcrumb topped, just how I like it. After finishing mine, I had to stop myself from taking a spoon to the plate of a dinner mate who stopped short on her macaroni, saying she was full, had to save room for dessert. If I knew her a little better, I would’ve gone for it.

The fish was pretty amazing too – breaded and softly fried, the fish buttery and moist. I’m only 80% sure that what rested underneath the fish was a polenta, but 0% remained once I got through. Yes, this was a no doggy-bag required night.

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The night ended sweetly with a few bites of a brownie sundae with caramel and peanut butter-filled chocolate balls, both elegant and decadent. Those at the table who’d gone with the prix fixe meal were lucky enough to be served WJ’s peach cobbler. I’m no cobbler girl, but I couldn’t help but sample someone’s crust, and just that made me want to get up a clap. So glad that everyone was in a sharing mood.

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Birthdays come and go, and as long as we keep living, all of us get to spend one every so often. But how wonderful is it to celebrate those we care about, tell them we love them, remember good times, and laugh about the silly gifts we decide to give them. And even more wonderful, to break bread with them, especially when that (crusty sourdough) bread comes from one of Govind Armstrong’s kitchens.

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Happy birthday, A!

Willie Jane
1031 Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice, CA

Sweet Spots :: Georgetown Cupcake

Sweet Spots :: Georgetown Cupcake

When my daughter groaned immediately after I told her of my upcoming work trip to DC, I thought her upset about it was due to my proximity to the president and Michelle and the girls. But no – though she’d like to visit the White House and say what’s up to likely homegirls Malia and Sasha, what she really wanted to do was head to Georgetown Cupcake to chat and eat with the baking stars of TLC’s DC Cupcakes. In earnest, she asked if I could please, please stop at Georgetown Cupcake and bring something back for her.

What I hadn’t exactly made clear was that, although my flight is to DC, the meeting will be held at a conference center in Leesburg, VA; and with no car to get around, I’ll likely be stuck my entire trip, relegated to the conference center bar each night. But I figured it would be a nice gesture to Google Map the place, see if I might be able to hitchhike my way after a day long of plenaries and breakouts and boxed food.

To our delight, we learned that there was no need at all for me to venture away from the conference facility during my trip, as LA has a Georgetown Cupcake of its own. So this became a mini-adventure for us, an evening getaway that without homework or volleyball practices or dance classes a Monday ago we could afford to take. I did have a run scheduled that day after work, but what better way to get your cupcake on than stinky and sweaty. Heading to LA in my muggy workout clothes made me feel like I earned a few cupcakes.

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I’d planned to purchase several varieties, bringing treats to my fro-workers the next morning for all to try. But at $3 a pop and cupcakes to purchase for my girls, I had to split samples at work with a choice few instead of sharing the wealth with my entire suite. The Coffee Cookies & Cream, the Strawberry, and the Red Velvet cakes I tried were tasty – moist and balanced with a frosting that any sweeter would have been cloying; but what I can’t get out of my head is the Salted Caramel, one I shared (slightly begrudgingly) that was joyously received by all. I could eat another couple-few of those pretty soon. If I don’t get back up to the LA location soon, I really may have to consider the whole hitchhiking thing.

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Georgetown Cupcake
143 S. Robertson Blvd. and other US locations

Sweet Spots :: Duff’s Cakemix

Sweet Spots :: Duff’s Cakemix

I’d heard that it was way overpriced. I’d read that the cakes weren’t delicious – dry and crumbly and lacking flavor. Some reviewers on sites I checked out called the staff inattentive and unfriendly, questioned the store’s sense of customer service. Yet, I hauled my birthday kid and her friends to West Hollywood anyway to give them the chance to decorate cakes in the studio helmed by television’s Ace of Cakes star Duff Goldman – Duff’s Cakemix.

Even before leaving Long Beach, I knew at least one of the sentiments about the do-it-yourself cake shop was true – the place isn’t cheap. But for a special occasion, I didn’t mind overspending, especially if it meant I didn’t have to clean up afterward.

Regardless of word on the street (that being the information super highway), this place is fun! Sure, there was disappointment in myself that I hadn’t arrived with an idea in mind for my cake, which made choosing colors, shapes, and sprinkles a bit of a chore; but still – whenever I get into that artsy dimension, I bubble over with endorphins.

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Really, it wasn’t about me – it was about my daughter and her friends, who weren’t just high off the sprinkles and fondant but the energy in the place, which started with the staff. Perhaps the crabby, snappy ones complained about by others were off the day we went. Or had been fired or were taking their meds; those we dealt with were nothing but pleasant and helpful. And patient, as my pre-teen crew was composed of dancers who among them did several hundred second turns on Cakemix’s polished cement floor.

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The biggest test for me was the taste – I waited until home for that, not wanting to show the disappointment (or disgust) on my face should I hate it. I made the mistake of leaving my cake in the warm car when dropping off one of the girls, and when I opened it up to show her mother, I’d found that the top layer had slid off. After trying to repair it, I had no choice but to lick my fingers and was thrilled to taste the non-cloying, buttery frosting. After fixing it as best as I could, I placed my cake in the fridge to help it set some but could only wait about ten minutes before cutting a slice. Perhaps my palate is unrefined, unable to identify a terrible and drab cake when it meets one, but I quite enjoyed my red velvet treat from Cakemix. Expensive, yes – but you can’t put a price on some experiences. Actually, you can – but this was a price I happened to be willing to pay this particular day.

If you ever do the same, know that the place gets busy on the weekends. You can make a reservation, or take advantage of discount prices during their weekday happy hours. But do go, with a goal of creating, rolling, squeezing, and just going for it.

Duff’s Cakemix
8302 Melrose in LA

Burger Quest :: Father’s Office

Burger Quest :: Father’s Office

This will be a quick one – nearly all burger. The gang and I had planned our long awaited Eating LA Day (which proved to be bust, but more on that after burger talk) for a Sunday afternoon – lots of food, lots of booze, lots of LA. But first, two-fifths of our team (including the one-fifth scheduled to drive) had a conflict and had to back out (flake?) the day before; and then my oldest kid/babysitter decided to celebrate another of my kid’s 21st birthday with her on some party bus in San Diego (odd decision on her part, right?!), so I had to bring along my 11-year old.

Problem: No kids allowed at Father’s Office. We didn’t find that out until we got there. But we’re a dogged crew, ordering their famous burgers to-go.

I’ve been wanting to try this burger for months now – perhaps longer. It was a must try on my Burger Quest list simply because of the hype; because it’s on just about every LA burger list. Despite it being a beef burger, besides the lack of ketchup, besides chef Sang Yoon’s strict no substitutions policy, I was down. I’ve been down about getting my teeth into this burger.

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So finally! On Eating LA Day, it was scheduled to happen whether I had a seat inside and a beer in hand or not. I was pretty dang glad I did. This burger was full-bodied and savory – a rich experience made full by the burger’s tangy blue and Gruyere cheeses and caramelized onions. And there was plenty of it – I shared mine with my work son to make sure I had plenty of room for the rest of Eating LA Day (a decision I came to regret).

And so I missed a chance to eat inside of Father’s Office, but the outdoors proved just as good an accompaniment to my delectable sandwich, our group grubbing in the courtyard of the Helm’s Bakery District in Mid-Town, a snappy spot for food and furniture. With an unimpressive fried chicken, a regular dessert spot of mine, and a motley collection of food stands that I knew little about making up the remainder of Eating LA Day*, Father’s Office – despite not really eating at Father’s Office – was my highlight.

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But the big question is, how did the burger stack up to the rest of my list? Read on… because this post is already much longer than I hinted it would be.

Official Dianderthal Burger Quest Burger List:
1. Hawkins House of Burgers turkey burger with everything (mayo, mustard, pickles, tomato, red onion, lettuce), cheese added
2. PCB (Plan Check Burger) at Plan Check with americanized dashi cheese, ketchup leather, schmaltz onions, mixed pickles, crunch bun
3. 25 Degrees Number One Burger (turkey subbed for beef) with caramelized onions, crescenza, prelibato gorgonzola, bacon, arugula, thousand island
4. Father’s Office Burger with arugula, caramelized onions, Gruyere, applewood bacon, and maytag blue cheese
5. Island’s California Flyer turkey burger (BBQ sauce, “Island Reds” – fried onion straws, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato & mayo)
6.Golden State turkey burger with provolone, lettuce, tomato, red onion, aioli, and ketchup, (added grilled onions)
7. Yeah! Burger (Make It Your Own – turkey patty, whole wheat bun, pepper jack cheese, sriracha mayo, ketchup, grilled onions, honey mustard)
8. The Habit (Veggie burger made like a Charburger, with mayo, pickle, tomato, lettuce, caramelized onions, cucumber, and sprouts)
9. The Counter (Build Your Own – turkey patty, grilled onions, cheddar cheese, chipotle aioli, ketchup)
10. Burger City Grill (The BCG, turkey patty, pickles, grilled onions)

Fry Factor
1. Island’s fries with ranch dressing
2. Golden State fried sweet potato wedges with garlic aioli (and a few with curry ketchup)
3. 25 Degrees Half & Half (sweet potato and regular fries)
4. Father’s Office sweet potato fries with blue cheese aioli
5. The Counter 50-50 fries (half regular, half sweet Ps)
6. The Habit french fries
7. Plan Check sweet potato waffle fries and regular fries
8. Burger City Grill fries
9. Yeah! Burger sweet potato fries
10. Hawkins House of Burgers fries

Father’s Office
3229 Helms Avenue in Los Angeles
and a Santa Monica location

*We also stopped at Honey’s Kettle Chicken in Culver City, oft-blogged Milk, and LA’s Grand Central Market.

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