Sunday, July 20, 2008

California eats: Father's Office

The word on the streets of LA was that Father's Office was the greatest burger phenomenon since Micky D's first opened their doors. With the burger craze in NYC in full swing, I was anxious to try it. Cue the requisite hipsters and remember you're not at Fette Sau:

This is apparently the second version of Father's Office. This one is down the street from my sister's place in the charmingly revamped Helm's Bakery. The restaurant has a host of weird rules that New Yorkers would love: no vodka, no ketchup, no diet soda, etc., etc. Also, it's swank but totally open seating. You order at the bar and then some dude delivers it to your table. When I heard this I started to panic, but apparently ordering at the bar at a mega popular spot isn't as horrible as it is in Gotham.
More about the bar...they've got a million obscure beers on tap, blah, blah, blah, you've been to Spuyten Divul, you've heard it all before. They're really locovore, with a host of brews from microbreweries up and down the coast. Bit of a shame not to have their east coast brethren up there, though--Six Point and Dogfish Head to name but a few.

I might point out they are selectively locovore--one of the specials was a soft-shell crab dish.

I of course ordered the burger, plus a beet salad and a famous appetizer composed of smoked eel, a poached egg, dill and some other stuff.
I'm a bit hazy on the burger. You're not allowed to change it's composition. I believe it actually has two kinds of cheeses--blue and Gruyere--plus an onion compote that reminded me of brisket in texture.
LA Weekly food critic Jonathan Gold compares FO to New York's the Spotted Pig, and I could see where he gets that. The thing is, if you can squeeze into Spotted Pig, the burger there is really amazing. This one, I don't know...I feel like I'm being finicky lately, but it struck me as a bit cloying. The food hit a lot of rich/sweet notes, so maybe that's why I wasn't so jazzed about it. The ever divisive shoestring fries seemed to get better with time.

So, Father's place to go after a long day slinging screenplays at the Sony lot, if you're a New Yorker, maybe not so much. Perhaps if you're able to get over your East Coast microbrew enthusiams and expand your horizons, and maybe aren't too picky about the food.

No comments: