Finding the best burger in Santa Monica – Santa Monica Real estate
Finding the best burger in Santa Monica
December 18, 2010
Years ago “American” fast food meant hamburgers, maybe fried chicken. Now it means pizza and tacos, those real “American” foods. But hamburgers are still very popular, and served in a lot of restaurants. So it’s not an easy task to ferret out the very best in any area, and only a highly paid, dedicated reporter like myself would try this.After extensive interviewing and polling among different cultural groups, it was pretty clear that there were two main contenders: Father’s Office on Montana Avenue, and the Umami Burger at Fred Segal’s.
First, the criteria. Naturally the quality of the meat is most important. It has to have enough fat to be juicy and tender, not too compressed, and have lots of flavor. Second is the bun. Here experts differ. Some like their buns meaty, and some like them soft. Third is the thickness, especially for those who like them rare. And fourth is what comes on it — if anything.
The hamburgers at the two main contestants are very different, but here’s my take on them.
The Umami burger has just the right texture of meat, with the right fat content. It’s tender and flavorful, and comes apart without you noticing much texture. The bun is soft, slightly sweeter than I’m used to, but it soaks up juices well, and there is a lot of juice from this meat; lean over the plate as you bite into it. It’s served medium rare unless otherwise requested. It’s a small, thick burger, just the right size for me.
At Umami Burger there are seven toppings to choose from. My personal favorite is the Hatch Burger, with roasted green chilies and American cheese. I only wish they would capitalize “American” on the menu. The burgers are between $9 and $12.
There’s an extensive beer list, with six or seven on tap, and a few wine selections.The Father’s Office burger — in fact, the whole experience — is quite different. First of all, this is a bar, not a restaurant or café. You can tell that because they ask for a credit card before they say hello. The selection of beers is unsurpassed in the area. But you have to be 21 years of age to get past the security at the door. I made it. Next is the issue of where to sit: there is no table service, so first you have to elbow your way to the bar, place your order, then hope to find a place to sit.
Are these the best burgers in Santa Monica ?