Tag Archives: fries

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Pono Burger

dessert - restaurant - salads

Pono Burger has been on my radar since it opened last year; I was invited for a hosted lunch, to see what Chef Makani Gerardi (of Hawaii’s Ultimate Burger) did with the Santa Monica Space…

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…housed in a Quanset Hut from World War II.

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They’ve got a Wood-Fire Grill…

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…where all their burgers are cooked.

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The Paniolo – English Smoked Cheddar, Niman Ranch Bacon, Coffee/Bourbon/BBQ Sauce, topped with Buttermilk Beer-Battered Onion Rings…

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…The Piku “Fig” Burger – Fermier Brie, Niman Ranch Bacon, Crushed Hazelnuts, Arugula, Balsamic Vinaigrette, and Drunken Caramelized Fig Jam…

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…and The Kuawa Crunch – Hook’s 1 Year Cheddar, Housemade Potato Chips, Lettuce, Coleslaw, and Guava Rum Sauce.

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My favorite was the fig, though each one was quite juicy, flavorful, and unique.  All of the above were made with Organic Beef; they also have a free-range, antibiotic-free Turkey Patty and a Portobello Mushroom Option.
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Another vegetarian item – a Seasonal Salad with a Beet’s “Nest,” Chèvre, and pistachios, tossed in Balsamic Vinaigrette…

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…and of course, the fries.

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Last, but not least – dessert – there are several milkshakes on the menu, made from Straus Family Organic Ice Cream.  We sipped on the Seasonal Special – a Pumpkin S’more, complete with hot fudge, whipped cream, crushed Graham Crackers, and Toasted Marshmallows.

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Great food, great ethics, great space – kid friendly (with sliders on the menu) and if you want to bring your pooch, they’ve got a patio too!

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Stout Burgers

restaurant - salads

I’ve learned something in the last few years.  I love salads.  I love burgers.  I do not love burgers on salads.

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This is a beef patty with Roasted Tomato from Stout Burgers in Hollywood.  On its own, great.  Juicy.  Tender.  But the greens underneath were drenched in an overly-acidic dressing which negated that enjoyment.

The cheesy fries, however, I can get behind.

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I’m not really sure a bun would’ve salvaged the experience; when I took a bite from Abe’s veggie burger, the bread was a bit too stiff.  I will say, though, that our waitress was really cool.  And it was a good place to watch The Dodger’s game – the main reason we went.

A podcast I really enjoy listening to is Down and Dirty Kitchen.  In every episode, they ask their guest what their favorite burger (on that day) would be.  Quite often, Stout comes up.  I don’t know if I came on an off day, but I do know I’m not a fan of their salad burgers – both in the name (“Skinny Style?!?” Boo!) and the flavor.

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Commissary at the Line Hotel

restaurant - salads - sandwich - vegetarian

I make it no secret that I adore Roy Choi.  Pumped to finally check out his new restaurant, Commissary, on the 2nd floor of The Line Hotel, upstairs from Pot Cafe.

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Just like at A Frame, the plates are mismatched.  It reminded me of my own dinner parties, where we serve things out of random containers…

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…both thrilled and horrified that this $13 White Fir cocktail came in a plastic deli container.

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The Chef’s sense of humor is appreciated.

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You can’t really make requests; you have to just trust that they know what they’re doing.  Sam doesn’t like cilantro, so our server made a note of that.

It was really fun just calling out random items and seeing what arrived.

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“Carrots!”

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“Bok choy!”

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“Lettuce!”

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“Corn!”

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For those of you who saw the film Chef, you will appreciate this grilled cheese.

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Other mains included a schnitzel and scallops, a side of fries…

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…and a pretty traditional Cobb.

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Reviews for this place have been mixed – I admit that some of the dishes (like the salad, above and the dessert – Meringue with Rhubarb and Lemon Anglaise – below) were just okay.

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But the veggie dishes were truly phenomenal, as were the ambiance and service.  I loved that our waiter, Steve, brought out a packet of Coriander (Cilantro) Seeds for Sam to take home.

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