I first heard about 8 oz. Burger from Top Chef Masters. Their chef owner, Govind Armstrong, made some yummy looking food. Unfortunately, he didn't make it to the final round, but he definitely left an impression on me. A few weeks later, I was looking through Jonathan Gold's LA Restaurant Bucket List and saw that 8 oz. Burger was listed. I figure I should make my way over to trendy Melrose to check it out.
It's a nice, casual place with bar seating, tall bar tables with stools and regular tables. It's actually a pretty big place, so I was able to be seated immediately. That's always a plus!
We got there just in time for happy hour, so we got some drinks and small plates for only $4 each. I got a gin Blackberry Collins. It was a delicious gin drink - fruity, but not too sweet.
The mini kobe corndogs were really yummy. The kobe beef dogs were plump and juicy while the outside cornbread was crispy on the outside, yet soft and tender on the inside. That purple mustard went really well with it.
The fried olives were way too heavy. It's basically a green olive half "stuffed" with chorizo and deep fried. I felt like the flavors didn't mix well and deep frying chorizo was just a mistake. I ate one and didn't like it at all. I was coaxed into trying another nibble with some beer, but nope, still no good.
We got the 8 oz burger, the Melrose, sweet potato chips and fried pickles.
I felt like the 8 oz burger was a glorified BK Whopper. It was good, but that charbroiled flavor was just a bit strong. I'm not sure if it was intentional or if it was overcooked. It was definitely the first and last thing you tasted. Everything else in the burger seemed inconsequential and very forgettable. The egg bun was nice though. I'm not sure if I'm a fried pickles kinda gal though. It was very strange. I'm not a fan of deep fried items that get served soggy. I suppose it's the nature of a pickle to be juicy, but it makes the fried batter shell taste like day old KFC. The tart juiciness of a pickle just doesn't taste good deep fried!
The Melrose was sooo much better. I'm a big fan of carmelized onions, so their red onion marmalade was just up my alley. However, it was the arugula that really set this burger apart. It added just the right amount of bitterness to balance out the meat and sweet onions. It was a beautiful burger. I could definitely have more of this. The sweet potato fries weren't the best though. They were super thin and would have benefitted from a second trip to the deep fryer. If I'm eating a chip, it better be crispy!
Overall, I think it was a 6.5 out of 10. I liked the Blackberry Collins, the mini kobe corndogs and the Melrose. I'd come back for the Melrose, but everything else was nothing to write home about. Oh well. The search continues for the best burger in town. Stay tuned!