Friday, August 24, 2007

Father's Office...that burger is definitely one for the books

1018 Montana Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Mon-Wed 5PM-1PM (Kitchen 5PM-10PM)
Thurs 5PM-1PM (Kitchen 5PM-11PM)
Fri 4PM-2AM (Kitchen 4PM-11PM)
Sat 12PM-2AM (Kitchen 12PM-11PM)
Sun 12PM-12AM (Kitchen 12PM-10PM)

I had a good talk with a friend of mine who I meet with once a week at 5:45 in the morning to talk about everything. It's seriously one of the more productive times in the week that I have, as my life is filled to the brim each and every day. I rarely have a free moment and getting me to go to something often requires booking me in advance like you were booking Osteria Mozza..."Yeah I can fit you's two weeks from tomorrow sound?". The topic turned to Father's Office and how European pubs don't have the stigma that American ones do. In America we have this automatic view of people going to go get wasted and pick up on people. This is only the case some of the time. In Europe you have pubs where people go to meet friends and hang out, and sure you have some beer and often food, but it's typically more than that. It's more a place to hang with like-minded people and grab a bite to eat. Father's Office has been trying to change the way we think about American pubs and take away that stigma that we have about them.

Seeing as this is still a pub you'll have to be over 21 to get in, but once you're in you're treated to one of the warmest gastropubs with some of the best burgers in America. The place has become quite the "after work" spot for unwinding. The crowd is typically a mixed bunch with some there to check out sports on the tele, some there with friends, and some just popping in for a quick bite and to shoot the breeze with the young as well as the old.

The food is some of the best you'll ever have in a pub in California and maybe even in America. There's a limited number of tables and the bar is not the biggest but it's worth the wait if you ever have to. To order just go up to the bar and yell it out. The bar keeps there are super sweet and quite the characters sometimes.

Last time through here we started off with one of their specials which was an heirloom tomato salad which have become pretty trendy lately (we had a stellar one at Sona the other night). Chunks of big red, green, and orange tomatoes were topped with basil cucumber vinaigrette and sheep's milk ricotta, and garnished with fresh herbs, cucumber slices and halved grape tomatoes. It's a great appetizer (especially if you've ordered a wine), but I'd advise sharing since that was a generous serving of creamy and almost sweet variety ricotta.

Next we of course grabbed their Father's Office burger with a basket of sweet potato frites "a la cart" (notice the cute shopping cart). The fries were just just barely soft which was wonderful. So many fries in and of themselves can be tiring on the palate and it was nice to have a side of tartar sauce to relieve you in between bites.

And here it is folks. A burger which few can truly compare to. A huge medium rare piece of dry aged beef that sits upon a fluffy French bun, topped with caramelized onions, applewood bacon compote, gruyere, maytag blue cheese and arugula.

Upon further inspection you'll notice that this may induce sleepiness or possibly hunger pangs. The meat is just together enough that it starts to fall apart in your mouth, the gruyere and maytag add complex salty flavors and the caramelized onions balance it all out with the arugula giving small hints of spice to it here and there. This burger kicks some major butt and though it may not be for everyone (I mean heck we all love an In-N-Out burger sometimes) you would be doing yourself a disservice by not having one at least once to know how burgers are being transformed from your family reunion bbq to a gourmet art form. Wash this bad boy down with a Red Seal Beer (as recommended by the barkeep) or their Cider on tap, which Celeste very much enjoyed, and you have yourself a formidable meal that can satiate many an appetite.

There is little not to like about Father's Office. Located in a great part of town that has plenty of street parking and a great mix of people this place has an incredible thing going for it. How could they be even better you ask? By opening a second location in Culver City on Helms. This my friends is how one truly spreads the love around.

Free Drink Refills: No
Entree Price Range: $5 to $12

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