Tonight we went to Father’s Office for a second time. This time we visited the Los Angeles branch, which is, more or less, just outside downtown Culver City. Had I known that, I may have paid a visit to the Office a little sooner. Checking maps, shmecking maps.
This branch has outdoor seating in the form of large, lacquered picnic tables on a front porch, fully equipped with heaters embedded in the wooden overhanging. Turns out they work rather well, too; I was actually hot at various points during the meal, which I never thought possible, especially on a slightly breezy and typically cool night in early April. The view looks out onto a small street and into the nicely paved Helm’s Bakery Complex parking lot and the Let’s Be Frank hot dog stand. It is definitely larger than the Santa Monica location; substaintially so actually. The interior is still dark and modern with sleek lines, retro barstools with backs, and, of course, shiny lacquered wood.
I believe the menu is the same with the addition of select hard liquors and a more extensive wine list; you can only quote me on the hard liquor intel. We all ended up deciding on the same main. Do I even really need to say it? Two Office Burgers (one to share), supplemented with one basket of sweet potato fries with roasted garlic and gorgonzola aioli, one basket of regular fries with garlic aioli, and one order of the Spanish Mushrooms.
First, the burger. I definitely feel I enjoyed the burger more than the one at the Santa Monica location, but I don’t know if I’d peg it the best burger in L.A. That being said, the meat was seasoned well – very flavorful in all of its savory glory and was cooked to a perfect medium. I’m finding that I seem to enjoy arugula most when it’s on a burger, and caramelized onions have never hurt a burger either. I also felt the blue cheese came through more noticeably than last time – and that was a good thing, as last time I was desperately searching for it. It was noted that these burgers seemed to be more well-balanced than those at the Santa Monica location.
The sweet potato fries were good, garnished with chopped parsley; I like this as I often find sweet potatoes or yams are usually paired with other sweet ingredients (although I’ll never turn down candied yams or yam casserole – just sayin’ is all). The roasted garlic, gorgonzola aioli was wonderful; I reveled in it for awhile. Sadly, though, by the end of the meal I was so over both aiolis and just craving more burger. The regular fries are not quite shoestring fries – they’re a little bigger – but still rather small, and definitely thinner than the sweet potato fries. Not a huge fan of them, but the parmesan and garlic aioli was good and tasted a little sharper and lighter to me. I think the aiolis lost their appeal, along with fries, as while sweet potato fries are tasty, to me, they’re not “fries fries” and I wasn’t a huge fan at all of the regular fries. But I can hardly imagine eating a burger sans regular fries, so they had to be had. The Spanish mushrooms found me unimpressed at first, although the flavor combination of vinegar and herbs was tasty and definitely grew on me.
Now for the drinks. As one who’s not always, or even necessarily usually, in the mood for drinks with dinner, I knew that I might feel the shame later for having come to an establishment with one of the finer beer selections in town and not having partook. I sought advice on a less hoppy beer and ventured with the Craftsman hefeweizen. It advertised itself as having banana and clove notes. I was genuinely and surprisingly totally impressed with the hef; loved it and appreciated it. It was smooth, light but still full-flavored, and I found the banana (which was more prominent) and clove undertones very palette-pleasing.
I was much more impressed with Father’s Office this visit, and I look forward to returning. For one, I’m really hoping to catching them on another rabbit special night. Both times I’ve been rabbit has been a special menu item. Tonight one of the bartenders, unsolicited mind you, offered just how fantastic the rabbit was – braised rabbit on parmesan and bacon polenta. I’m going to have to get over this burger thing. Maybe now that I feel I’ve had a more accurate representation of the beautiful burger I’ll be able to move on.