I have seen countless lists and articles that have the Father's Office Burger as one of the best, if not THE best burger in LA. With a claim like that I needed to check it out and evaluate it for myself. First, let me say that burgers are one of my favorite foods, hands down. My heart belongs to the best burger I've ever tasted -- The Sobelman's Burger in my hometown of Milwaukee, WI. This burger has bacon, grilled onions, 3 types of cheese, and jalapenos all on an amazing bun. So needless to say, the Father's Office burger had a lot to live up to. I usually scope out the website before I visit the establishment and I must say, the FO website left much to the imagination. It is vague, there isn't a menu, and it's hard to tell that its a restaurant, much less a restaurant with the best burger in LA. The absence of a menu adds to the mystique. So, there was a lot of anticipation leading up to this visit. There are two locations in SoCal; one in Santa Monica and one in LA. We went to the Santa Monica location because we were already in the area and it is the original restaurant. We found rockstar parking right across the street at free meters (it was after 6 or 7) which was awesome. We walked in and there was a guy at the door that informed us that seating was first come first serve and all ordering is done at the bar. There aren't waiters and the restaurant itself is pretty small. So we made our way to the bar and found a couple seats. We ordered a Belgium beer from there externsive and ever changing beer list but that's not what we were there for. We each ordered a Fathers Burger done medium with a side of fries and sipped our beer while anxiuosly awaiting what was to be a delicious treat.
Once the burgers came I immediately was excited but a bit perplexed. The burger looked curiously healthy loaded with fresh arugula and the bun was what looked like a kaiser roll instead of the usual round bun. The sandwich is actually dry aged beef that sits upon a French bun, topped with caramelized onions, applewood bacon compote, gruyere, maytag blue cheese and arugula. The first bite was....delicious. But in a different way. I usually like burgers because of their greasy toppings that add flavor but this burger had all of its flavor in the meat. The onions and bacon compote didn't hurt but the meat was flavorful, juicy, and cooked to perfection. It is definitely a mouth full in a good way. It was so big, along with the side of fries that I shared, that I could not finish my whole burger leaving a few bites on the plate.
Besides the burger, the atmosphere was enjoyable and the beers were unique and fresh. The bartenders engaged in snobbish beer banter with me and I loved it. One was particularly knowledgeable about micro breweries all over the country including one of my faves New Glarus in Wisconsin so he of course won me over.
I'm not sure I would classify this as the best burger in Los Angeles (Umami anyone?) but it was a good sandwich at a great price ($12). The burger had character, charisma, and loads of flavor. I'm going to put it in my top 5 in the city and check some more places out. If you're in the Santa Monica area 1018 Montana Avenue Santa Monica, or Los Angeles area 3229 Helms Avenue Los Angeles, CA I wouldn't miss this place. Check the website for hours.