8oz. Burger Bar – West Hollywood (near Melrose and Fairfax)
So… I’ve been trying to eat healthy lately, but that all went out the window Friday night. I went out to this little restaurant that was formerly known as Table 8. The head chef decided to turn the concept of a fine dining restaurant into a boutique burger bar (whatever that means). Anyway, for those of you who know me, I love me some burgers. And since I’ve tried going vegan, I’ve consistantly shown my willingness to break down and eat the bad stuff at least once a week. (See my first post here)
The way I was manipulated this time was through the power of Where Magazine which was magically sitting on my desk, folded to the page which contained a write-up on 8oz. Because I really have no hope of being 100% vegan, I have decided that for the good of the blog that I will allow myself to cheat only if I write a post about it. That means, no midnight Jack-in-the-Box runs, or casual flings with the Vons cake section. I won’t bore you with all the details of all the healthy stuff I eat, because who wants to read that?
So I strolled into 8oz at about 11:30pm, knowing that the kitchen was closing at midnight. The place was not packed, but there were a fair amount of people eating and having fun at the bar. I honestly expected it to be more of a scene and was stoked to see that it was pretty chill. Not exactly what you’d expect on Melrose on a Friday night.
The decor of the place was pretty simple, we sat ourselves along the wall in the front of the restaurant. Most of the people had collected in the bigger booths at the back. There was also this sad wooden table that seated about 6, but was empty at the time. It looked like something on of the waitstaff saw at a yardsale and decided that he would be the one to give it a good home. Regardless, it kinda worked because the rest of the place looked like a collection of elements from the five or six restaurants that this location has been over the past few years. Seeing it all together was like looking at the rings inside a tree stump.
So analyzing the decor really isn’t my thing, let’s talk about the food. After checking out the menu, I decided to go for the Suds and Slider Sampler (mainly because I can’t say no to alliteration) and an order of the fries.
Before we jump into the review, I would like to share some scientific data I found on burgers:
My sliders were made of 3 different meats: boar, beef and lamb. I had never had a burger of anything other than beef, but I was definitely a fan of the wild boar. It was seasoned well and had a texture similar to a pulled pork sandwich. It was chunky, but in a good way. I thought the beef burger was pretty average, and given another chance I would pass on the lamb. I guess I’m just not that into lamb. It had an aftertaste that I wasn’t a fan of and the seasoning, to me, was off. Still, if the only way I can get the boar is to get the slider sampler (which currently is the case), then I guess I’ll deal with the lamb.
Each of the sliders was paired with a local beer that I had never heard of. The boar was paired with an IPA that was really on the hoppy side, which I prefer. The lamb came with a porter which drank more like a stout (think guinness with more of a bite) and had a chocolatey finish. And the beef slider came with a “lager” which was very complex and darker than your average lager. All in all, I really enjoyed the beer, and the 5oz sampler sizes were more than enough to compliment the sliders. I actually caught a little buzz off the beers too, which isn’t all that surprising considering I rarely drink these days.
I also tried the regular burger and was a little disappointed. I think that what sets this place apart is the little things like heirloom tomato ketchup and some of the more exotic sides, which are optional add ons that I didn’t get. Still, they did seem a little cheap with the house-cured bacon I ordered, which I could barely see, let alone taste. The fries were knockoffs of Islands in look and taste, except they were way salty. Maybe it’s to get you to drink more?
I grabbed a couple of their cupcakes to go (chocolate and carrot) and said goodbye to 8oz. I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever get a chance to try the heirloom tomato ketchup, fried mozzarella or the charred escarole (all toppings they offer). If I do go back, I’m definitely going exotic with my burger. For something standard, stick to In-N-Out.
P.S. – The cupcakes were pretty freakin’ good. Save room.
- Toppings you can’t get anywhere else
- Great microbrews
- Kitchen open ’til midnight
- Cheap with the bacon (Better restaurants have been firebombed for less.)