Tag Archives: Gourmet Burgers

Umami Mia!

by Brian

So it’s been a year since Mikey has posted and more than two since I’ve been able to come up with anything good to write.  First, I’d just like to say that, no, I wasn’t on hunger strike.  I was working my way toward a law degree and all the fame and fortune that comes with it.  Ironically, I am now in the exact same state as I was when Mikey and I started this site a little over three years ago.  I am currently unemployed.

Alas, a kid’s gotta eat.  So here’s a little post about one of my latest dining adventures at the newest Thousand Oaks hotspot, Umami Burger.

Umami Burger – Thousand Oaks

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit.  I love me some burger goodness.  After all, we’ve had some great ones here at EatMeCalifornia.  The best among them, in my humble opinion, is the Father’s Office burger.  We’ve also had great burgers at The Apple Pan and, of all places, PJ’s dive bar.  With that said, I have to admit that I’ve been hearing the siren’s song that is Umami for quite a few years now, and this, this!, was my chance to dive right in. Continue reading


Filed under Thousand Oaks, Ventura County

It’s good to know your Neighborhood

by Brian

In the month that I’ve been living in San Diego, I’ve had the privilege of eating at some awesome places.  One place, however, has risen above the rest and now qualifies as my home base.  That place, my friends, is the Neighborhood.

Neighborhood is a bar, first and foremost.  They are actually the closest thing to Father’s Office that San Diego can offer.  They have a great selection of craft brews and Belgian ales, and a nice wine list as well.  Recently they have also introduced hard liquor to the bar, in the form of two specialty cocktails which I have yet to try.  All I know is that one of the drinks is made with Hendrick’s Gin, which is really all anyone needs to know in assessing quality.  Here is a picture of my favorite part of the Neighborhood:


As I said before, they have a pretty impressive beer selection.  They also have a happy hour from 4-7 during the week, and during that happy hour all San Diego beers are 2 for 1.  I’ve never seen a 2 for 1 happy hour with drinks before, and I’m not even sure if it’s legal, but I like where they’re going with the idea.  The last thing I will say about the beer menu is that it changes frequently.  If you’re looking to get your normal Stella or Newcastle, then this is not the place for you.  However, if you are looking to experiment with a few amazing IPAs, then I highly recommend them.  Like Father’s Office, the service staff is very knowledgeable about their beers and are always willing to let you have a little taste before you commit. Continue reading

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Filed under East Village, San Diego

Father’s Office – Epic Burgers and Brews

by Brian

This is a place I’ve been wanting to try for quite a while.  Lucky for me, we had a few readers who wanted to try it too.  So last week, after a long day of work, I hopped in my car and cruised down PCH to Santa Monica toward an evening that can only be described as epic.  Out of the three people I was meeting for dinner, I had only met one.  My buddy Chris, who actually shot the pictures for this post, was in town from NYC and wanted to find out if the burgers were as good as everyone said.  The other members of our group were Liisa, who is an awesome and frequent commenter on the site and Courtney, a NYC transplant who is just starting to figure out how awesome L.A. is.  I was glad that EatMeCalifornia could help with that.

Father’s Office – On Montana Ave., between 10th and 11th Streets, Santa Monica

FO Sign

Father’s Office was very similar to another one of my favorite burger joints: The Apple Pan.  They’re both tiny, hole-in-the-wall places, they’re both famous for their burgers and they both strive to keep things simple.  Father’s Office is a little more “upscale” than The Apple Pan, but has a similar attitude when it comes to dining in their fine establishment.  The Apple Pan makes you wait your turn, standing around the lone counter, but FO, once filled to capacity, forms a line outside so you can patiently wait your turn to go inside.  Both places also frown on substitutions, with the Apple Pan being the more lenient.  If you want something changed at Father’s Office, they’ll just turn you down.

So this place is not for the picky.  What else?  It’s not for big groups either.  In fact, the four of us lucked out with getting our table.  Courtney and I got their early and shared half of a table with two random dudes.  When Liisa and Chris met us inside, the guys were just leaving so we got to snag their seats.  I don’t think that’s the norm, as I spied a ton of people just hovering around waiting to slip into an open seat.  If the worst thing I can say about a place is that it’s hard to get a seat, you know it must be good.

Once we were settled into our table we went to the bar and placed our orders.  At FO, there are no waiters, just busboys who bring out your food and take away your empty beer glasses.  Speaking of beer, FO has one of the most impressive selections of beer that you’ll find anywhere.  They have about 30 beers on draft and plenty more in bottles, with their specialties being California microbrews and Belgian ales.  They also have a good wine selection, which hopefully Liisa will comment on because I stuck to the beer.  With so many amazing choices on tap, how could I not?

I could write a whole post on the beers I tried, but this is a food website, so I’ll give you what you want: just the facts food.

FO Burger

I quickly realized that nearly every single person in this place was gettin’ down on the burger.  Not that I was shocked, mind you, just aware.  I had heard about the unique Father’s Office burger, but until I actually took my first bite, I just figured it was all hype.  It was not. Continue reading


Filed under Los Angeles Area, Santa Monica

Yeah so I went to a chain restaurant. Wanna fight about it?

by Mikey

My son, being the brainiac he is, won an award at his school for all-around academics, finally justifying the, “My son will buy and sell your honor student”, bumper sticker I have on my car.  They gave him a nifty certificate and a free dinner at Red Robin in the Pacific View Mall.  Naturally I took this chance to review Red Robin; a place I wouldn’t normally go into, not because I’m fighting the man and his industry but because to me it’s always been an overrated burger joint.  I gotta say I was very pleasantly surprised.

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Filed under Everywhere

Food for thought… just in time for earth day.

by Brian

I don’t know where all of you guys are, but it has been absolutely perfect here in sunny socal lately.  I’m so stoked that the warm weather is here and am looking forward to lots of patio dining in the near future.  Yesterday I took a little trip to the south bay and ended up at an awesome new restaurant in El Segundo called Paul Martin’s American Bistro.  The credit for this find has to go to my buddy Jack who is currently living off noodles and such in China.  Thanks for looking out bro!  I hope you can readjust to American food when ya get back.

You guys are probably wondering what this place has to do with earth day.  It’s a fair question.  The answer is that Paul Martin’s prides itself on serving organic, sustainable and local foods.  If you think that means the food won’t taste good, you’re out of your mind.  This is the latest venture by the creator of the P.F. Changs and Flemings steakhouse brands.  Most of the food served in the restaurant comes from our fine state and anything that isn’t is brought in whole before being prepared.  That means that every sauce, every soup and every component of each dish is prepped on site.  I was there on a fairly slow Sunday and there was an army of about 10 prep cooks doing the work of 5 restaurants in back.  Now that you’ve got a little background, let’s get on with the review…

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Filed under El Segundo, Los Angeles Area

Pull up a seat at The Counter

by Brian

Back at the end of February, I hit the apple pan which is an L.A. burger landmark.  Since then, I’ve been mired in Veggieburgerland, waiting for the right moment to break free.  I found that excuse in The Counter’s new Westlake Village location.  Until now, the closest location to have one of The Counter’s legendary burgers was Santa Monica.  Now that they’ve infiltrated Ventura county, I think I might have to find a way to make their burgers a weekly habit.


The Counter – Lindero Cyn Rd. and Russell Ranch Rd in Westlake Village

I made two visits to The Counter this week.  One on opening day, April 6th, and one today.  The first time around I had a veggie burger, but today I had beef, glorious, hormone free, humanely raised beef.  For those of you who care about such things, The Counter gets their beef from Meyer Farms.  Here is their promise to the consumer: Continue reading


Filed under Ventura County, Westlake Village

8 oz. of Guilt

by Brian

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.  Continue reading


Filed under Los Angeles Area, West Hollywood