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Monday, January 26, 2009

The York Delivers Microbrews but not Burgers


Must report back on my recent burger club outing at The York in Highland Park and Houston's in Century City. The York seemed so promising, with its hip "gastropub" moniker, microbrews and cool industrial interior with high ceilings.

Alas, the $13+ burger (because of extra toppings like avocado) was a sore disappointment. First of all, the patty was a bit pasty and flavorless. The meat just wasn't the greatest quality. The condiments didn't do much to salvage a bland burger. The fries were utterly unremarkable.

We drowned our sorrows in a glass of respectable Hefeweizen and concurred, as we usually do, that none comes close to Houston's delicious burger.

I had to go a few days later. I found myself going against convention and ordering the hickory burger (not found in the Sta. Monica location I usually frequent that I think is the best in LA). I should have gotten the classic California burger like I always do, topped with avocado, arugula and onions.
The hickory burger came with three slices of Canadian bacon, unmelted shredded cheddar cheese and chopped onions topped with a sweet and tangy hickory sauce. I like my burger with BBQ sauce on the side as much as the next carnivore, but the hickory sauce was more sweet than tangy and tasted flat. Besides, I never got the bacon in a burger thing -- regardless of type of bacon. Remove. My patty was overcooked to medium well when I had asked for medium rare. The sturdy sesame seed brioche-like bun was perfectly toasted and went well with the meat but the experience was lost the moment I bit into the dry and slightly chewy patty. What happened? Stick to the classics and what you know, I told myself. It was an off day. I still love Houston's and will go back any day for a protein fix.

In the meantime, I'll continue searching for that magical first bite into a bloody burger dripping with meaty goodness.

The York
5018 York Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 255-9675

Houston's (many locations)
10250 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90067
(310) 557-1285

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