Ms. Shatkin came upon Rounds Premium Burgers early on during her 30 day burger madness. After experiencing nothing but disappointment at Burger Kitchen, the trip to Rounds was rainchecked time and again. That was rather unfortunate as Rounds is now the WeHo nabe burger champ.
First: service. Super nice order guy at the counter. He’s well groomed, gently spoken and he works out. This has nothing to do with anything, but it deems a mentioning.
Second: Decor. Rounds Premium’s a WeHo counter-order kinda place, ie, not a shack, but there wasn’t a fancy interior designer involved, just a graphics designer. The space conveys cleanliness, but not quite comfort.
Then the burger comes, and you forget about the above 2 blah blah blahs. Kenji-Alt wrote of properly salting the burger back in ’09. Reading one of Kenji-Alt’s burger pieces prior to actual burger consumption always adds insight and this visit to Rounds was no different. Immediately one notices the salting of the beef. This was just done proper. No need to rely on the aioli, the chutney, the compote, or the cheese, for savoriness. And there’s no umami, just good beef, done medium rare. Rounds claims no fame in a salamander, nor a coal oven; there is but 1 griddleman and his spatula.
The construction of this burger is pub-classic: patty was thick, but not a deplorable ball of beef found at Hungry Cat, Jar, etc. The bun is briochey and “Rounds” ala 25 Degrees, but still rather supportive. It’s spongey enough to absorb some of the juices, but had enough integrity to not self destruct into a wad of dough. Apparently it’s a name-brand bun which means it’s ok to sport Chanel sunglasses and Blahnik pumps while taking bites. Here, the freshly ground (the Premium in the Rounds Premium) beef borders coarse, and due to the nice seared crust, did not crumble despite a loose formation.
The Western Devil, “buffalo sauce”, breaded fried jalapeno with bacon & chese, along with “The Office” burger, were ordered. “The Office” was an obvious Father’s Office homage, yet surpassed the original in everything but the designer dry-aged beef. Yes, even without the fancy beef, Rounds Premium’s Office offers more balanced flavor than the FO burger. Don’t over caramelize the shallots, stupid. Because the patty speaks for itself, simplicity is really the order here at Rounds, ie, “The Classic” with a fried egg (and lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle — gratis toppings) on top is probably the perfect burger here. So far, nothing is shocking for a self-proclaimed “premium” burger joint by 2 brothers with several burger ventures, but now the bomb shell drops: “The Office” is $8, ditto The Classic with cheese and bacon. For those math challenged, this is a 50% savings compared to the “other” Weho burger (Comme Ca). Is the Comme Ca burger twice as tasty? No. So there you have it: a brilliant “pub” style burger, without the beer, without the tipping, for $8. Go eat this, even if it doesn’t make Eater’s Burger week.
Major detraction: parking. This is prime WeHo real estate. Come on the weekend & you may want to throw your murse at the meter maid. Of course this is not the restaurant fault, so don’t kill the chef, kill the meter maid.
Rounds Premium Burgers
8871 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
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