Osteria Mozza is that gem of an LA place, the restaurant deserving of the hoopla. I hardly read cookbooks, but I’ve combed through all the words in The Mozza Cookbook (save for the sections on actual cooking — why cook it when Ms. Silverton’s restaurant is 20 minutes away?) With that out of the way, I was apprehensive about Short Order the beginning, but the hype was intriguing.
First, there was the cost. All of Short Order’s burgers are cooked down third pounders with satiating powers of quarter pounders. Chances are, without fried carbs, you will leave feeling hungry and a bit poor (Ms. Silverton’s eponymous burger is $13 + tip/tax, $16.25). Then, there’s the issue of the iceberg. I despise iceberg, and there’s no substition nor deletion. The short order cooks will, though, leave the cold side off the hot meat. I also find issues with that: since it’s a burger restaurant, it seems only fitting for the burgers to be actually assembled. But seriously, this is all nitpicking. Basically, I was having some massive existential crisis over paying $20 for burger, fried potatoes and water.
But DineLA resolved the money issue (you’re saving $5 whopping dollars. Hello! Do the math!) and I knew the chef’s greasy meat would be in my grubby hands in no time.
And what a great salad that was! Mixed greens (arugula, frisee, butter lettuce), Persian cucumber, celery, dill, champagne vinaigrett. Why aren’t there more dill and cucumbers in LA’s “market salads”? Can someone make a push for this? Instead of more burgers? Can we get some maast-o khiar into that? And/or some burrata?
The salad is presented here first because it was simple, fresh, and very Mozza-esque. It’s good enough on its own and makes you forget about the burger.
SIV was being very kind. That “Backyard” burger of avocado “sauce”, spicy aioli, red onion, tomatoe, comte, bacon, and the entire garde manger throw in between the buns? Should’ve been served with a combination therapy of Thorazine & Haldol; it was straight schizo. Someone on Chow.com mentioned the burger being “unfocused”, and she was spot on. It’s not obvious until the second bite. The aioli is over applied; it drips, and then the avocado puree, also excessive, starts oozing. By the second bite (I consume my burgers rather quickly in fear of the soggy bottom syndrome, so this is only about 20 seconds in), both sauces sluiced all over the serving platter. After the third bite, the sharp red onions pulverized papillae and eliminated any remnants of beefiness from the palate. Just like a “umami’d burger is offensive, so is a spicy, Sriracha looking, dressing. This will probably the most disharmonious burger of 2012; can’t imagine someone going out of the way to assemble even more cacophonous product than the “Backyard” burger. It’s the anti-Mozza burger, and it’s depressing. It’s also dogmatic because there are no substitutions/deletions.
What was also proclaimed at the table is noteworthy: “This is the best turkey burger I ever had”. What’s up next at Short Order? The ridiculously entertaining brunch menu. (Coverage to come shortly). And so goes the multiple personality disorder being dished out at Short Order.
Short Order LA
Twitter — O c’mon! You guys unfollowed me after I joked about Short Order being a tourist trap? That’s not funny? I thought it was pretty funny…
Hotel Wilshire, unrelated to the defunct Wilshire Hotel in downtown, called in Chef Greenspan of the Foundry to concoct a “vibrant American” menu. (Their words, not mine). The Foundry will forever be remembered here as the joint throwing together burgers using Hawaiian bread. Despite this proclivity for odd burger buns, The Roof conquered my initial doubts mostly due to the possibility of a kickass view of Hollywood. Except it rained that day. And so the food was just judged for being itself.
Open letter to the chef: sir, can you PLEASE STOP SCREWING AROUND WITH “INVENTIVE” BUNS? Sliced Parmesan crusted challah? That falls apart even more quickly than the Hawaiian dinner rolls? Therefore forcing everyone to carve up the burger with knifes? Why God, why? Also, that’s not a burger, that’s a patty melt. I ain’t never been on Next Iron Cher, but see that below? That’s a patty melt. The burger lost me at grilled challah and shredded iceberg lettuce, then pissed me off with its medium well plus (medium rare was requested) patty.
Fear not, the appetizers salads and the desserts were all very agreeable. The spinach salad was balanced and, despite the poached egg and bacon, didn’t induce the fat-posing-as-salad-dressing feeling after consumption. The Wilshire salad had persimmons and pomegranate; both ingredients are/were seasonal. There’s no reason for some random boutique hotel in the Mid-City, with no resident chef, to bother with such a glorious salad. In reality, either salad, paired with the rather overwhelming desserts (mixed fruit cobbler with crunchy “muffin” streusel, strawberry ice cream; heavenly chocolate pound cake, peanut butter anglaise, vanilla ice cream) would more than suffice as lunch. Recommended Dine LA course of action? Wilshire Salad, Egg Sandwich, Market Fruit Cobbler, a nap on the pool deck. A total bargain at $16, but only if the roof open. Consult weather.com before visiting. It’s difficult to imagine who (besides Wilshire bankers) will actually dine inside a hotel restaurant on a weekday, but the thought of destroying that warm brownie (posing as a chocolate pound cake), topped with crunchy choco bits, on a hotel roof top should be enticing enough.
Roof on Wilshire
6317 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048