There’s no mistake G’eA is bro food. It’s driven by heavy metal music, powered by two cool dude of dudes who take no shit. That’s all awesome and “goulish”, but the environment bears no positive impact on the final product. None. Lemmy’s portrait doesn’t make an overcooked, underseasoned patty made of ground beef from one of LA’s better commercial purveyors of beef palatable. Below the patty with no char and no sear sat cooked ice berg lettuce. Instead of shielding the lettuce away from the heat of the patty, the tomatoes, pickles and cheese sat on top. There’s no need to harp on the fact that during the first week of opening, the burger robots turned a medium rare patty into medium-well, forgot to insert the pickles and tomatoes, and when the pickles did finally come, there were but two meager slices.
No matter the Slayer sound track, the the eggs and bacon, the Eagle Rock brew on tap, a burger joint needs to salt the damn patty. Just salt, and maybe a bit of fresh cracked black pepper; do not read this as a request for an Umami marinade. Perhaps it was a mistake to order a rather plain jane burger for $8. All other diners bro’d up their burgers with canadian bacon, pastrami, fried chicken, sausage and sriracha seem rather happy. Despite the dire want to support a new non-Asian restaurant in WSGV, until G’eA fix the basic premise behind these burgers, the neighborhood shouldn’t force itself towards these unpatriotic failures.
On the flip side of the G’eA burger is Abricott’s burger. Abricott marinades any semblance of beef out of its burger by soy and sugar. According the Serious Eats’s glowing review, Abricott is apparently drowning their beef in a supposed sesame dressing. There was not a hint a sesame, just like a SE commenter mentioned, this thin meat loaf carried all the traits of an over-massaged Chinese dumpling filling. From the Korean perspective, it’s apaprently Abricott’s goal was to evoke the flavors of kalbi in this burger. When I want Korean BBQ, I will go find Korean BBQ. When I want a burger from now, I will go to the Pikey. Just recalling the burger at Abricott gets the blood boiling and brings an aneurysm or two.
But the errors do not end at the patty. Below the meat loaf were thousand layers of greeneries. The thick tomato may have looked generous, but was unripe, and added nothing except handling difficulties. Beneath the more palatable greenleaf/butterleaf sat a wad of iceburg. Why both? I didn’t wait for the answer before throwing away the thousand layers of tastelessness disgusting into the trash bin behind. Every bite of Abricott’s burger was an exercise in masochism and anger management. This is worse than the Umami burger. Unnecessary ethnicity was being injected into what may have been a decent all-American product. Don’t believe it? Just look to the left and spy the chopped kimchi. What in the name of Pyongyang was a pile of improperly rotten cabbage doing on a burger plate? It wasn’t on the menu description, it wasn’t necessary, it went with nothing. I like kimchi. I probably hate your mom’s kimchi, but I like kimchi. It doesn’t go with everything, just like cock sauce doesn’t go with everything. Was it suppose to go into the burger? Right beneath the gouda which cost an extra dollar? Did the cute Southern Living library decor give the kitchen permission to completely destroy a culinary tradition of beef and bun lined with some lettuce?
This is putrid, and it’s disguised as Americana, which means the enterprise might be somehow more evil than CHAM, easily the second worse Korean restaurant in Los Angeles. One positive note: watching the ABKs pay $8 for pho and the migooks pay $8 for Korean pork tacos brings an indescribable amount of levity which is barely enough to fend off the need to bite one’s tongue off after consuming an entire burger at this Lake Ave establishment.
Final box score: truffle oil found in random sandwich: check. Haphazard kimchi: check. Douche New Zealand water: check. Kalbi meat loaf posing as beef patty: check.
2013 foodstuff resolution addendum: don’t drive to Pasadena for another meal unless it involves a cheesecart curated by a chef who goes by the name of Quenioux.
All this brings up one of the great sandwich offerings so far in ’13: porchetta sandwich at Bucato. Much praise has been sung of this sandwich, but all to the wrong tune. Everyone seems to be getting the $8 version of the sandwich with the sunny fried egg. The egg adds nothing to this lard pile. A fried egg is a perfect compliment to a simple Mom’s burger. (Coincidentally, or not, that’s a perfectly salted and peppered burger. G’eA should take their idling food trucks down to Compton so the line cooks can be properly schooled). The pork in this sandwich stands on its own, just like the salami in Roma’s sandwich. Leave it be and don’t muck it up with an egg (or god forbid, kimchi). After looking at a dozen Butaco sandwiches, it seems the old $5 version above was served with less arugula than usual. The world should be OK with this.
In a massively hypocritical move, 2 tablespoon fulls of Dalanti giardiniera was added to the Bucato sandwich seen above. Giadiniera is an regional ethnic condiment, an egg is not, or so some Midwesterners tell me. Also, it was loudly spicy and pungent, all the things an egg can’t be.
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