Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hole in the Wall Burger Joint

Hole in the Wall Burger Joint
11058 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Rosa's Take:

My burger: Angus beef patty cooked medium-rare to juicy perfection, with house-made zucchini pickles, mustard, cheddar cheese, and onion mayo. This one had greasy, meaty juices running down my hand. A good thing.

The side: None. My way of avoiding the usual post-BurgerPatrol food coma.

Verdict: This was a BurgerPatrol’s second time at Hole in the Wall. Just like the first time, once I had the first bite of my burger I started plotting a return visit and wondering what combination of toppings to get next time.

The meat patty was seasoned and cooked perfectly. I found the onion mayo gave a good depth to the burger without the annoying tendency that sliced onion has of falling out of the bun. The cheese slices, at least the cheddar, are so thin they barely register. I’ll next try a cheeseless burger to see how much the cheese contributes to the salty goodness of the burger.

Overall, I find this is the best combination of flavor, quality ingredients, and value we’ve tried. Add in the pleasant outdoor seating (aluminum chairs under a hanging white sail; a glimpse of blue sky beyond the nearby office building) to make this my current top choice for Lunchtime Burger.

Steve's Take:

My Burger: Bacon Cheeseburger with chipotle mayo.

The Side: Fries

Verdict: Taking advantage of the Friday free add-on special I selected bacon as my extra. This was a good addition. After a second visit to the Hole in the Wall, I felt basically the same: high quality meat with a tasty bun and a satisfying overall experience. The burger was cooked medium and was still juicy enough to be very flavorful; I'll order it medium rare next time and it can't come too soon.

Since I can't really complain about the burger, I'll whine about the drink situation. I've noticed that more and more restaurants are offering soft drinks in a can, and Hole in the Wall is one of them. I cannot wash down a whole burger with just a can! I can't tell if this is a way for them to save money by not purchasing a fountain drink machine, or if they're trying to make the experience that much more minimalistic. In Hole in the Wall's case I imagine it's the latter. Either way, it is an absurd notion to think that someone can wash down a large cheeseburger and fries meal with only 12 ounces of liquid.

TVE's Take:

My Burger: 8oz medium burger add apple wood smoked bacon with red onions, lettuce, and ketchup.

The Side: nothing

Verdict: The patty was over cooked but that was no one's fault but my own because all burgers are cooked medium unless otherwise specified. It was a good size flavorful burger. The bun was had good consistency and held the patty nicely. I went with the regular old Heinz ketchup because their house ketchup wasn't as good.

The outdoor seating was a nice addition. Their weekday specials gave you at most $1.50 saves, not very persuasive.

Overall, it was a good burger at a decent price. This goes into the "repeat visit" category.

Richard's Take:

My Burger: Bacon Cheeseburger on a pretzel bun, with lettus, tomato, onion and pickles.

The Side: Sweet potato fries. They were OK, not great. The regular fries, I think, are a bit better.

Verdict: Damn this is a good burger! This is our second visit (we didn't start the blog until after the first trip), and it did not disappoint at all! A couple of caveats before I talk about how good it was. One: the pickles suck. Just plain bad pickles. Don't order them. Two: the house ketchup sucks. Flavor wise, It's like eating Hunt's Tomato Paste right out the can.

The pretzel bun is a unique thing (unique to me. I haven't seen it anywhere else.), and it really works with the burger. The meat is great. I forgot to ask for medium-rare, and the burger came more done than I like, but still fantastically juicy and flavorful.

I am already looking forward to going back!

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