7661 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046
"Would you like fries with that?" The universal question at burger joints across the planet. Apparently the staff at 8 Oz hasn't been clued in. Bless their hearts for big smiles and an "A" for effort as patrons try to navigate their way through a very confusing menu which should be as easy as "American Pie" (not sure what that is, but it's a well know phrase and if anybody can tell me what it really means you'll garner many merit points, assuming that you're working towards a badge ... I'm here to help).
interior of 8 Oz, the third remodel of this space under chef Govind Armstrong
I don't know about you but when I go into a burger joint I expect it to be easy peasy. I want cheese, maybe bacon or perhaps I'm in the mood for something green, besides lettuce (read avocado) which these days can bring a diner to their knees ... iceberg, spring greens, spice mix, hearts of romaine (who knew that lettuces must be referred to by specific parts or flavors?).
the back room, which used to be the front room of Table 8
8 Oz raises the burger experience to another level. The Rubik cube genius level. I can't match those colored cube sides in any reasonable amount of time that would qualify me to be anyone of note, but I know a good burger when I taste one.
Ok, ok ... Their main burger is a blend of coveted cow ... things that I don't want to know too much about except what my taste buds tell me. Good burnt cow. Yum. 8 Oz also offers a burger ground from cows that don't eat any fat aka "grass fed". I don't know about you but my cow chomping experience has taught me that cows should eat corn or whatever it is we feed them to make them taste good and trust me folks it ain't grass. We are the Mickey D generation.
martinis from the full bar
The one thing that 8 Oz deserves snaps for is that it has a full bar. There aren't many burger joints that will sling you a 'tini while you're waiting for your sandwich, but then again IF you can find a wait person to bring you another one or a first one just like you ordered, PAY ATTENTION WHEN I ASK FOR A COCKTAIL IN A ROCKS GLASS NOT A HIGH BALL GLASS, you'll have a great dining experience.
truffled potato skins, with salt and lots of it
trio of sliders lamb, beef and boar from left to right
estancia burger, grass fed & low cholesterol
And did I mention ketchup? I know that it was at one time at the center of a national debate on whether it was a "vegetable" or not. I'm not sure who had the final word, but I know that I like it dressing up my fries and brekky 'taters, but at 8 Oz it's a whole other ballgame. This restaurant offers "heirloom" ketchup vs. "regular" ketchup and maybe a few others that i missed. They are all served in the same little stainless steel mini-cups so I was majorly confused with their identities. Should ketchup be this befuddling? Pass me the Heinz and let's be done with it.
the classic 8 Oz burger
I ordered the signature 8 Oz burger. Below the heading it lists condiments that it's served with. My vision being what it is the server had to point them out. It was a mess of mayonnaise and ketchup and pickles and God knows what. Nothing out of the ordinary that a burger aficionado like myself would find offensive or exotic.
The first mishap was when the burger was slowly whisked to my table already dressed in all of the condiments. If any world power wants to know what would quickly cause anything to deteriorate try dressing it with mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, pickles, lettuce and tomatoes. The mix of these ingredients is unstoppable, universal and the best kept secret on the planet. The chef at 8 Oz must be a mole working as an operative for the "enemy". Otherwise, he'd have directed the staff to put everything on the side so that diners wouldn't be able to yield such power from their tables. SOGGY burger. Seriously, please trust me enough to choose what and how much stuff I want on my burger. I've eaten a lot of them and I think I know which condiments I like.
Cheese. Can we talk? Should a diner have to be so foodie-schooled that s/he has to whip out the Blackberry to identify the origin of the cheese? If a menu offers "bleu cheese" I don't want to have to know the breed of the cow or where it grazed or where it was milked. Damn, 8 Oz get a clue. You're serving burgers for christsakes.
And let's get back to fries, those yummy delicious deep fried potato sticks that we all know and love. At 8 Oz they are an option with your spendy burger. But an option of one. You'd think that a joint like this would venture into the world of exotic spuds like "sweet" or "blue" or "yukon", but no. 8 Oz offers only one type of fried spud, served as an extra and they are damn salty. FAIL.
All in all I think this place has potential based solely on the quality of the food, but I think that in a year from now I'll be sitting at the same table under another sign that reads "In and Out." Ever heard of it?