So if my last LA post was the LA I love to mock, this is the LA I love to miss. I was in Hollywood refusing to valet my car on my way to meet my friend Marc and Jonell for some dinner. Both NY transplants, I had no doubt that the place Mark suggested would have a touch of east coast to its vibe and certainly not have that pretentiousness I experienced the other night.
Mark is a casting director and Jonell is a writer. That explains why they both live in LA but ironically, when I sent out a note letting them both know I would be in town, both responded that they weren’t.
All of us flew in that day or the day before but we still got it together to meet. We met at 8oz Burger Bar on Melrose. Marc had just come back from Somoa and Fiji and Jonell literally just landed from NY. When I walked into the joint I immediately saw Marc at the bar. We had not seen each other for a while and the reunion included a few bromance hugs. We shared a beer and caught each other up on our work, play and travels while waiting for Jonell to arrive. Both of us tend to travel a lot for both work and share a mutual love for photography, so the conversation is never dull.
When Jonell arrived we moved from the bar to a table and got to work. The restaurant had a system as most gourmet burger places do. They had an 8oz or a 6oz patty as your first choice along with a turkey burger, salmon burger and veggie burger option. From there you could choose one of their specially crafted burgers or build your own. Along the top of the menu was a list of your standard burger spot side dishes. One stood out and I had to throw it on the order. The deviled eggs pictured above acted as a quick appetizer before our beef arrived.
The burgers quickly hit the table. I couldn’t help myself and I wound up ordering two. I did restrain myself from two 8oz ‘s by opting for a 6oz. On the right is the bacon gouda burger and on the left the burger bar standard 8oz. At any burger tasting I always have to have a standard burger (ketchup, lettuce, tomato). That is the standard on which I judge all burgers.
Peeking over at Jo’s burger I realized she had a giant piece of fried cheese on her bun. I had to show it off. Doesn’t that look awesome?
We munched and continued to catch up as the burgers, chips and fries slowly disappeared along side our beverages. Marc was only home for 5 days and had lots of people he needed to see. Thanks for putting me at the top of the list homeboy. After he split, Jonell and I chilled a bit longer until she decided the time zone change was too much for her and I realized my 6am flight to San Jose was only 7 hours away. Jonell and I WILL get into a deep conversation if we are left alone, that is one of the things I really like about her. But, tonight we had to cut that back a touch for the better of both our Wed mornings.
As I sped home on the empty, broad, LA streets I couldn’t help reminiscing about the food and friends that I had enjoyed that evening. It’s nice to have friends all over the place. A quick meal and a good conversation is really all I need to keep me going.