let me tell you a story about two friends + two burgers:
j1 and j2 were two boys who grew up as neighborhood friends in a small suburb of los angeles. both prided themselves on being “food enthusiasts” altho one was much more into healthy-eating than the other.
j1 and i went to an la institution known as apple pan. having grown up in the ‘hood, j1 had many fond memories of this place - i’m assuming similar to the feelings i have about soon’s kalbi - so i totally understand his insistence that *this* burger in particular was THE best in the west. i, on the other hand, not having this same history, had to differ…
burger: 2 out of 5 stars. totally over-rated! yes, patties, hickory, ham, whathaveyou - just because your place has been on the block for the past 50 years does not make it OK for you to be tame when it comes to seasonings. plus, this place prides itself on being a bit burger-nazi-ish when it comes to serving. (cue: my favorite video ever)
fries: 3 out of 5 stars. plus-one for some crispy, greasy, yummy fries. you win this round, apple pan.
would i go back?
ugh. as much as i hate this place, everyone keeps raving about it and i find myself going back time and time again to “give it another chance”. the fact that it’s right around the corner from me doesn’t hurt. so while i’d like to say “no thanks”, the reality is: “yes, probably.”
j2 let me pick a place one rainy afternoon, and since literati cafe is near both of us, i decided: why not. i had been to this place a few times, totally not-realizing it was actually *two* places in one! luckily, i noticed there was no burger on the menu at the cafe and asked what the deal-io was before being redirected to the “bar & grill” side. j2 apparently didn’t know this either as he waited in the cafe area for a while before we realized the mix-up. while i enjoyed a most-tasty burger, he had a salad. lame.
burger: 3.5 out of 5 stars (day 1). it was way bigger than i anticipated, and way yummier as well. i split the burger and brought the rest home as leftovers.
3 out of 5 stars (day 2). brought half to work the next day and attempted to re-heat and eat. busy day, and didn’t get to finish most of it, so i saved it. again.
2 out of 5 stars (day 4). a little grossed-out due to the fact that it had been days since it was originally made, but i heated it up again and hoped for the best. boss walked by and commented, “are you eating a burger - again??” and i took it to mean that it looked like a different burger from the one i had been chomping on 2 days prior. good or bad?
fries: 3.5 out of 5 stars. just as delicious on day 4 as day 1. trust.
would i go back?
ha! yes and no .. i love literati cafe and enjoy their coffee + sandwiches as much as their burger + fries, but for the cost .. i think i need to hold off for a while.