Burger Blog: The Flats
Burger Rating: 3.25 outta 5
I was pretty damn excited to eat here. Head chef Paul Shoemaker, at his defunct Malibu establishment Savory, created The Wolfmother one of the best burgers I've ever had. My sense memory was so strong I instinctually started drooling walking through The Flats doors.
PARKING: There is valet on weekends and some metered parking in the neighborhood. Both times I've been to The Flats I've found metered spots.
The DECOR is what you'd expect from an L.A. gastropub. Lots of concrete, mural art and cool minimalistic lighting fixtures. Our server was charismatic, conversational, but not to the point of being annoying or intrusive.
The MENU is simple focusing mostly on flatbreads = pizza. There's also a few pasta dishes and five staple entrees to round things out. Only the House Burger is listed on the menu. I asked the waiter about The Wolfmother, but he'd not heard of it. #SadFace.
I ordered the burger, medium rare and tried to add bacon. "No bacon" I was told, (point deduction) they only have lardons which could be served on the side (3/4 point restoration). #BetterThanNothing
Presentation simple, rustic.
Good crispy fries with ketchup and garlic aioli to the side.
The bun is great. Lightweight, strong yet not "bready".
The hook cheese on the burger is a waste of time, it added nothing to the flavor. (-.25)
The lardons on the side provided a nice smoky, fatty flavor burst between burger bites. Too bad they can't figure out how to get them between the buns.
The patty was cooked perfect MR. Had a good flavor, but was firm. I'd guess if it wasn't frozen then it definitely was in the chiller for a few days because the meat lacked that fresh burger tenderness. (-.5)
The thing that did make this burger unique is that they put just a little bit of honey on it. That created a small spark of sweetness I never knew I needed on a burger. #Winning (+.25)
Taste this burger just for that honey drizzle. If the kitchen had some sliced bacon and a thicker slice of that hook cheddar (to add some umami) the result (with a fresh patty) would easily be a 4.5+ rating. A must recommend, but alas...
The little things add up against the burger. I'm always a dick about bacon, you have it, why not use it? The other thing that I consider is cost ratio, and honestly, this burger seemed small for its $20 price-point. It would get a 1/4 point back if it came in between $14-$16, but for $20 I want to be full at the end of the meal, and I wasn't even close. #Overpriced (-.25)
The last thing that counts against them was that the expediter (not server) who served my wife's salad and then my burger five minutes later totally reeked of B.O. I'm all for funky cheese on a burger, but man, I don't need to be smellin' your personal funky cheese... ever. You know what I'm saying? #NoBueno (-.5)
Overall it's a nice burger to try and revisit every couple of months, especially if the staff is showered and you're wallet is fat.
8400 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90211