New burger restaurants are popping up all over Los Angeles and most are not just your typical beef and cheddar spots anymore. Top chefs and seasoned restaurateurs are getting into the burger business. Plan Check Bar located in little Osaka in West Los Angeles just opened two weeks ago with a full bar and burger menu to boot. At the helm is former executive chef of the infamous Umami Burger chain here in Los Angeles, Ernesto Uchimura.
As for the menu, it is fun and innovative starting with Snacks. The Beer Nuts were chewy and sweet in a toffee like brittle. I found them sugary and spicy — all very nicey. They also have house made pickles and cured meats to nosh on while waiting for your burger. The Chefs Burger with bacon two ways and cheese two ways was rich and decadent with ketchup leather to create a tangy sandwich. The Southern Fry was Fried Chicken with Green Pimiento Cheese on a fluffy bun. It was good but the chicken — a tad gristly — needed some work.
Other options on their menu were the Grilled Rockfish topped with Crispy Tempura Battered Shrimp with a Creamy Dill Yogurt Dressing. I found the fish quite strong and it tasted old. Pot Roast and a Smokey Fried Chicken Dinner were other dinner choices.
The best thing about Plan Check for me was the Root Chips with Avocado Dip — long crispy strands of veggies cooked crunchy served with a creamy green custard. Yum! Overall, Plan Check needs a little help but its only the beginning.
Short Order at the Grove in Los Angeles has been open since November and I finally had a chance to check it out. Located in the Farmer’s Market section of the Grove, Short Order has a full bar and menu with patio and indoor seating. I am a huge fan of Nancy Silverton and she can do no wrong in my eyes and this one is no exception. For starters the iced tea flavored with agave nectar is perfectly sweetened, not too sweet — great on a hot day in LA.
The burgers read like a true chef created them and I opted for the Pork Belly Burger with Heritage Pork, Sauteed Rapini, Stracchino and Bibb Lettuce. The whole combination of flavors from the juicy pork to the warm cheese running through my fingers to the slightly bitter rappini was incredible. I fully enjoyed the whole experience and the waiters couldn’t help but smile watching me eat it. The Old School Fries with skins still on were crunchy and delicious as well. I will definitely be back soon to try other menu items like Nancy’s Backyard Burger, Tuna Burger and Housemade Shakes. This is a must, you won’t be disappointed!
Plan Check, 1800 Sawtelle Blve, West Los Angeles. 310 288-6500 open for lunch and dinner.
Short Order, 6333 West Third Street, Suite 110, Los Angeles. 323 761-7970 open for lunch, dinner and brunch on weekends.