8 oz. Burger Bar: A Burger Joint for Grown-Ups

— by Caroline on Crack

Bartender making blackberry collins

Checked out the two-week-old burger joint on Melrose, 8 oz. Burger Bar, which is located in the former Table 8 space. I didn’t come for the burgers, however, but rather the cocktails. It’s a wonderful list of pre-Prohibition-style classics and some signature drinks made with fresh juices, mixers and herbs, and each one is only eight bucks! Quite a deal on Melrose, or most anywhere for that matter.

I tried the Aquamiel which was described to me as a margarita, made up of Herradura Silver Tequila, Lillet Blanc, lime juice, almond extract and honey syrup. But when I took a sip

I realized it wasn’t quite my cup of cocktail. I can see it for someone who may be looking for a lighter, less syrupy margarita but I wasn’t crazy about it.

So I returned to what I know and love, the classic Manhattan. Mmm. This one is the standard recipe of rye, sweet vermouth and bitters. And it hit the spot. I think I especially loved it for its $8 price. True, it didn’t exactly go with my turkey burger but I managed.

A few cocktails of note from the menu:

  • Gimlet: Vodka or Plymouth Gin, fresh lime juice and “a touch of sweetness”
  • Blackberry Collins: Vodka or Plymouth Gin, muddled blackberries, fresh lemon juice and soda water
  • Elderflower Daiquiri: Rum, elderflower liqueur, fresh lime juice, white cranberry juice and fresh mint

If you really want something to go with your burger, there is a lovely selection of beer available, from the Full Sail Pale Ale on tap ($5) to the $20 750ml bottle of Ommegang Hennepin Saison.

Or you can even opt for the cute little Suds & Slider Sampler ($16) which gives you three sliders — beef, lamb and bison — along with three little glasses of beer. Our bartender suggested the Dale Bros. Pacific Daylight with the lamb, the Full Sale Pale Ale with the beef and the Skyscraper Lug Nut Lager with the bison. A woman next to us at the bar had ordered this and I was immediately jealous.

Not that I didn’t enjoy my turkey burger which came with mustard greens and bacon; it was supposed to come with horseradish dijonaise but they were out. The meat was very tender but the bread fell apart so I ended up eating it with my utensils. No biggie though.

The only thing is that they charge $1 extra for sauce, i.e. heirloom tomato ketchup, purple mustard or spicy mayo, to name a few as well as cheese. It would be cool if this was done a la The Counter where sauce and cheese come with the package and you’re only charged extra for premium ingredients. The poached garlic aioli and blue cheese sauce sure sound good though.

For a side we ordered the stout-battered onion rings ($4) and got a plate of big fat onion rings. The fried batter on the rings was surprisingly not greasy and I loved that it was a bit salty. I couldn’t stop eating these.

But amazingly after all this I still had room for dessert. I split the caramel brownie shake ($4) with my dining buddy, Tiny Nancer. Twas sooo yummy. It came topped with peanuts and filled with brownie bits. I guess it was too chunky to drink as they gave us spoons rather than straws with it.

Surprisingly this treat wasn’t as over-the-top sweet as I thought it would be considering it’s called a caramel brownie shake. It probably helped that they used vanilla ice cream instead of caramel or chocolate ice cream. And they didn’t put a lot of gooey caramel in it but there was a lot of brownie bits to be mined at the bottom of the glass. Mmm.

For those who like a little extra kick in their shakes, 8 oz. will be debuting “adult shakes” in about a couple weeks. No set menu yet but there was talk about a chocolate gelato with stout or something with Kahlua. Hmmm. I will definitely have to come back for the stout one.

BTW, I love the decor for this place compared to the darkness of its predecessor. Here, you have a sorta rustic, country farm feel with lots of light wood, white tiles and a tin ceiling. All the mirrors hanging on the walls made the space seem larger, too. So much nicer!

What’s funny is I spotted LA Weekly’s Jonathan Gold in a corner booth enjoying dinner with his family. And then I saw Eric Greenspan from the Foundry on Melrose socializing. But for a Monday night at 8pm the place wasn’t too crazy busy. We were able to sit at the bar and there were ample seats everywhere. It wasn’t until it got closer to 9pm that the burger joint started to fill up.

Anyhoo, yes, I’d definitely come back here. Maybe not solely for the burgers but definitely for the $8 cocktails and the adult shakes, whenever those come to be.

More pictures from 8 oz. Burger Bar.

8 oz. Burger Bar
7661 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90046 (map)
(323) 852-0008

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