Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Father's Office

Since famously fastidious fine dining chef Sang Yoon bought a formerly unpretentious bar called Father's Office in 2000 and opened the kitchen his office burger has earned a devoted following. Esquire magazine famously called it one of the world's best burgers and LA diners spoke of the burgers with no substitutions, alterations or ketchup allowed in hushed, reverent tones. Yoon was, in Seinfeld terms, LA's burger Nazi.
The chef and his dry aged burger topped with caramelized onions, Gruyere and Maytag Blue cheeses, bacon compote and arugula on a slightly crunchy roll moved East when a second Father's Office opened in trendy, popular Culver City.
I've been wanting to try the office burger for years. I'm not sure what took so long. I admit I hate the drive to Santa Monica and tales of endless waits and the terminal crowds probably turned me away. No excuse.
Finally, driving through Culver City I spied an open parking space and wound my way into Father's Office to try the famous burger. Unlike FO's reputation the staff are friendly and welcoming. I ordered at the bar and picked a table. Faster than fast food -- I'm not sure how serving that fast is even possible -- my burger arrived at the table and I readied for a taste of the revered specialty.
Maybe it's the years.
I should have tried it sooner.
I tasted what might have once been a great dish but now was sloppily put together without a care. From the chef who agonized over this combination came a burger no one in the kitchen gave a shit about. (Not my usual mode of expression but I've been marathon watching Louis CK and I guess it's wearing off). My burger had almost no cheese, was almost raw in the center though I ordered medium and lacked seasoning.
Things change. I waited too long.

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