Burger Reviews and other stuff

Monday, August 08, 2005

Mel's Drive-In Sunset.

I was at the House of Blues last night catching a Spanish Rock-Pop band, I know the sound engineer, and the band was actually pretty good. As I left I looked to the girl I was with and said, what do you want. She looks back and replies: “anything but, burgers.” I stood aghast, how could she deny me the one foodstuff that I love so much, especially being on the Sunset strip with so many wonderful options. Then I remembered, hey! I drove, it’s my car and I’ll cry if I want too. After a good bit of pouting and begging and pleading and whatever other adjectives you can come up with that make me sound like some pathetic loser, I won a victory. She said: “Okay we can go eat burgers as long as they have something else to eat.

Perfect, I knew just the place.

Mel’s Drive in on Sunset, you know the place, it was in American Graffiti and it’s all about 50’s diner feel kinds stuff.

So Mel’s is one of those 50’s diner looking places with the typical pop art architecture and the music selection machines at the tables complete with full selection of Doo Wop oldies classics that came out of one of those Time-Life record collections. It looks 50s-ish enough…I guess. But, it is a bit too Hollywood, a bit too clean, a bit too watered down, a bit too nice.

The food menu is 50’s enough with a touch of nouveau LA veggie, with a touch of that gourmet panache. So, it can all seem a little fake a little non-diner-ish. If I sound bitter it’s because every time I walk into a 50’s diner type place I end up thinking I’m going to see a bunch of Fonzie guys and preppie kids in school sweaters, and hot rod’s and classic cars, and all I end up getting are a bunch of wannabe trendy hipsters. I don’t like hipsters... They always seem so dis-genuine, so unoriginal. Hipsters are Hollywood yes-men. Liberal lip servers with a no real sense of community service. With that, I guess I’ve vented enough about them. However, I reserve the right to further vent.

Onward to the burger.

I will tell you this, any burger joint worth its buck should always be judged by its regular hamburger. So, that being said, I had the cheeseburger, and I have to say I’ve never been a fan of places that serve their burger unassembled to the customer. I know that some people like the idea of having control of putting certain condiments and or certain things like lettuce and tomato and onion on them. Not me.

I go to a place to have people make my food for me…not half make my food.

Aside from that, the Mel’s burger is good, not great, but good, about a few steps above fast food, but not super great, but good. Not disappointing at all. The fries here are pretty standard and therefore good. They have wonderful shakes. I will say that the meat on the burger was very moist and tender. Mel’s claims to use 100% Angus beef on their burgers, and you know when beef is all ground up into some crazy mash; you can still taste the difference. Call me crazy, but you can, and it really does make a difference in this burger. It’s what sets it apart from your standard restaurant and fast food fare. As for the rest of the materials used to assemble this burger, they are pretty standard, nothing exciting about the bread, or other stuff. The burger is filling but not outrageously overfilling.

Mel’s is the kind of place you either want to start the night, or end the night at. It really isn’t a lunch spot if you get my drift, and not really a take out kind of place. It’s also not the place if you’re on a budget. The valet, oh yes that’s right they have a valet, hit me up for like 5 bucks. If you’re in the neighborhood and you feel like a burger and you really want to spend some cash. Go to Mel’s

8585 Sunset BoulevardWest Hollywood, California90069, USA

With other locations in Los Angeles and San Francisco.


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