Sunday, September 9, 2007

Last Meal in LA...sniff

by Erin

I know it's a wee bit delayed but I wanted to post about my last fabulous meal during my visit to LA last month. In keeping with the burger theme of the visit, we went to The Counter, an LA burger landmark (with a pretty kickass website, I should mention). In fact, it's so famous that it made it onto GQ's list of "The 20 Burgers You Must Eat Before You Die" (15. Build Your Own Burger, The Counter, Santa Monica)! If you recall, Xani found this list while in Seattle and was able to enjoy one of these burgers, and now I have too! Take that, Sis! (Also note that #8 on the list is in Dearborn, MI, home of cousins Karen and Don, hosts of our yearly Passover celebration...burgers are kosher for passover, right??)

Anyway, Ann and Steven and I went to The Counter on Monday night, my last night on the West coast, and it was PACKED. The way The Counter works is that there are about a million different ways you can have your burger, so while you're waiting for your table, they give you the chart where you figure out what you want out of the many, many choices. First you decide what kind of meat you want, then you pick a cheese, then you pick up to four toppings (some of them are "premium," such as a fried egg or homemade guacamole), then you pick a sauce (these are also unique, such as horseradish mayo or caramelized onion marmalade), and lastly you pick a bun. Whew!

While we were (still) waiting, we were asked if we wanted something to drink, and the hostess cleverly suggested a milkshake. Ann had told me about their Apple Pie Milkshake, and I couldn't resist ordering one when the chance presented itself. We ordered one and split it, and it was awesome! It was vanilla ice cream mixed with crunchy bits of pie crust, apples, and cinnamon, topped with whipped cream. It was like eating a slice of apple pie with a straw!

Once we were seated, we handed our completed burger charts to our waitress and ordered drinks and an appetizer. For our appetizer, we ordered the Fried Dill Pickle Chips, which were served with apricot sauce. These were great - I've had fried pickles several times in various places around the country, and these were definitely some of the best I've had.

We also ordered "The Fifty-Fifty," which was a basket of onion rings and fries to have with our burgers, because hey, a burger isn't a burger without fries and/or onion rings, right? Right.

The fries and rings were EXCELLENT! The onion rings were really thin and crispy, and the fries were nice and crunchy. They were served with BBQ sauce and a buttermilk ranch, and of course they provided us with ketchup.

Finally our burgers arrived! Yay! Now, before I talk about what I got on my burger, I will tell you that Steven had told me (wisely) that the burgers themselves are very good, so I shouldn't get too many toppings because I would miss out on the delicious burger flavor. I was pretty classic (read: boring) in my choices for this reason. I ended up choosing a beef burger with horseradish cheddar, pickles, grilled onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and mayo. Steven was right - the burger itself was amazingly flavorful, juicy, and yummy, and was cooked to a perfect medium rare (which as we all know is the correct way to eat a burger). The toppings were great, though I did not really detect the horseradish flavor in the cheese.

Ann and Steven's burgers also looked awesome.

Steven's burger

Ann's burger

Since we had our milkshakes before dinner, we were in no mood to order dessert after our dinner.

It was a lovely meal with my two fantastic cousins, who I cannot thank enough for such a great trip! Can't wait to come back!!

Happy eating,



  1. you should have a special burger tab, this is such thorough research.

  2. Too bad I didn't know. I've eaten lots of food in Los Angeles and would've happily given some recommendations. But I'm sure y'all had it well under control anyway. Next time I'm out that way I will head to Santa Monica for sure, dude.

  3. This is literally making my stomach growl...our blog is on L.A. food (& fashion) so obviously this is our next stop! Tommy's is a classic, but this does look like it has a touch more actual class...and apple pie milkshakes! Hot damn (treadmill, here I come).


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