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Feb 27, 2007 09:44 AM

father's office

i've lived in santa monica but never made it to father's office for the coveted burger. well, i got my chance last night and i must say that hovering over a bunch of people waiting for them to relinquish their table in a dark, loud, crowded bar was well worth it. the burger was absolutely delicious. we also had the very yummy spicy olives and goat cheese gratin to start. two not so high notes were the peppercorn shrimp, which was kind of flavorless and the french fries which were completely forgetable. but hands down the star of the show is that burger!

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  1. You didn't like the sweet potato fries?

    1. I also went to FO last night and was looking forward to some burgery deliciousness, but got there too late - apparently the kitchen closes at 10pm during the week. Dude behind the bar said they stay open an hour later on the weekends, though I think they do that on Thursdays as well, as I was able to get one at 10:30pm about two weeks ago.

      1. I had a pork belly dish with cilantro pesto that was really tasty. The pesto was a nice foil to richness of the pork belly, tart and bright. It's a special though, I've only seen it one time on the menu. :(

        1. when is a good time to go when it's not crowded? i don't really want to have to wait for a table....

          2 Replies
          1. re: luvgrub

            It's pretty much always crowded. The best thing to do is get there when they open at 5pm to grab a table or snag a spot at the bar.

            1. re: luvgrub

              They're open now at lunch during the weekend so you can sometimes have better luck going in the mid-afternoon on Saturday or Sunday.

            2. I finally went to Father's Office for the first time last night - Sunday night at 7:30pm. It was really crowded. I waited outside for about 5 minutes before being let in.

              The burger, $11, was amazing (and pretty big too). It tasted pretty rich - not something I could eat every day - but wow, it was spectacular. The flavors of the meat, cheese, arugula, and carmelized onions all complimented one another perfectly, the meat was juicy and perfectly done medium, and the bun was outstanding like none I've ever seen(does anyone know where they get their bread?). I did not miss my usual ketchup - gotta hand it to the chef, he knows what he's doing.

              My one very small gripe is that they should serve the burgers with moist towelettes, because they're pretty sticky, especially when you don't have a table to sit at and are eating it with one hand while balancing your beer and fries on a stool. It's so worth it though...

              I thought the fries were fantastic - I just got the regular fries, not sweet potato. They were really skinny and the spicy mayo/ranch/whatever dipping sauce they serve with them was perfect. Again, I did not miss my usual ketchup at all.

              The beer selection is great but not as extensive as I was expecting with what I'd heard about the place, and I think it's odd they don't serve Guinness. The bartenders clearly know their stuff about all the beers. Service was slow, which is understandable with the big crowd, but once the place calmed down at 9:30 both the bartenders would start disappearing for huge chunks of time - really weird not to mention difficult.

              When I go again, it will probably be on a Sunday at 9:30 - last night at this time, several people could have easily walked in and gotten a table.

              18 Replies
              1. re: LisaStitch

                Yah, the drawback is that the kitchen closes so early...

                1. re: barcelona

                  Yeah, I don't know why they wouldn't keep it open til later, they obviously do great business off the food. Food was still being served after 10, so maybe you just have to get your order in before 10...

                  Someone also told me they do takeout, which is another way to avoid the crowds. I think I'm going to try this sometime and see if the quality suffers much...

                  1. re: LisaStitch

                    I've done take-out a few times and I've found that the burgers hold up very well. I'm glad you finally got to try the burger :)!

                  2. re: barcelona

                    I was there once when the kitchen was already closed, and they actually let people order in some pizza from Domino's. Thought that was interesting and cool of them.

                    1. re: jennp

                      How very odd that they would allow customers to order in and partake of a Dominos pizza, but a harmless bottle of ketchup is verboten !

                      1. re: silence9

                        wow i must have gone at all the right times, cause i've gone on sunday, late lunch, and people were openly passing around a bottle of ketchup that someone brought.

                        1. re: silence9

                          You can bring in your own ketchup, they just don't serve it in the restaurant.

                              1. re: PaulF

                                Heinz-sight being 20/20, just don't let the server catsup with you!

                      2. re: LisaStitch

                        You mentioned getting the burger medium; is it possible to get it medium-rare or rare as well? I like em pretty bloody.

                        1. re: chucktowneater

                          You can have it cooked any way you like. You just can't substitute and substitutions aren't necessary. It's just so damn good the way it comes!

                          1. re: whatsfordinner

                            I've heard that they will refuse to cook the burger over medium.

                            Mr Taster
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                            1. re: Mr Taster

                              They cooked it over medium for me the last time I was there.

                            1. re: chucktowneater

                              I was there last Friday night, we ordered our burgers medium rare and they came back... medium well. They were still tasty though.

                            2. re: LisaStitch

                              God I love Father's Office. Hate the crowd, love the chow.

                              About them not serving Guinness; why would you possibly mind. Though still widely beloved, Guinness has basically become a big multi-national behemoth and is so widely available, available in practically every sports bar and faux-Irish pub in the world that it hardly feels special anymore. I think Father's Office is trying to treat beer kind of like wine. Having Guinness would be a bit like having jugs of Gallo.