25 Degrees experience...
Went to 25 Degrees in Hollywood last night with my girlfriend to try their famous burgers I've heard so much about. In a nutshell, it was just okay and nothing to write home about. I guess it's all relative and some might think the ground sirloin burgers here are delicious. We found them to be a bit too greasy and 1 or 2 degrees above regular burgers you'd get at fast food establishments accept at 4-5 times the price. Ironically, we found the fries and onion rings to be pretty good and others have complained about it. Service was just okay, not great by any means. I don't think we'll be returning here, unless we happen to be in the area and are craving hamburgers. Even then, we might not.
Haven't tried Lucky Devil's but that's next on our list. So far, Father's office burgers are by far the best. I know some don't consider them traditional burgers and their not but man, they're damn good. The drive to Santa Monica is well worth it, IMO.
One thing that stood out a little and rubbed me the wrong way about 25 degrees was the price of their cocktails. We ordered a couple of drinks and when I got the bill, I was a little blown away at how much they charged. A Cosmo was $14.00 and a Gin and Tonic (house gin) was $12.00. We're talking about a glorified diner here, not some trendy club or 4 or 5 star establishment. Has anyone else ordered drinks there and has had the same re-action or is it just us?
It's not just you. The hub and I met a friend there a few weeks back because she was staying at the hotel. For two Gin and Tonics, 1 beer (bottled) and 1 order of fries, the bill was around $35 or $36 (before tip). I don't remember the exact amount because he picked up the tab and didn't mention it until we were back at our car, but I know it was (or a tad over) $40 for the evening. We were both pretty surprised, especially since (as you mentioned) it's not even high-end gin.
my most recent eye opener was going to hyde and i ordered a ginger ale, a beer and a woodford reserve on the rocks and it was 36 bux...
but i got a handful of paris hiltons ass so that made it worth it i guess.
Haha, I'm your opposite in my 25 degrees experience. I liked the burgers a lot but found the fries/onions OK/mediocre (they came out a bit too greasy and definitely too bland.) Since my last trip there was partly to sober up, I didn't get their drinks (though I did look at that part of the menu and found it rather pricey too.)
Lucky Devils have burger of similar quality, but better fries & a better deal with drinks (go for their beer sampler -- or their toasted pecan shake if you're going non-alchy).
I have yet to explore FO myself, last time I went the kitchen already closed :(
I've yet to find a place that offers-up burgers anywhere near as good as FO's but then again, that's all relative to your own taste and likes.
I believe FO's now has longer hours of business. They used to not open until 4 or 5 pm and now (on weekends, that is) they're opening @ noon. Works for me!
Outrageous drink prices are to be expected - it is the Roosevelt Hotel after all, Lindsay's playground.
I like their fries a lot, more than the burgers. The garlic parmesan dip is great, chipotle dip is not. I found the onion rings greasy.
My first experience at 25 degrees was great. My burger was cooked right; same with the fries and onion rings. I thought all the dipping sauces were interesting. Everyone at the table agreed. The next lunch we had was not so great. Service was horrible. Staff looked unhappy. Food was greasy. My friend ordered his burger medium rare and it came back medium well. I've been there several times after as it is so close to work.
In a nutshell, they're very inconsistent. Lately I've noticed that their burgers are getting greasier and greasier. It doesn't matter if you order your burger rare, medium rare or medium. It's all the same-well or very close to well. After my last disappointing experience at 25 degrees, I vowed to never return. Regardless of how good their fries are, it's not worth it.
I'd rather have my burger at Lucky Devil's.
I'm beginning to wonder if 25 Degrees has gone downhill. I went when it first opened and was blown away by everything (the fries, shakes, onion rings, sauces) but especially the burger. I thought it was possibly the best burger I had ever eaten in LA. Perfectly cooked, incredibly juicy, well flavored and even loved the bun which is rare for me. In short, it became my go to place for burger cravings.
The last few times I've been though have been....."eh" is the best way to put it. the burger is always overcooked to the point that I've had to send it back (don't usually do that but I ask for medium-rare and one time it was flat-out well-done) and it just seems pretty dry and mediocre. I was wondering if I just caught the restaurant on bad nights, but maybe it's a trend based on these other negative posts. I haven't quite given up on it, but I'm close.
"I'm beginning to wonder if 25 Degrees has gone downhill."
This thread has me beginning to wonder the same thing.
I was truly impressed with the food and service on both of my visits but I haven't been back for months.
Here is a link to my account of my first visit (with pics):
I had been a big advocate of 25 Degrees. One can search here on the boards and see that I've recommended it quite a few times. But it has really gone downhill in the last few months. For a restaurant that derives its name from the difference between a rare and a well-done hamburger not to be able to turn out a burger cooked to order is just unacceptable. Time and time again, the burgers I've ordered medium-rare have come out medium-well or even well-done. And yes, they have gotten greasier and sloppier lately, as sign of a kitchen that just does not care about its product. I don't think staying open twenty-four hours has done their food any favors; in fact, I think the extension of hours marked the sharp decline in quality. Even the service has become a shambles, with the staff's allowing one person to occupy an entire large booth while groups of three and four are forced to take to the bar or crowd around the door to wait; I've seen them lose more than a few parties to these wastes of valuable space at prime dining times.
There are many better burgers just a short distance away, so I don't feel compelled to patronized 25 Degrees anymore. Lucky Devils, Bowery, and The Hungry Cat all serve up far superior hamburgers these days, and they cook them the way one orders it. While the burger at Vert may be lacking in imagination compared to 25 Degrees', at least it's not slopped together and oozing fat, and for the same price, it comes with fries.
As it stands, I'd rather travel down Orange to the In-N-Wait than endure another miserable meal at 25 Degrees. It's a shame as it was once pretty much the best burger joint in the city.
I also forgot to throw in that our burgers were way over cooked. I ordered mine medium rare and my girlfriend ordered hers rare. Both came out medium well. Also, the service was very cold and stand-off'ish. As if the servers were too good for the clientele. Hello, we're the source of the bulk of your income. Wake-up!!!
On that (service) note, a few weeks back, we visited The Geisha House in Hollywood. As expected, the food was about average but not expected was the horrible service we received. What is it with some of these LA establishments where the employee's act too good for their own good and behave as of we the patrons should simply be glad to be there and be good little sheeps? If I was a restaurant owner or manager, I'd fire any employee who didn't go out of their way for their clientele and roll-out the red carpet for them to give them that special experience they all deserve. It's so disappointing when you pay good money for food and even if the food is good but the service isn't, you still walk away feeling disappointed and robbed.
We requested burgers done medium rare and got them done medium well. The server acted like we were interrupting what he would normally be doing if we weren't sitting at his table. Also, he dumped 1/2 of my overpriced wine, I asked for him to replace it but I never got it. Wouldn't go back.
they aren't very good. I've had some bad meals there, way over cooked and rotten service and one good experience when the manager was personally overseeing everything. Left on their own, the cooks and waiters are pretty lame.