Father's Office: Santa Monica vs Culver City
Culver (Helms) location is much nicer than the Santa Monica (original).
In fact, we just got home from FO Helms 2 hrs. ago. Easily found seating for my party of 4 at 6:45PM on a Sunday.... No line, no wait. It's a "hit-or-miss" with crowds, I suppose.
The blue cheese is usually mixed into the beef, I believe.
The FO Burger remains phenomenal, in my book.
I just went to the Culver City Father's Office today with two friends. We arrived at noon and waited in a short line before they opened. They opened, and as we shuffled toward the door a guy was there to card us. I'd forgotten it's 21-over-only, and it was just weird because it was noon and alcohol was the last thing on my mind.
So the three of us order the burger (1 medium, 2 medium-rares, including me), 3 Mexican Cokes, and shared a basket of sweet potato fries.
Well, the bottom buns of all 3 burgers were soggy from the juices of the contents, nearly soaked completely through -- upon arrival. The bread in general was extremely meh. I thought there was supposed to be some blue cheese? Didn't taste any. I'm not a fan of caramelized onions, but that's okay because there wasn't a lot, and the arugula leaves were soggy and mushy upon arrival, reminding me of what it's like when you buy a bag of arugula from Trader Joe's and forget about it for a couple days, and find out the ones at the bottom are kind of wet and folded up and limp.
The meat was cooked as requested, but you know, everything was just so wet and soggy, I was distracted and didn't feel I was putting a fabulous burger into my mouth, but rather shoveling in generic food. The Coke was nice and the fries were fantastic. I would have to agree with previous posters in other threads: Father's Office is worth it for the sweet potato fries, but definitely not the burgers. Perhaps I went in with too-high expectations, but... that's my impression.
The inside still has that new-car smell, what with the tons of tufted leather booths and leather bar seats. It was fairly empty at noon, but of course they had just opened and it's Sunday. But when the three of us came back to the Helms area to get our parked cars (after going off elsewhere), it was maybe 3 pm and it was freaking PACKED, with long rows of customers sitting outside stuffing their faces full of soggy-bunned red meat!
Good thing we got there at the stroke of noon.
I had the same impression of the FO burger when i had it. Didn't notice any blue cheese (i see below it's supposed to be mixed into the meat.. waste of blue cheese if you ask me). The caramelized onions were too salty and the arugula didn't add much to the burger. It's supposed to take away from the saltiness, like tomatoes and lettuce do on a classic burger, but there is too little of it to do anything on the FO burger. There really wasn't much flavor to the whole thing.. at least for me.
The $16 Kobe at Lucky Devil's. That one had tons of flavor, an amazing
The Nook burger. Excellent meat flavor, great bread, just the right amount of fix ins. Great fries too. $12.
Next on my burger hit list is the one at Wilshire, a friend of mine had that last time i was there, and i swore i'd get one the next time :)
FO is still great, but not just for the burger but for their beers. For the fact that it's the best combination of _bar_, food and drink in the city. No other bars/beer places measure up food-wise.
No question the L.A. branch is better for service, not to mention parking. Food seems about the same but then I've only had the burger and sweet potato fries.
BTW, the Helms Ave. location is in Los Angeles, albeit very close to the Culver City border.
1018 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403
3229 Helms Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90034
As no one else offered an answer I'll say that I've been to both locations and really like the new location because I have always just walked in and ordered without a wait. The beer and food is as good as the original location but it has modern decor in a much roomier space. On Friday and Saturday I can enjoy a beer and food at FO for lunch and take a short walk over to Surfas to pick up stuff. I do like the original location, I've always been lucky and not had a long wait (12 min. max) in line before ordering and always have found a table or been offered a couple of seats at an already occupied one. It is smaller but I don't think that smaller is bad, I enjoy the unique ambiance at both locations!