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Oct 12, 2008 01:46 PM

Kobe Cheeseburger and Carrot Cake !

At LITERATI II in West Los Angeles at corner of Bundy and Wilshire. Burger is a MONSTER !
The Carrot Cake is INCOMPARABLE ! Service is fine, typical l.a.

If it's GREAT SERVICE you want, however, do not pass go, head directly to R + D KITCHEN in Santa Monica on Montana Ave., in the former space for many years of Wolfgang Puck's Cafe, but more recently a couple of unsuccessful eateries. The Cheeseburger at R+D is prepared by an artist, e.g., it's Perfect ! Bring a camera ! Fries are a treat too in the sundae-stemesque cup wrapped in wax paper. Carrot Cake not nearly as good as at LITERATI II. The service is EXCEPTIONAL, however ! Run, don't walk if you are desperate to be treated with sincerity
and smiles and kindness.

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  1. Isn't R & D owned and run by the same corporation as Houston's and Bandera? I know a lot of folks speak highly of the burger served at Houston's, but I'm not a big fan. Just seemed like the same old "gourmet" stamped burger with a bunch of shredded lettuce and some unadvertised mustard and nondescript fries. I've also had the burger at Literati 2 and there were some things I liked about it -- very big, handformed, crusty on the outside, and juicy within. But there are some nickle-and-dime things that just tick me off about Literati 2: I understand their rationale that they should not charge everyone for accoutrements that only some people want, but charging an extra $2 for cheese or fries when the burger is already way north of $12 just grates. I thought their vegetable fritti was nicely fried and tasty, but when split among three diners there were only about two bites per person -- c'mon, these are inexpensive vegetables being fried up, it doesn't cost much more in ingredients or prep to toss a bigger handful into the batter and the fryer at those prices. And paying for valet to park in a corner of a Ralph's lot or risk being ticketed or towed got the meal off to a very distasteful start. For a great gourmet burger with good service and a generous hospitable attitude, I'll choose Nook every time. For a big, drippy juicy flamegrilled cheeseburger for only about $6 I'll stop into Philly West.

    4 Replies
    1. re: nosh

      Hey Nosh:

      Thanks for your comments. All sound ! Hey ! Where are Nook and Philly West ?

      Yes, R+D is owned by same corp. you mentioned. The burger at R+D is quite tasty.
      Not as big as at LITERATI II, though. But bring a camera. It's a work of art. The presentation is special ! The service was outstanding the evening I was there:
      friendly and sincere. No tude. I was rather surprised, actually.

      Thanks !


      1. re: a.h.guillaume

        Nook Bistro is my top choice in L.A. for topnotch food and service at midrange prices -- great value. It is located in the back corner of the minimall on the S/E corner of Santa Monica Blvd. at Barry, one block east of Barrington, in W.L.A. It has become very justly quite popular, and can be difficult to get into at primetime on weekends, but it is walk-in only after about 8:30. They do a great panko-topped mac'n'cheese, some say their mussels are the best around, but my favorite dish the shortribs has been replaced by a more frou-frou potroast. Excellent website with menus including prices.

        Philly West is a divy dark sports bar on the east side of Westwood Blvd. just south of the carwash and strip mall south of Santa Monica Blvd. It is helpful to know that they share a free parking lot around the corner behind them with a laundromat and a Quizno's. J. Gold just named them as the best cheesesteak in SoCal, but I like the burger even more -- it is oblong and served on the same kind of roll.

        1. re: nosh

          Thanks very much ! I will try them both. Tried Spark Woodfire Grill on W. Pico, just west of Beverly Drive, last nite, in former space of fabled Orsini's. Although the kobe burger was tasty I won't be going back anytime soon.

          1. re: nosh

            Hey Nosh: Finally got the chance and remembered to try Nook Bistro per your recommendation back in Oct.'08. Wow ! Spectacular burger. I think they said the beef was called "Sterling Silver". It was not Kobe. Delicious ! I had a chocolate mousse-like dessert that knocked my socks off with a cup of coffee ! Thanks for the recommendation ! Next up, Philly West, also per your recommendation !

      2. a.h. -- a post about cheeseburgers AND carrot cake -- genius! a man or woman after my own heart.

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