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FO in SM or CC?

I searched but can't find opinions regarding whether Father's Office is better in Culver City or Santa Monica?

Quietness is of interest to me (relative) though secondary to food quality.

Thanks, all!!

Also, any particular recommendations? I've ever been -- plus I'm not much of a meat eater but I gather cow is what they do best?

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  1. I like both but usually suggest the original Montana Ave. location for first timers because it's well - the original! After experiencing the original, one can really appreciate the decor, roominess and outside patio at the new place. That said, I find the food and beer to be the same (very good) at both locations and if you go early the Helms Ave. location is quieter.

    Father's Office
    1018 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403

    Father's Office
    3229 Helms Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90034

    1. I would suggest the CC location.
      I'm weighing in your comment about quietness.
      Depending on what time you go (at the SM location) it can be doggy dog to even get a table or a space at the bar. Eating standing up is not going to be a quiet experience.
      It can get stressful playing musical chairs for the limited tables.
      The place is small you will have better odds getting a quiet experience at the CC location.

      The food and beer as stated by Sal are the same.

      1 Reply
      1. re: burntwater

        I tried to go to the CC location last Thursday at 7:30 p.m. It was insanely crowded, with a line out front, like a Saturday night at 9 p.m., like there was no recession.

        I'm not in that neighborhood very often, so I'm not sure if it frequently gets THAT busy. I was surprised, and didn't wait for a table (and therefore didn't get a burger, sadly).

      2. Culver City, hands down. Its so much easier to get a table and your food.

        1 Reply
          1. Culver City also serves hard liquor if that is of interest to you. They make some really good classic cocktails like the Negroni & Manhattan.

            I always enjoy their food specials too.

            1. The CC location has a more extensive food menu and serves cocktails that are exquisitely made. It's larger and tends to be less packed and that usually translates to quieter as well.

              The SM location is smaller and more intimate. It feels more like a bar, even though it's not really. It is and always was meant to be a gastropub (which really is distinct from a bar). Because it's smaller, it tends to feel more crowded and noisy more easily.

              I'm an old patron of the original and I kind of prefer the feel of the new location and the cocktails are so good I don't think I could ever go to the SM location without missing those drinks.

              Yes, the burger is awesome and is one of the must-eat dishes in LA. But aside from that, I wouldn't say the place is a beef paradise. I think there is enough to keep you interested through multiple visits without ever having the burger.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Frommtron

                wow:..."gastropub"! What a term. Turns out I have been woefully wrong about the place anyway; we went for lunch and discovered Father's Office opens when the Bank Closes. Duh. So' it'll have to wait for another day yet again. I don't get out much (they don't close my office very often).

                I'm sure "burgers" has been covered a million times, but where would you go for a fat, juicy tasty gourmetburger? This would be distinct from, say, Apple Pan (ICK!). We tried the SF Saloon once as per this board and that was pretty good. Someone mentioned a steak house once, but that's just too intimidating to this fallen-vegetarian. The Counter was terribly informal (as might be FO); anything else leap out?


                1. re: aliris

                  When I crave a fat, juicy, tasty, gourmetburger, I go to FO. Go on the weekend to the CC location if its too hard to go during the week, they open at noon on Fri, Sat and Sun.

                  1. re: aliris

                    Yeah, I always disliked the term but the concept and term seems to have caught on and Father's Office was a charter member of the movement.

                    A couple of similar upscale burgers that jump out are at Comme Ca (I haven't tried their burger it but it gets a lot of love) and The Hungry Cat. Rustic Canyon has a cast iron burger that's good (but not nearly as good as FOs).

                    1. re: aliris

                      Oops, sorry you wasted a trip! I'd say that if you want to go on your lunch break from work then Friday is the only option as they open at noon. Or go on the weekend as others have said. Enjoy!!!

                      1. re: aliris

                        Have you tried Hole in the Wall burgers? Right behind the Winchell's on Santa Monica Blvd. a half block east of Sepulveda Go for the white bun and their pickles are addictive on the burger. One order of FF (or sweet potato fries) is big enough for two.

                        Hole in the Wall Burger Joint
                        11058 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                        1. re: Servorg

                          Oh yes, I noticed that place -- it's located where a former hole-in-the-wall used to serve whipped-up cupcakes.

                    2. For a good, thick burger for lunch, I have two favorites. First is the flamegrilled oblong burger at Philly West, the divy bar on the east side of Westwood Blvd. just south of Santa Monica Blvd. with a free shared parking lot in the back (around the corner). Philly West is small, a bit dark, very casual, and serves the best cheesesteak on the westside and an even better burger on the same kind of roll. A cheeseburger with grilled onions and the usual condiments is about $6. The new challenger is Hole in the Wall Burger, around the east side of the strip mall on the S/E corner of Santa Monica Blvd. at Sepulveda, behind the Winchell's. They do a half-pound cooktop grilled burger for $9.95, with a choice of cheese, bun, and most standard condiments. When I ordered mine medium-rare, I got a properly cooked, amazingly drippingly juicy patty. I chose the pretzel bun, which had an interesting flavor and texture but was a bit slick, letting the juices roll off and the ingredients slide and difficult to manage. The lettuce, tomato and onions were fresh but the homemade zucchini pickles were very mustardy. They have a pleasant little streetside patio table setup which is nice in good weather, and you can park in the stripmall parking.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: nosh

                        Sorry for doubling down on your H in the wall B rec, Nosh. I didn't scroll all the way down the page until after I posted.

                        1. re: Servorg

                          Me too! I responded to yours, Servorg's, before noticing Nosh's. Thanks to both. I'll try them if there's time; it's not for me, the former-vegetarian and still meat-go-lightly type, but for a visitor.

                          1. re: aliris

                            They do have turkey burgers and veggie burgers too.