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Sep 13, 2009 02:51 PM

25 Degrees Huntington Beach

I tried 25 Degrees for the first time last night, at the HB location. Our party of 3 ordered a watermelon/heirloom tomato salad, half and half (onion rings and french fries), a Turkey burger with jalapeno, portobello mushroom, and caramelized onions, a #1 burger medium rare (prelibato gorgonzola, crescenza, caramelized onions, arugula, bacon and thousand island dressing), and a #4 medium rare (yellowfin tuna, crispy fried onions, spicy aoli). Since I had the #1 burger, I will first report on that. It was amazing. One of the best burgers I've ever had. It, arrived hot, on a rich toasted brioche-like bun, had a rich beefy flavor, was perfectly cooked and was perfectly seasoned. The toppings were superb, particularly the bacon, which was incredibly generous in portion, and amazingly crispy yet not over cooked - bursting with bacony goodness. The combination of the cheeses and the sauce was perfect - providing rich creamy flavor melding as a perfect counter note to the delicious salty bacon. I didn't get much hint of the onions with so much going on, but I can't ask for the moon here. The fries were terrific - though I prefer thicker than the shoestrings, these were hot, crisp, well seasoned and generously portioned. The onion rings' coating was among the best I've ever had, but the onion itself, was either a bad one, or dried up a bit. Still, quite good. Now, for the ugly. The service is abysmal. It starts out by walking into the place and there is no apparent podium, or table at which one can put one's name in. In fact, there was no person at the door at all and it seems like this is their policy. Moreover, it is almost impossible to discern people who work there from the rest of the patrons. I walked up to the bar, and asked what to do, they said that there is a wait, and then called over someone who led me over to a table that I saw was sitting there empty. As we waited for the server, I saw two other parties just walk in and sit down at empty tables without speaking to anyone first. Even worse, the fries and onion rings arrived as an appetizer, then a couple of minutes later, the burgers arrived, but no salad. The turkey burger was ordered with caramelized onions and none were on the burger, and the tuna burger was ordered medium rare, and arrived medium to medium well though my #1 burger was perfect. The watermelon/heirloom salad inexplicably arrived 3/4 through our burgers. And it contained literally one slice of heirloom tomato (a round singular slice cut in half to mimic two slices). It was kind of sad. To add insult to injury, one of our party was sitting with her back to the bar, and a female patron with what could've quite possibly been the most capacious backside I've ever seen, literally knocked into my dining companion several times attempting to maneuver into and onto a single bar stool. An airplane hanger might have been a more appropriate parking spot. Actually, this qualifies as assault, more than insult - assault by buttock. I really enjoyed the burger, and usually food trumps all, but I have to say that the service and the unpleasant atmosphere leave me unsure if I will return.

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  1. is this related to 25 degrees on hollywood blvd in the roosevelt hotel?

    1 Reply
    1. re: kevin

      Yes, it turns out they've also opened one in Phoenix and will soon be opening in Newport Beach:

      The service has always been hit-and-miss in Hollywood as well.

    2. Thanks for the review, any info on the Guinness milkshake ? I'm intrigued and want to try it soon !

      3 Replies
      1. re: mikester

        Went to 25 Degrees in Hollywood back in November of 2008 and enjoyed everything we had.

        Good point about not knowing who worked there or was eating there. A very casual laid back restaurant.

        Enjoyed the burgers, fries, and our heirloom tomato salad.

        Here is a review of the restaurant from my blog:

        1. re: mikester

          sorry, didn't try that milkshake.

          1. re: mikester

            Had a few sips of the Guinness milkshake last night (wife ordered it and I stole some). It was pretty good. Tasted similar to a mocha shake with the combo of the chocolate and the guinness. There was a little bit of a Guinness aftertaste that I enjoyed

          2. This place is my current addiction.

            I think I have created my perfect burger here.

            Med-rare beef (yes..they actually will let you order a medium rare burger), Hatch Green Chili (yes I said Hatch...they have them, just ask), Mezzo Secco Jack cheese, bacon and a fried egg. This with a side of sweet potato fries and the chipotle dipping sauce. OMG!! Drool!! Oh yes..and a couple of margaritas to wash it down with.

            I went again last Friday and had the spicy tuna on eggplant and the tempura green beans as starters. Totally delicious and not greasy at all. BTW..I went with my wife so I am not that big of a pig. She had the tomato soup which she said was delicious.

            Beside the food and really like the energy in here. I can't wait for the Newport Beach location to open as it will be way closer to home.

            1. The #1 is my all time fave at the Hollywood location. As for the fries/rings coming as an appetizer, that's their thing, they do it that way unless you ask otherwise and, frankly, even when I did ask last time, they still came in advance. The chopped salad is also crazy good.
              I've had Umami burger, 8 oz & Golden State (both walking distance from me)....25 degrees is still, by far, my favorite! Need to try that Apple Pan burger...
              Damn you for making me think of that burger - it's almost impossible to stop! ; )

              1. By far one of the best burgers in Orange County. Get the #3. Mezzo secco Jack, Green chili and avocado. I get it with the turkey burger patty. AMAZING!! Also the fries are awesome. Half/Half with sweet potatoe and regurlar. The last time I was there they made me chili cheese fries. WOW! The staff is amazing too.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Jaytizzle

                  Agree with everything but the staff. The service is not good at all.

                  1. re: OC Mutt

                    Sometimes it's amazing how bad the service is.

                    1. re: maxzook

                      The first time I went we were actually blown away by how good the services was - thoughtful little things like splitting salads in the kitchen for us, etc. Since then, it feels a little like Ed Debevic's - any old skool Chicago people out there know what I'm talking about? But I can't say that I've had 'bad' service - just a little 'tude.

                      1. re: cinzia

                        FYI I was referring to the Hollywood branch and not the OC, which I've never been to. And I can't stress enough that it remains one of my favorite SoCal burgers.