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Plan Check on Sawtelle Blvd. - Burgers, Pastrami and Crullers - Oh My!

I noticed this place just a little while ago as I pedaled by on my bike. According to Grub St LA it is going to feature burgers and crullers: http://losangeles.grubstreet.com/2012... Looks interesting. I couldn't tell if it was open yet but the sign was lit and it looked ready. Just north of Granada Market and Tempura House on the same (east) side of the street.

According to Grub Street the menu will include items such as:

"pastrami nosh," with double-smoked, double-spiced pastrami placed on an upside-down bun balancing a fried egg, with kimchi mustard and melted cheese and a burger sporting blue cheese and thick bacon, along with a Southern sandwich of fried Jidori and duck ham with green pimento cheese.

The sandwiches can be followed up with desserts like a "swirly banana cream cruller"

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  1. Sorry for the misspelling of the name in my title. It is actually "Plan Check" and I've asked the CH Team to correct it for me. Here is the website: http://www.plancheckbar.com/ and I do note it's not quite open as of yet. The menu looks terrific. This place, if the cooking lives up to the menu descriptions, ought to be a roaring success. It will be a great option for late night eats as well. Till midnight during the week and until 2 AM on the weekend.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      Servorg thanks for the heads up. This menu looks Great! I want that SOUTHERN FRY sandwich with smokey fried jidori chicken, spicy green pimento cheese, duck breast ham & pickles now.

      1. re: wienermobile

        The other good thing is it's outside the crazy busy part of Sawtelle, so parking should be at least somewhat possible (?) by comparison to all the places closer to Olympic and La Grange.

        1. re: Servorg

          I also see that BIM had a brief mention of Plan Check here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/833599 (which I would have found before if I had had the name right in the first place...that's what comes of seeing a place at 2 AM on your bike and then trying to type and think at 4 AM)...

    2. LA Weekly reports that it will open on February 22. That's next Wednesday


      1 Reply
      1. re: PaulF

        The best laid "plans" of Plan C? ;-D>

      2. Official opening date is Feb. 22nd. Oh I see that PaulF beat me to it. Never mind.

        1. Drove by last night - Soft opening was going on.

          The place was PACKED. Gotta try it soon, to separate the food from the hype.

          1. Tried it. Will go back, but I can't say I was floored by anything. Fries were good, solid. Not the best, but better than most. (we finished them). The burger - hm. I'd like to try it again, but it had something they call "ketchup leather". I'm not sure how they make it, but it seems like a ketchup chew - like it was dried on a plate and peeled off. Too one-note tasting. Real ketchup is - despite the reputation - pretty great stuff - tomato, sweet, vinegar tang. Would prefer to try the burger without that. Pulled the taste in a direction I didn't enjoy. One thing about burgers - they can be a palate which you can paint with many flavors. This was not one I particularly liked (like sun-dried tomatoes - I can enjoy them in moderate or less than moderate amounts). Might hold the pickles too, but I think it was the tomato leather that skewed the taste and my enjoyment of it.

            The pastrami was a heart-attack on a plate. I'm taking statins, but I felt no comfort knowing that. Greasy meat, with cheese topped with a fried egg? But for me - that was the more successful sandwich of the two. I liked it. In a better frame of mine (like drunk at 2:00 am) I might have craved it and loved it. Like a Tommy's chili burger - you gotta get a little f***ed-up to pay the toll in your head to let that slippery-slider get sucked down the gullet. Might try it next time without the egg - the pastrami part itself seemed to be very good.

            4 Replies
            1. re: foodiemahoodie

              Had similar impressions myself, was expecting to love it but ended up only liking it. My wife really did enjoy the Southern Fry, but she had to send it back to the kitchen when it was first brought out because the chicken was actually raw in the middle (good thing she cut the sandwich in half first). My older daughter liked the Chef's Favorite Burger, but she got the ketchup leather on the side and didn't like it either.

              I got the Pastrami Nosh, and from previous posts about it, I was expecting to be blown away, but I wasn't. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy it, but wasn't as great as I thought it'd be. Also, I wish our waiter had pointed out the Specials blackboard tucked in the corner of the place. I saw a Lamb Burger that looked interesting but only after we had ordered.

              A few kinks, like the aforementioned raw chicken, the fact we ordered regular fries and was brought out the sweet potato fries by accident, the fact that we didn't get our drinks (housemade yuzu and mango sodas were excellent) until nearly halfway through our meal, kind of turned us off too.

              1. re: PeterCC

                I, too, find Plan Check disappointing in most ways.

                However, the bar is truly great, I've had nothing but interesting, well-made drinks and good suggestions from the barkeeps.

                The regular menu is simple, the specials tend to be quite interesting and creative (escobeche on a burger).

                But the food just doesn't make it to great for me. It's good, but that's it.

                1. re: Ciao Bob

                  i thought the folks at the bar were very nice and helpful people. the drinks, however, were a little on the sweet side.

              2. re: foodiemahoodie

                You can always ask for them to keep the ketchup leather off, they won't kick you out for asking for alterations of their food ;)). BTW, it's supposed to be a play on fruit roll ups. A lot like Animal, the chef seems to bend toward stoner food-flavor bombs. I have no problem with that. Maybe you just don't get or appreciate the concept.

              3. Either I went on an off day or everything that came out of the kitchen was so over salted. The pastrami fries had so much salt that with every bite it got worse, on had 3 bites, potential for an amazing dish the crab dip was okay, again salty, but would have like some more stuff in the crab, think a little onion, celery and mayo, something more than crab & cheese. The fried chiciken sandwich looked and tasted really good but again, so much salt! Their yuzu soda was excellent, I had 2 because everything was so salty.The donut dessert, you guessed it, to much, no I am joking, the donuts were really really good! I might go back but to spend good money and can noyt really enjoy the food, we will see.

                19 Replies
                1. re: Burger Boy

                  I would have to say either an off day on the kitchen's part or an overly salt sensitive one on yours as we haven't experienced that problem after 3 visits.

                  1. re: Servorg

                    I was with a friend and thought it was OVERLY, OVERLY SALTY also. Trust me, I am not sensitive to salt!

                    1. re: Burger Boy

                      I believe you. If you do go there again, ask them to withhold the salt. They are cooperate about small requests.

                  2. re: Burger Boy

                    I've also been there three times and have had no salt issues, and I am usually sensitive to overly salty food. I've found everything we ordered to be perfectly seasoned. Did you go at lunchtime or dinner time?

                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                      I have been there several times, as my husband has an office nearby. I agree that the fries were very over salted.I have had no salt issues with other dishes.

                        1. re: Burger Boy

                          We've been mid-afternoon before and noticed that's when they do a staff change/break. Not making excuses for them, but this might have somehow affected your order.

                        2. re: Dirtywextraolives

                          I thought everything was perfectly seasoned but the portion and the quality of the fries didn't match the price. They could have been typical frozen fries for all I knew. The fried chicken sandwich is worth going alone for though!

                          1. re: Johnny L

                            I was not a fan of their fries until they turned them into pastrami poutine.

                        3. re: Burger Boy

                          I'm a little surprised to hear this. There is not one item on the menu that I can honestly say I'm not in love with. I find the seasoning of their food to be pretty much on target.
                          Is there a chance it was an 'off night' (although I've been several times and the food is completely consistent and tastes the same each time) or that you're salt sensitive for some reason?

                            1. re: latindancer

                              I'm a little concerned.

                              I love Plan Check...have always been a huge supporter and absolutely love the Jidori Chicken.
                              I will stand and wait for a table with anticipation of it and my favorite salad.
                              We went with friends, who'd only listened to my excitement and had never been before. We all ordered the chicken. I can only think it was a chef who thought 'more is better' when it came to the seasonings. The chicken was completely overpowered by the smokiness. My guests ate it and said they loved it, in order to be mannerly I suppose, but afterward agreed that it was way too salty and smokey. Come on Plan Check. Please don't deviate from the consistency I've loved about your place. I want you to stay open for a long, long time.

                            2. re: Burger Boy

                              I'm sure if you said something to the waitstaff, they would have either corrected the order or take it off your bill.

                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                4 of the five things were salty or overly salty (pastrami, cheese fries). The only thing not salty was the cruellers. I plan to give them another chance, but trust me, this was crazy salty!

                                1. re: Burger Boy

                                  Anxious to go tomorrow.
                                  I'll be paying close attention.

                                  1. re: Burger Boy

                                    aren't things like pastrami and cheese fries salty by definition?

                                    1. re: linus

                                      Yes, but salty to the point of over salty that you can not eat more than 3 bites. When I say SALTY I mean SALTY!

                                      1. re: Burger Boy

                                        Just went again and had the pastrami poutine for the first time. Not over salted. Not too salty for my palate. Had a burger with pig candy. Again, not overly salty at all.

                                        1. re: Servorg

                                          Gosh, I have got to go back & try that poutine, cholesterol levels be damned....

                              2. Had my first pastrami sandwich and it was heaven!
                                I'm sensitive to salt, and had no issue.
                                Also had a great IPA....crisp and bold.
                                Been daydreaming about the truffle burger.

                                1. Just wanted to mention that I had a special for lunch today: the Cheeseburger Machismo. Despite being not-too-subtly plagiarized from Umami's Manly Burger, it was excellent - the cheese was spicy, the bacon was crispy, the mustard was tangy. I feel like Plan Check is just getting better and better!

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: aching

                                    They should have named it the "Macheese-Mo." No? ;-D>

                                    1. re: aching

                                      Was there last week and their special was a Pastrami Burger.....so goooood with that thick cut pastrami. Two...Two treats in one.

                                      1. re: aching

                                        Another great meal at Plan Check today - this time it was another special, the Chili Burger. I also had the pastrami fries for the first time and they did not disappoint!

                                        1. re: aching

                                          What was the chili like? Have not seen it as yet and i would be inclined to try it.

                                          1. re: Servorg

                                            I'll be honest with you, it disappeared so quickly (my husband and I shared it), I didn't really get a chance to analyze it carefully! I do know this - it was the perfect amount, distinct but not too sloppy, and it was perfectly spicy.

                                            1. re: aching

                                              lol...My wife is wise to the "Let's share this" ploy. And she protects her food with quick reflexes and a flashing fork to drive home her point... ;-D>

                                      2. Had my first disapponting meal tonight. Took my wife for the first time. We had the veggie chips ( tasteless and very oily except for the guac that came as dip for the chips). The sweet potato fries were crisp, but over salted. The fried chicken was delish! And the biggest disapoinment was the pastrami sandwich.....it was not the delicious perfection I have come to know. The pastrami was a bit dry, it was assembled in a sloppy manner, and it was not hot when served. This may or may not have been due to our indifferent server. I took my wife for the first time, and of course there was a high expectation. Her comment, "Tasty, but mediocre experience overall."
                                        Has anyone else had inconsistent food here....or is the Sunday night chef a B player?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: pnutbuddah

                                          As i stated, a few days ago, we had the same problem but mine was with my favorite fried chicken.
                                          This was a Friday night. It was so busy there was no valet parking left and the place was packed.
                                          I want to take other friends but I'm not sure I'm going to do it now, based on my last experience with the inconsistency.
                                          Our server was top notch and I'm thinking now that I should have mentioned something to him, and asked his opinion as to why the meal turned out the way it did. It was the chef, no doubt. The food was just not the same.

                                        2. Went again for lunch today and tried the pastrami gravy fries. Unbelievable. Delicious. Not salty at all. By 12:10, the place was full, except for a couple of seats in front of the line cooks. Butter lettuce salad was terrific as always. So glad the poutine did not disappoint.

                                          1. Good news, looks like a second Plan Check is on it's way to the old Vodvil space on Fairfax . Slated to open summer 2013 and they can now spread Pastrami Noshes and Southern Frys to the world east of the 405.

                                            14 Replies
                                            1. re: wienermobile

                                              Wonder how Golden State will feel about the burger competition.....

                                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                Just walked past the old Vodvil yesterday and saw the ownership change posted in the window.

                                                While I say "feh" to obscenely overpriced and distinctly non-smoky "smoky" fried chicken, I wouldn't mind having that pastrami sandwich nearby. Sure beats the fuck out of anything Canter's is offering up the block.

                                                I thought I was the first one to notice it, but then there's the internets at play, and of course I'm 2 months late. (That's what I get for being a conscientious objector to all things social media)

                                                I was sad to see Vodvil disappear if for no other reason than they had the absolute best promo tease slogan imaginable:

                                                "THE MOST EXCITEMENT ON FAIRFAX SINCE THE GREAT WHITEFISH SCANDAL OF 1954"


                                                Mr Taster

                                                  1. re: jessejames

                                                    Yes, they have such a much more limited menu than PC it seems.....

                                                1. re: wienermobile

                                                  Wow, I missed out on this info. I'm going to have to try the pastrami fries soon too.

                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                    It was a special and I didn't notice it on the blackboard on Monday..... But that pastrami Nosh is on the menu and it rocks.

                                                  2. re: wienermobile

                                                    Just announced a 3rd Plan Check will be opening in downtown LA early next year. Southern Fry for the whole city.

                                                      1. re: JAB

                                                        Their address will be 1111 Wilshire Blvd and should open in March 2014

                                                      2. re: wienermobile

                                                        Perhaps the chef(s) will be more consistent with the new location.
                                                        Hope so.

                                                        1. re: latindancer

                                                          I have never had a problem with inconsistency at Plan Check and I've dined there over a dozen times.

                                                          1. re: wienermobile

                                                            So have I.

                                                            With all due respect...
                                                            Just because a person's been to a place a dozen or more times and everything on those occasions has been status quo doesn't mean inconsistency with other patrons isn't an issue.
                                                            I love the fried chicken at Plan Check.
                                                            However, on a few occasions, the smokiness is just too overwhelming and I can't eat it. If it was the same each time I was there I wouldn't complain, but it just isn't. I have to assume it's a different person preparing the food which is how it's been explained to me by the waitstaff when I've questioned the problem.

                                                          2. re: wienermobile

                                                            I'd say Lynwood is a southern fry-free zone. (Unless you're speaking literally about the city of LA)


                                                            Mr Taster

                                                        2. Anyone else watch the new Bravo show about the food industry women - that seemingly took place entirely at Plan Check? What was once an hour wait there will now be 2 hours wait.

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: yogachik

                                                            No! Not heard of it. Oh jeez, I hope not. I've got to have that butter lettuce salad every so often....

                                                            1. re: yogachik

                                                              i think i saw a commercial for that before Top Chef. so is this reality show about them... running Plan Check? are they the new kitchen team or something? (and does that mean Plan Check's chef has left?)

                                                              1. re: chowseeker1999

                                                                It's about a restaurant publicist, the editor of LA Eater, and some other women (one is Francesco Clemente's daughter who's a private chef, another is a pastry chef/owner of a pastry shop). They eat at Plan Check in the first, hour-long, episode and ooh and aah over every bite.

                                                            2. The day has come...Plan Check on 351 N. Fairfax is set to open this Friday. From LA Eater " Plan Check Fairfax is opening this Friday 12/13. Matthew Biancaniello is behind drinks like a white truffle Negroni (this isn't his first truffle tango) and a beet-horseradish spiked Breeders Cup. Plan Check #3 is set to launch in early 2014 at 1111 Wilshire"

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: wienermobile

                                                                Thanks for the update. Im thinking it's within a block of Golden State ?

                                                                Yeah, there's a quick blurb in the Times on it, but foolishly they didn't include the date that it would open.

                                                                1. re: wienermobile

                                                                  Now even less parking in my neighborhood.... thanks Jebus for my street parking permit.

                                                                  Mr Taster

                                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                    But now you can walk to all these places instead of having to drive, points west, to Sawtelle.

                                                                2. Bigger inside too….and larger menu.

                                                                  1. I have heard their fried chicken is great.

                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Thor123

                                                                      have had the fried chicken sandwich - quite good, but for me not as good as the burgers. id like to try that fried chicken plate -- does it come with bones/skin?

                                                                      1. re: jessejames

                                                                        Yes some of the best fried chicken in the city and no bones

                                                                        1. re: wienermobile

                                                                          great! ill have to give that a test spin! with a side of burger.

                                                                          1. re: wienermobile

                                                                            Though I do think you have to have a taste for chicken karagge to like their fried chicken.

                                                                            I'm not the biggest fan.

                                                                            What I did like was their pastrami fries and their burger topped with pastrami and cheese.

                                                                            I do hate those wrought iron pots (?) that they served almost everything in, it's just too unweildly for me.

                                                                            1. re: kevin

                                                                              I have not had Chicken Karagge. Is it sweet?

                                                                              1. re: Thor123

                                                                                mY bad, i think my spell check spelled that wrong.

                                                                                It doesn't have to be sweet.

                                                                                Heres a decent pic: