Exiting the 101 North at White Oak, entrenched in the valley, somewhere in Reseda there was a burger joint that had caught my eye on the way to a coworker’s home. I had made plans last Thursday to finally grab an early dinner at Zig’s Restaurant with my friend after our early day since my interest was piqued.

My friend told me about the place a few different times, trying desperately to rein in my enthusiasm for a place that never really captured his. With the grave briefing I would not be dissuaded, though I did not completely discount the criticisms either. They seemed plausible.

We opened the doors to Zig’s Restaurant, a quiet afternoon where the staff gave a surprised eye as we sat ourselves in a booth at the southwest corner of the petite eatery. It was a diner in feel, with booths and a semicircle bar in the core of the floor plans. There was nothing new or flashy inside and I was at ease about the prospects of eating a solid sandwich.

Scanning the menu for interesting styles I was surprised by how deep the list was. I ordered the Bullet with chili fries and across the table my buddy ordered the cheeseburger and half order of garlic fries. My initial read was promising, the prices were fair (almost cheap) and the choices were comfortably exotic.

The burgers were made fresh judging by the elapsed time for them to reach the table with accoutrement. The portions were enormous; the chili fries could have been easily split making his half order of garlic fries superfluous as they toppled out of the basket. My bullet arrived on a chipped pastel green plate—screaming southwest—in a hoagie-esque form with peppers, American cheese, elongated beef patty and thousand-island spread. I took a couple bites and enjoyed the flavors, the spice from the peppers meshed with the sweet sauce but the patty was not as tender as I expected. The quality of meat was lower and grating as I finished the meal. The cheeseburger on the flipside did not disappoint my friend though he pointed out similar flaws in the meat and his expectations were hovering just above his shoelaces.

I could not muster enough strength to finish the burger and chili fries, so half a plate of fries smothered in chili were left as bystanders. A rare happening for me—I am not a fan of waste. It was a long and early dinner that did not quite pan out the way I had hoped. I see a lot of things that the average consumer would love wedged between prices and portions but the overall quality would make this drive a bit tortured when I can find the same kind of food at Big Tomy’s on Pico and Sawtelle Blvd—much closer to my residence. We walked out almost in total agreement that our next lunch/dinner would take place elsewhere.