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The Foundry on Melrose—a beautiful and modern establishment dedicated to Jazz and dressed up food. Eric Greenspan is responsible for a lot of the wonderful things that go on at this hip eatery—especially the burger. So renowned, it vies for the title of best burger in our big city (“Los Angeles, I’m Yours”).

It was here that my group and I took on the Patio Season Burger ($12 each) to see if it could be our favorite as it is for so many others including Quinn Hatfield of Hatfield’s—another reputable restaurant.

With the burger, we ordered a bottle of wine ($57 but curiously enough they charged $32) to split four ways and a side of mustard greens ($6).

Burger Breakdown:

Arriving on a square plate, open-faced on four tiny Hawaiian sweet buns (eight in total) lay an inch thick patty with some arugula, tomato and cornichon pickles. On one side of the square plate there are three separate square dishes providing “summer condiments” (which included tamarind onion tapenade, homemade mayonnaise and pineapple bacon relish). Lining the other side of the square plate are three golden onion rings with a silky smooth complexion. The presentation… stunning.

Damon Gambuto's image

I excitedly dug in after a word on the best way to eat it. That was to cut it into sliders—four miniature burgers to enjoy, or so I thought. Two of the four burgers (mine included) at the table were a tad overcooked; they retained the pink center but were devoid of jus. The onion rings were also served cold. The burger really worked the sweet angle—the rolls and relish were a bit out of balance for my palate. The grind was coarse and became tiresome. For my money the burger had little going right for it. The mustard greens were forgettable.

On the side:

I will say a little bit about the service because I think it is an underrated part of a meal—made especially more important when you have less than stellar service. Our waiter was friendly but not too knowledgeable, leaving something to be desired about the wine and beverages. At the end of the meal we had a little problem with the cheese plate; the server assigned to us for describing the cheeses was reciting notes from a training pad (seemingly amateur). Everyone has to learn somewhere but it was apparent the staff was not as familiar with their fare as some of the other eateries of this lot. It was acceptable but could have been better.

I can safely say that this burger is unique—I cannot think of another one quite like this. There are burgers that have similar goals but Mr. Greenspan has taken burger making to another level, leaving the imagination wildly active. Unfortunately, it does not chime with me but others seem to be enthralled (call me a traditionalist).

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