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Melrose Avenue much like Fairfax Avenue, houses a bevy of amazing eateries. These restaurants run the gamut of flavors, styles and expenses. All crammed within a couple miles from each other, an Angeleno can choose to dine at Lucques, Providence, Osteria Mozza, Comme Cà, Angeli Caffe, Hatfields, and the newest eatery on the block Red O—an outstanding collection of culinary stalwarts. However, if you are feeling a little less than glitzy there is also another viable option… 8oz burger bar.

I was recently invited to dine here (for my third time) with a party of fourteen persons (a huge feat, in its own right), and although I like to find new places, I gladly embraced the invitation, knowing that the 8oz. burger is consistently well made.

After parking close by—on a street that did not require a parking permit—I made my way into 8oz where there was a large party waiting at a makeshift table. The first thing that I notice about the place is the lighting, always a little too dark for my taste—very difficult to take photos without a good flash—and it barely illuminates the spare setting of mostly worn wood and dark tables/benches that are often filled with the well-groomed residents of the surrounding neighborhoods. It is a bare bones and relaxed ambiance that is conducive to enjoying a dressed down meal or drink sin pretense!

The menu selection is also simple and direct, there are two main options: pre-created burgers or the do-it-yourself variety, giving the chefs a greater success rate since they’re not really testing themselves. I decided to change things up and order the Estancia grass fed beef burger ($9), which made use of charred escarole, tomato, onion, sautéed mushrooms and their special sauce. The other two times I had been to 8oz. I ate the signature burger but thought that if I were going to try the same burger bar then I should try a different style burger. I also wanted a break from my comfort zone and gambled on an order of fried pickles ($4). Three of us split a bottle of Hey Mambo—a Rhone-style blend of red wine ($28) that would meld into the flavors of the burger while the rest of the group favored a pour of the decent beer selection to accompany their burgers.

After we sipped our respective beverages as the burgers made the table relatively quickly, considering our group’s size, and they arrived on top parchment paper lined plates—again, nothing fancy. Most burgers shared the plate with their respective sides, unless you ordered the potato skins with truffle oil, they came nestled in their own basket.

The presentation was nothing special, if not a little messy but it showcased a flawless burger bun framing a thick patty and some vegetables protruding from the vertical composition. However understated the presentation, the patty was incredibly tender and oozing with jus. The texture of the grind was soft and fine and it worked in tandem with the fresh, non-descript bun. The charred escarole did nothing to enhance, nor take away from the perfectly executed patty. As for those fried pickles? Cloying tartness, with just about every bite the acid became more pronounced. It was not my favorite side dish.

Out of all fourteen diners, there were no complaints (at least none that I could hear in table range), just fourteen perfectly executed burgers and fourteen content diners, yammering in satisfaction. While some of the elements fall short, namely the burger’s informal appearance, the first bite makes up for it. In my book, consistency is king with any establishment, so, for all three separate occasions to yield a success, means that these guys can cook to a perfect medium thus deserving of a nine star burger rating. 8 oz. is casual—through and through—and its change of pace is a welcomed reprieve on this major epicurean avenue that nicely compliments its big time culinary peers.

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