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The Six has been a candidate in my almost-weekly-burger quest for the last couple of months, losing out to some other viable running mates in the race along the way. This week, however, I was looking to explore the highly touted restaurant off Pico Boulevard and Overland Avenue to celebrate a birthday.

I had numerous people build up this burger before I had ever had it and I was curious if it would live up to the hype, or lead to its own demise, suffering the Napoleon Dynamite effect. There were five of us celebrating my roommate’s brother’s birthday—he was turning 21—and we would be having what was billed as the “best” burger around, sharing a round of beers and one glass of wine while enjoying the inviting environment of the Westside eatery.

The Six was impressively designed, featuring a communal table, a booth and lots of smaller tables under wan lighting, fostering an intimate mood perfect for dates. The vibe was relaxed and eaters were all roughly our age—mid-twenties give or take—and everywhere we looked there were visual indicators, cues, like a group of six photographs hanging above the booth where we sat to remind us that we were eating at The Six.

We ordered our round of beverages, including four different beers and a Writer’s Block Cabernet Franc (#162). We made no bones about it; we were there for the burgers. Casual eating that suited our Friday night plans, the tough choice was how we wanted our fries or our burger cooked. In addition to the burgers all around I had put in for the White Bean Cassoulet.

The prices were steep, sixteen dollars for a burger and fries, which, unfortunately is becoming the standard price tag for a gourmet burger in Los Angeles. I could not mull it over for too long because the Cassoulet arrived in a cast iron skillet with a farm egg and finished with a fresh coating of shaved Parmesan. The white bean stew had a lot of fresh herbs coming through and tender white beans. It was excellent, not too salty, just an honest bean dish. Things were looking up.

Next up were the burgers that made the table in a similar fashion to another restaurant down Pico Boulevard—Upper West—with a knife piercing into the flaky brioche bun. The fries were served in a metallic cup lined with white parchment paper a la Upper West. Whether the presentation was a copy or not, I was impressed by the size, a generous patty, sharp blue cheese, tomato, onion rings, thousand island sauce and tender butter greens, all of which stood half a foot tall on the white porcelain plate.

The first few bites were difficult—it was a messy burger. The sharp cheese dominated the flavors and the sweet thousand-island-rejoinder could not balance it. And then the problems began to pile up… The most egregious of errors was an over-cooked patty that wasn’t limited to my burger. I had asked for medium rare and that burger was closer to medium well but to my surprise it was not totally dried out. The bun disintegrated under the little bit of jus that escaped from the patty and it made it tough to handle. I washed down my disappointment with the almost minty Cabernet Franc from Lake County.

Easy to say that the burger did not meet my expectations and the asking price was a little too pricey for a gamble. The balance of flavors is one thing that is subjective, it did not work for me but that is not to say it wont work for others. Cooking time though, is no joke. People rightly talk up Father’s Office and Umami because they are technically sound and will never over-cook an order. The Six got a lot of things right, I liked the ambiance, my fries and enjoyed the Cassoulet but one thing I might want to shore up before boasting that I have the best burger ever is the cooking time.

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