Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Taste test: 25 Degrees
As soon as Matt saw a photo of the burger at 25 Degrees, he was eager to try it. But I wasn't looking forward to paying more for parking at the Hollywood Roosevelt than the cost of the burger itself. So when we got tickets to see The Fall at the Knitting Factory, we took advantage of the Knitting Factory's more reasonably-priced parking and stopped in at 25 Degrees before the show. The sceney burger joint was a bit more diner-ish than I'd anticipated -- I thought it would be more secluded and clubby, but it's right on Hollywood Blvd. with an unmistakable coffee shop bustle. The combo of flat-screen TVs playing Shadow of a Doubt, red-flocked wallpaper and chandeliers is appealingly quirky, not to mention the winsome milk bottle wine carafes.
The food: Matt got a special burger with chiles and roquefort, while I wimped out at the last minute (I'm occasionally beef-o-phobic) and got a turkey burger with Midnight Moon cheese and carmelized onions. Although Matt asked for his burger medium, it came medium rare, but we agreed that was probably preferable to show off the beef. The blue cheese somehow amplified the beefiness of the burger, and Matt really liked it although it was pretty messy. The turkey burger's meat didn't have a lot of flavor, but with the sauce and onions, it was still a mighty savory package. The onion rings would be genius if they could somehow get the batter to stick to the onions -- we were left with a pile of batter and lots of naked onions, but the garlic parmesan mayonaise dipping sauce was so good it was hard to complain.
The verdict: People have complained that 25 Degrees is pricey, but I don't know where else you can get burgers with specialty cheeses, onion rings with amazing sauces, a good selection of beer and wine and get out for $40 for two. I'm sure Father's Office would have been even more. The cheese and toppings selection is excellent (next time I'll try the shitake mushrooms on a burger). Service is a bit spotty, with one lone waitress valiantly trying to cover all the tables, and waits for menus, food and check were all quite long for a diner. But 25 Degrees is a fun place to grab a bite before or after a movie or concert in the area.
7000 Hollywood Blvd.