Burger mania has swept Los Angeles over the past few years, with spots such as Umami, Stout, Gold Coast, Father’s Office, The Counter, and 8oz (RIP) all vying for a position at the top of the totem pole. With all the burger hype going about the city, the Daily Grill in Downtown Los Angeles invited me to sample their own meaty offerings as well as several other items on their menu. The media-comped meal was part of an effort to raise awareness of the Daily Grill’s burger, which is made with 100% Certified Angus Beef Chuck that’s ground twice a day in-house.
And so I trekked down to Flower and 6th where I found the very cool, very mid-century restaurant bustling with lawyers and corporate types all enjoying the lunch rush. I could almost imagine Don Draper and Roger Sterling holed up in a corner sipping martinis and downing oysters. If only I’d remembered my Dobbs fedora.
Nevertheless, I wasn’t there to fantasize about Mad Men. I was there for a BURGER. How did lunch at the Daily Grill stack up? Results after the jump…
Things start off on a decidedly summery note with the arrival of a lemonade. I find it to be on the sweeter side of the spectrum, but once the ice melts a bit, it’s positively lovely.
Despite the weather being blazing hot outside, I start with a warm bowl of Manhattan Clam Chowder. For lack of any better descriptors, it’s pretty good! Very clammy. And Manhattany! #losingfoodbloggercred
We also order some garlic toast bread, which I find tastes best dipped in the aforementioned chowder.
A “mini” chicken pot pie that’s about the size of my FACE.
The ever dramatic piercing of the pastry dough.
By the way, even though I was there to sample the burger, this pot pie was lip-smacking good. It proved to be my favorite dish of the meal.
At last, the much-hyped burger arrives. This is the Pepper Bacon burger, which promises double cheddar, pepper bacon, and 1,000 Island dressing. I like the colors; although, given that I ordered medium rare, I’m a touch concerned about the serious meat char.
The first bite is nothing but gray. This tends to be an ominous sign when it comes to a medium rare burger. I hold out hope that things will be turning pink sometime soon.
Unfortunately, by the time I get to the center, I discover that the burger is 100% well done. Normally — as my friends know — I will actually send a burger back if it’s so flagrantly overdone; however, I have to admit that despite the lack of pink hues, this burger is actually very juicy. I mean, not as juicy as it could be, but juicy enough that I really don’t have a problem with it being well-done. The Daily Grill grinds their meat twice a day, which leads to maximum juiciness, even in minimally pink situations. Plus, the burger is really tasty. I eat the whole thing and promptly fall into a severe food coma.
What sort of power lunch isn’t complete without cocktails? Here’s the Daily Grill’s take on the French 75. I assumed the champagne-based drink would come in a flute. Instead it arrives in a mega-sized glass that puts the Big Gulp to shame. I’m not complaining.
The waiter tops off the libation with some Moët as I contemplate how I’m supposed to drink this while in post-burger physical shutdown.
Clearly the Daily Grill didn’t realize that these are in fact novelty fish bowls.
I’m totally fascinated / scared. I’ve never seen a drink this big that didn’t involve a cocktail umbrella.
The good news is that the cocktail provides a lovely, refreshing note to the otherwise heavy meal. It won’t blow you away, but it gets better as it goes along, especially once the bubbly assimilates with the lemon juice, Gran Marnier, and ice.
I don’t really have room for dessert, and yet here we are. I order the “Daily Grill” Fudge Brownie Pie. I have high hopes.
I appreciate how this dessert looks like a flying saucer that got attacked by Slimer.
A more refined Keylime Pie that my tablemate ordered.
Okay… so… there’s no easy way to say this, but…. this dessert was a FAIL. First off, there was so much caramel sauce on top that it drowned out everything. And believe me, I am a sauce person. I love lots of it, but I could barely taste the brownie. Worse though was the ice cream which had an icy, crystalline texture, which usually indicates that it had actually melted and then was refrozen. It was bad.
Here’s a closeup where you can actually see that the ice cream is not creamy but instead full of icy shards. I reject very few ice creams, but this one really should not have been served.
In the end, here’s what you have to know:
A) The decor is super cool. Very mid-century Mad Men. Aren’t you all glad I took NO photos?
B) The chicken pot pie is delish, but huge — be warned.
C) The cocktails are big. RILL big. That can be good or bad, depending on what you’re looking for. (Usually good in my book)
D) The burger is super tasty, but just make sure that if you want it medium-rare, you emphasize this strongly to your server otherwise you might wind up in Gray Gardens.
E) The brownie dessert needs to be avoided at all costs.
For more information, check out the Daily Grill’s website here.