Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Gotta Eat! Pono Burger

It was a weekend of driving around randomly as I started in Playa Vista then up to Santa Monica over to West Hollywood down to Buena Park and finally over to Rancho Park. On Saturday we hit one of the few rent controlled yet most expensive cities in Los Angeles County, Santa Monica. I learned that Rent Control mainly impacts buildings constructed before 1978 but if your landlord wants to raise your rent 10% they're obligated to provide a 30 day notice. For 20% they owe you 60 days lead time. Anywho I've never really spent a lot of time in Santa Monica for one reason or another but it always just seems packed with traffic and people looking like they're heading to or from a yoga class. Bike lanes are a big thing there with bright green painted streets so I'm sorry I almost hit a cyclist while trying to park.

A former co-worker was speaking at an event in Santa Monica so a few of us decided to lunch it up. I searched for some spots close by and two popped up that caught my eye; Bay Cities and Pono Burger. Bay Cities is a pretty well known sammich shop that was even featured on Entourage. It's a deli and market known for their foot longs but apparently on a Saturday could be a bit of a sh!t show. We drove right past it and yup, sh!t show with some cheenius dropping someone off and blocking traffic when there was a metered spot right in front of them. As Bruce Willy as John McClane said, "f*cking California..." Right around the corner is Pono Burger. At first glance I thought it was Ponyo Burger, like that Studio Ghibli movie? Ponyo, Ponyo, Ponyoooo or Porno Burger for you dirty minds. There was plenty of street parking but apparently they have 90 minutes underground by some apartments. Interesting set up as you go into one structure to get seated and there's an old shed/hangar thing next door. Beer and wine joint with one cider option. Wasn't a brand I'd heard of before but it was nice and crisp and not too sweet.

All of their burgers are touted as organic, grass fed, better for you types and mine came with onion rangs. I made it a double to get my G's up so it ended up being a very tall burger with 10 ounces of Medium cooked beef. It was a surprisingly simple and light meal (I always eat my burgers sans buns so I can eat fries and not feel quite as bad). Fries aren't included though but they have sweet or Russet options with aioli on the side. I think that's just like fancy mayonnaise right? Garlic, olive oil and egg yolks, yup, fancy mayo. Being in Santa Monica down from the beach and serving up healthier options, it's not an overly cheap burger coming in at $16 bones for a burger and fries. But nice place, service and good food so I couldn't complain. Plus everybody complimented my Van Damme with poofy hair Bloodsport shirt.

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