Hello Culver City Burger-philes! Continuing my adventure to taste the best burgers in our fair town, I visited the ever popular Father’s Office in the Helms Bakery District.
Father’s Office was opened by chef and owner Sang Yoon, who elevated the small space in the original and still popular location in Santa Monica to a gastropub phenomenon. Thankfully, he expanded to a second location in the Culver City Helms Bakery District that has much better parking and significantly more space. In addition, he made a popular destination for beer drinkers and foodies from all points of Los Angeles.
Speaking of the space, Father’s Office is a beauty. Nearly every surface is covered in a nice lacquered wood and a phenomenal outdoor patio with a long stretch of communal tables. A thick menu filled with beer, wine, mixed drinks, appetizers and a "Daily Specials" menu on little LCD screen at the bartender stations makes the experience all the more tantalizing. At FO’s, you do all your ordering at the bar, take your number placard and the food is brought to you. Thankfully, they still serve the beer directly to you.
There is only one burger at Father’s Office and there is no burger editing here. Some may find it offensive to order a $12 burger and not be able to customize it beyond the doneness of the meat. Father’s Office expects you to trust that the flavors labored over by Chef Yoon meld together to provide an elevated gourmet experience. I am okay with this; sometimes you have to trust the chef to serve great food. If that isn’t copacetic for you, have a beer and calm down and check out the other menu items. Regardless of your burger-editing orientation, this is without a doubt a great burger.
The rating system for the quest is simple, 1-5, 5 being best in four categories: Meat, Bun, Burger Options and Fries.
Meat: FO puts a strong contender for a great beef patty on the table—thick, juicy and in your face. Well-spiced, this is a patty that would be good by itself. It must be dry-aged beef as the beefy flavor is prominent. The burger was also delivered at a perfect medium-rare which made me happy. A solid 5.
Bun: The bun was fresh, soft and nearly the perfect density to stand up to the meat and capture the juice. This is bread that won’t get soggy on you. My only issue is that I think this bun is just a tad to thick—a minor quibble to be sure. A very strong 4.
Options: There are no options on the burger itself, however the mix of caramelized onions, bacon, gruyere and Maytag blue cheeses with peppery arugula greens is fantastic. In the mood for something else? Spanish Mushrooms ($5) or a small-ish (but flavor rich) portion of Braised Niman Ranch Pork Belly ($16) among others is on offer. Thirty or more beers on tap and in constant rotation? Check. Are some of those taps local California microbrews? Check. If you trust Chef Yoon, this is a 5. If you’re a burger editor 3.
Fries: Despite the availability of sweet potato fries, the deep fried standard here is pretty average. Thin cut with a touch of salt and a sprinkling of herbs, you can also do without these fries. They are good but not great. I give the fries a fair 3.
Some people call the Office burger the best burger in Los Angeles, but I am not one of those people. Now don’t get me wrong, this is a great burger, certainly worthy of a visit or a pilgrimage if you’re from out of town. However, if there is one thing I’ve learned on this Culver City Burger Quest, is this obvious thought: There is no one best burger. Each creation has a unique combination of flavors to entertain your taste buds. Go visit Father’s Office at Helms Bakery and try a raved-about burger for yourself.
Father’s Office is at 3229 Helms Avenue and is open Mon-Thurs 5p-1a and Fri-Sun Noon-2a.
Check out previous installments of the Culver City Burger Quest , and . Want to nominate a burger for the Culver City Burger Quest? Drop a note in the comments!