Father's Day dining guide 2011
Every May, moms are showered with Champagne brunches. Once Father's Day rolls around, dads should get to indulge gastronomically too, and we're not talking chocolate-covered strawberries. Sure, golf, a Dodgers game, a hike, even fishing are all nice gestures.... But we're thinking beer, burgers and such.
Susan Feniger's Street: After the eatery ran it as a special on the lunch menu at the request of a regular, the burger’s success landed it a permanent spot on the menu. Made with all-natural Angus beef, Vermont white cheddar, homemade pickles and yuzu kosho sauce, the Brioche Cheeseburger is a burger lover's burger especially when paired with the Ridge Zinfandel, the Godfather cocktail (Jameson Irish whiskey, Maker's Mark and amaretto liqueur) or the Lost Coast Downtown Brown, with aromas of roasted malt and cocoa. 742 N. Highland Ave., L.A., 323-203-0500; eatatstreet.com.
Bouchon: Ground in-house by Bouchon's very own butcher, the beef patty is made of chuck, sirloin and brisket. It's served on a brioche bun with aged cheddar from Hudson Valley, New York; butter pickles; bibb lettuce and heirloom tomatoes. Le Burger Bouchon is great paired with the restaurant's specially crafted beers: The Blue Apron by Brooklyn Brewery is a heavier and fuller-bodied Belgian ale while the White Apron by the Russian River Brewing Co. is a lighter, crisp pilsner. 235 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-271-9910; bouchonbistro.com.
Drago: In honor of pops, the Santa Monica flagship is pairing its pints with a five-course pork tasting menu. A menu consisting of head cheese, pig trotter croquettes and pork belly displays snout-to-tail utilization in full effect. Optional beer pairings for the "Festa del Papa" include the Ommegang Abbey Ale and Ayinger Brewery's Celebrator Doppelbock. 2628 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-828-1585; celestinodrago.com.
A-Frame: Chef Roy Choi created the Double Cheeseburger in homage to the Korean-owned burger stands scattered throughout South L.A. Inside its toasted brioche bun, the thin salt-and-peppered patty is topped with white cheddar, tomato confit and pickled red onion. A single splash of Tapatio is what makes this burger a true West Coast staple. Suggested pairings are a Dogfish IPA or a Hitachino Nest beer. 12565 Washington Blvd., L.A., 310-398-7700; aframela.com.
Salt’s Cure: Free-range and grass-fed, the house blend of Santa Barbara beef is sandwiched in a perfectly toasted poppy seed bun. Wagon Wheel Cheese from Cowgirl Creamery and house-cured bacon from Tamworth pigs get nice and cozy with the 7-ounce patty, making for quite the mouth-watering burger. 7494 Santa Monica Blvd., WeHo, 323-850-7258; saltscure.com.
Son of a Gun: So it's not a burger, but the fried chicken sandwich from Son on a Gun is not to be missed. With a spicy b&b pickle slaw and rooster aioli, chef Vinny Dotolo’s inspiration for the sandwich stems from Bakesale Betty's, Chick-Fil-A and McDonald's. Best paired with Mama's Little Yella Pils, Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale or try the Hopf Helle Weisse. 8370 W. 3rd St., L.A., 323-782-9033; sonofagunrestaurant.com.
Rustic Canyon Wine Bar: Comprising distinct flavors -– sharp cheddar, onion fondue, bread and butter pickles and an herb remoulade -– the Niman Ranch Burger is a complete burger eating affair with hand-cut French fries. The seasonal kitchen recommends pairing the medium-rare patty with Reissdorf Kolsch, a light and refreshing German beer from Cologne, a strongly hopped amber ale like Red Seal Ale from North Coast Brewing Co. or the Orval Trappiste Ale, a longer roasted and therefore very rich Belgian ale (made by monks, no less). 1119 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-393-7050; rusticcanyonwinebar.com.
Top photo: fried chicken sandwich
Credit: Son of a Gun restaurant