Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Recon: 25 DEGREES @ THE ROOSEVELT

Hollywood, CA


One of my best friends from high school, Laura, came up to LA last weekend for a quick last hurrah before she ducks off to grad school in DC.  A dedicated burger fan, she’s kept up with Burger Recon and wanted to hit up a joint with me.  We settled on 25 Degrees at the Roosevelt Hotel- which I never tire of visiting- and made the trek from the Westside to this LA hot spot.

The d├ęcor is all red/maroon from the painted tin ceiling to the bouncy booths and brocade wallpaper. They have a full bar, and then booths and tables surrounding it, looking out on to Hollywood Boulevard. I opted for the ‘Number One,’ which consists of caramelized onion, prelibato gorgonzola, crescenza, bacon, arugula, and thousand island.  Laura opted for the ‘Number Two,’ with burrata, roasted tomato, crisp prosciutto, and pesto.  The burgs come with your choice of a side so she went with fries, while I got rings, and we chose a garlic aioli and a parmesan aioli to dip them in. 

Fries and rings came out first, on long platters, with more food than could ever be necessary.  The rings were sliced thin, with a non-greasy breading that had a powerful kick.  There is honest to god SPICE in that breading- you’ll want a creamy aioli to dip them in.  Laura is not a huge fan of onion rings, but she was digging these.  The fries were extra crispy- almost burnt, the way I like them- lightly salted and tossed in a tiny bit of chopped dill.  We loved them.  As we marveled at the size of the sides, our burgers came out, and there was barely enough room on the table.



These burgers are 5-6 inches in diameter, with huge, fluffy, sweet brioche buns. I was afraid to pick it up.  They come loosely tucked in paper, with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle on the side.  We didn’t even try to stuff these toppings into our already jam-packed burgers.  We picked them up to take our first bites and it took a few bites before I finally tasted everything at once.  It was fantastic- the arugula balanced out the cheeses and the caramelized onions, while delicious, were not overpowering.  Laura’s burger had a great combo in the pesto and cheese but it was very rich.  Decadent even.  The gorgonzola on mine was strong, but if you like gorgonzola, then you’re all set.  I pretty much deconstructed mine and ended up eating it with a fork- which is something I normally would not approve of- but it was so enormous and rich that it felt like a refined meal, and honestly I just couldn’t keep it together.

Having already consumed a bottle of wine before heading out, we opted for diet coke with our burgs. Our generous waiter- who clearly recognized the signs of caffeine addiction- brought out a milk jug full of diet coke for us.  We were debating ordering a ‘spiked’ milkshake.  Yes, they have alcoholic milkshakes for the booze hound in all of us, but we already had to box up half our meal in doggy bags so there was just no way.

Service was great the whole time: attentive, honest and helpful.  I’m embarrassed to say I think we went a little too early in the evening for my taste.  We were hungry for sure, but the crowd felt touristy and the place wasn’t packed.  It’s open 24 hours a day and I got the impression that if we had come at 10pm or after 2am we would have met a distinctly more raucous and local crowd.  The quality of food to price ratio is phenomenal.  We paid less than $25 each for perfectly prepared, enormous portions of food.  If anything I would say the most ‘expensive’ thing we ordered was the diet coke- at $4 each. 

Come starving or share everything, because as Laura summed it up, “This is like an event, it takes time and you’ll be stuffed after.”  And by stuffed she means we were in food comas for hours.  I want to go back and try other things on the menu- and by try other things I mean move into the Roosevelt indefinitely until I’ve sampled the whole menu. They have a grilled cheese and an extensive breakfast menu that can’t be anything but delicious…

2 comments:

  1. SO happy I read this while eating my lunch (a lunch that pales in comparison to this meal). This will be our first stop on my next LA trip!!!

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  2. can you mail me a burger and those onion rings?? haha ok thanks!

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