Santa Monica, CA
Most of us west-siders have been to The Misfit for drinks, but you might not know that they make an awesome burger. The Canuck and I popped in to the usually-crowded Misfit for lunch on Saturday and were seated in the belly of the the restaurant, opposite the bar. The decor inside reminds me of an old-school American clubhouse. Dimly lit with dark wood and leather, the bar extends high into the second story, giving the illusion of a library wall. Since it was noon, I ordered a Bloody Mary, but the Canuck went all in and ordered the Clocktower Manhattan. [What can I say? We were in a post-holiday season funk and needed some pick-me-ups.] We started with the "shoestring" fries and of course added the Maytag bleu cheese- it's the only way to go. Since we've both had the burger twice before, we branched out. The Ahi Tuna Burger for me and the Fried Chicken Sandwich for him.
I do have a special place in my heart for the bleu cheese fries, they're skinny and crispy, which is how I like it. However, the bleu cheese crumbles don't melt enough and its hard to get bleu cheese in every bite. Might I suggest melting it slightly, perhaps a 60 second oven blitz, or instead of serving with a honey mustard, serve with a light bleu cheese dip? I will eat my fries with a fork if it means bleu cheese in every bite, but I'd prefer to use my fingers.
Let's start with the Ahi, because this subject requires discussion, extending beyond the Misfit's menu:
I understand that most places that offer an Ahi Burger are mimicking a beef burger as best they can, but ground Ahi is mushy, lacks texture, and its such a light clean fish, it adopts whatever flavor you add to it, which means SEASON THE GODAMN THING. Ironically, everything else on the burger has a lot of flavor to offer. They're usually topped with avocado, daikon sprouts, lemon or wasabi aioli, teriyaki, tomato, lettuce etc- tasty ingredients! But the fish itself isn't bringing anything to the bun, if ya know what I mean.
The Misfit's ahi burger tasted fresh, clean and healthy, but it wouldn't hurt to season the tuna, and add a spicy mayo or wasabi. The other real issue is that Ahi has almost no fat, but fat is a key ingredient in burgers, besides being a flavor builder, it holds the patty together. This is why ahi burgers tend to fall apart after the first bite. Needless to say I ate the entire thing with a fork and knife. And while the Misfit beef burger is great on the sliced, grilled bread, the ahi burger needs a different kind of bookend. Something softer, that won't squish the patty when you bite it.
Let's move on to the fried chicken sandwich. We saw one come out of the kitchen before we ordered it, and it was stacked tall with goodies. It starts with pickles and apple slices, then the fried chicken breast - very crispy but not particularly moist - then the fennel-apple slaw, and a spicy mayo. The spicy mayo was a winner here, and the breading on the chicken had a ton of heated flavor. BUT overall, the sandwich lost out to: (drumroll please) R+D Kitchen's chicken sandwich. Don't get me wrong, the Misfit's fried chicken sandwich was a solid entry in the competition. It is by no means a bad sandwich, it just wasn't as good, and it wasn't unique enough to negate the obvious comparison.
I have a lot of respect for The Misfit, there are so many tasty items on their menu: the lobster nik niks, the mac n' cheese, the beef burger... and the salted chocolate chip cookies are unbelievable, but they still have some work to do!