• beers and burgers at the counter

    February 16th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, the counter

    if you live in los angeles, you’ve probably heard of the counter, a super popular burger joint with several locations and loads of quality beer on tap.

    lucky for us herbivore folks, the veggie burger patty at the counter is vegan…and even though the buns are not, you can opt for your burger in a bowl atop a salad. normally, we wouldn’t be thrilled by this option, but the killer draught list inspired us to check the counter out.

    we hit up the brand new wilshire location over the weekend and were pleasantly surprised…

    the menu at the counter comes on a clipboard with a little pencil, and you basically mark off whatever you want. we grabbed a seat at the bar and immediately got to work. as i said earlier, the veggie patty is safe to eat, but the buns aren’t…so we opted for the burger in a bowl option on mixed greens. (bummer that this option costs $1 extra…damn vegan tax!) at the counter you also get to choose up to 4 toppings per burger, as well as a sauce. the staff is pretty knowledgeable about what’s vegan and what isn’t, so be sure to check with them first on the sauce front. we went with scallions, cucumbers, sprouts, and tomatoes with the dijon balsamic vinaigrette.

    1/3 lb veggie burger in a bowl with organic mixed greens, scallions, cucumbers, tomatoes, sprouts and balsamic vinaigrette. $9.50

    i must say, i was pretty impressed with the quality of the burger. the patty was a mixture of vegetables and rice, pan-fried and crispy around the edges. i have heard rumors that they use different vegan patties at different counter locations, but i can definitely vouch for the one at the wilshire restaurant. all the vegetables were top notch as well, from the fresh greens and crispy tomatoes, to the flavorful and crunchy little scallions. it’s a shame about the non-vegan buns, but i’d definitely order this on a salad again.

    now the thing that makes the counter really special in my book is the excellent selection of beer on tap. pictured above is only half of what they have at the wilshire location. we both got pints of raging bitch ipa by flying dog, a strong beligian-style IPA that i’m totally in love with.

    inside, the counter has got a kind of 50’s diner vibe with a modern twist: huge booths, a long bar, and lots of comfy seating. i could definitely spend a few hours at the bar sampling different brews and slowly eating a veggie burger. the wilshire location also has patio dining if you prefer to eat outside…

    i wouldn’t suggest you rush over to counter to try out their awesome vegan selection…however, if you enjoy beer and appreciate a good burger served on top of salad, it’s definitely worth checking out. i know i will be back frequently.

    check out the counter’s website for locations.

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18 responses to “beers and burgers at the counter” RSS icon

  • I love The Counter! There’s one right by me so my bf and I go there when we’re craving veggies and beer. Awesome place to go with omnivores.

  • Hmm. I visited their website, where they list the veggie burger as vegetarian but not vegan (there are 2 columns: one for vegetarian items, another for vegan ones). I noticed, though, that they also have grilled vegetables brushed with oil, and fries. This sounds good (the fries are listed as vegan and gluten-free on their website).

  • I’ve been to the Santa Monica location twice and really love their veggie burgers. I actually think it’s brilliant to have a veggie burger over a salad! I’d much rather have the bed of greens than a bun.

  • Gauri Radha गौरी राधा

    I’m born and raised in LA and I’d never heard of this place. It would be so cool if they could get some vegan burger-buns too!

  • I’m in northern california and the veggie burgers are the same at the Counter up here – and they are delicious! When you go back, definitely try the sweet potato fries and Onion rings (but be sure to get vegan sauces – the ones they come with aren’t). Sucks that they charge to have it in a bowl now (that’s new).

  • on their allergen menu, the veggie burger is listed as having no dairy or eggs…so maybe they check that in case you get it with a bun? i called 3 different locations and they all told me immediately that the veggie patty is vegan, but the bun is not. hopefully they were right!

  • oh, nevermind! scroll down to under “burgers” and the veggie burger is marked as vegan. yay. 🙂


  • Ah, okay; I was looking just above at the Unique Veggie Burger and didn’t see the separate burger section. Thanks for the info. I still wouldn’t eat the burger because it’s not gluten-free, but it’s great for those who don’t avoid gluten.

  • Their onion rings aren’t vegan. Onion rings rarely are 🙁

  • On one trip to The Counter I discovered that the sun-dried tomato vinaigrette is made with chicken stock…gross. Thankfully the waitress realized with all that we were ordered we must be vegan or vegetarian, and she was quick to inform me!

  • this is a crazy, fucked up world.

  • What the fuck is up with a business going to the trouble to provide a vegan veggie patty and no vegan bun!?

    If I want a salad I’ll order a salad. If I want a burger I want it on a goddamn bun. I don’t get this fucking “burger in a bowl” (and “burrito in a bowl” for that matter) fucking nonsense. That’s no burger, it’s just a salad with fancy croutons.

  • How incredibly awful! Why on earth would anyone put chicken stock in a salad dressing?!!!!!!

  • Veggie Grill puts vegan onion rings on their American Stack burger and its the ish. just sayin 🙂

  • A-fucking-MEN!!!!

  • You can get them on the side, too… $1 for 3

    Native Foods also has onion rings now…they come w/ the Meatball Sub…I’m sure you can get them as a side if you wanted.

  • They play crappy rock and pop music WAY too loud at these places. I mean, who wants to have a nice conversation over a vegan meal while Billy Joel’s retarded ode to the 60’s- We Didn’t Start the Fire is blaring in your ears?! Not cool. Not cool at all.

  • Gauri Radha गौरी राधा

    I adore how opinionated everyone on this blog is. It’s awesome 😀

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