UPDATED 2011: this place is now closed. RIP vegan burgers and beer.
recently, i joined fellow la blogger and chef extraordinaire jenn shaggy for a fantastic vegan lunch as she introduced me to the local 8 oz. burger bar on melrose. apparently jenn doesn’t just write about vegan food and make fabulous cruelty-free twinkies; she can also drop knowledge on new vegan-friendly los angeles eats and thirst-quenching watering holes. 8 oz. burger bar turned out to be a both: a chill restaurant offering one of the best meatless burgers in town, and also boasting a large selection of beers on tap. the perfect place for two alchie vegan girls to get their eat and drink on.
you see, 8 oz. burger is one of those joints that serves vegan food but advertises it nowhere on their menu. to many melrose-shopping la peeps passing through, the word “vegan” probably means “healthy-and-bland-beyond-belief,” and makes hip meat-eaters recoil in horror. 8 oz. is smarter than that, they avoid the v-word entirely. they simply list the ingredients of their veggie burger on the menu and and also offer a wide array of sauces and condiments that are almost entirely vegan. if you have any doubts, the knowledgeable staff will let you know exactly what is animal-free. for instance, even THE ONION RINGS ARE VEGAN…they aren’t fried along in the same fryer with dead creature bits and god knows what else. i can’t wait to go back and try them out.
that being said, all i had this time was the veggie burger with roasted mushrooms and hot sauce. the patty was absolutely delicious. a blend of grains, vegetables and total awesomeness; it was thick, juicy and filling. so many places offer a soy protein vegan burger that obviously comes out of a box in the freezer. not this badass, it was cleary homemade and not even trying to emulate meat. the mushrooms were a great addition to the avocado and wild arugula, and the hot sauce was spicy and tangy as ever. jenn ordered the same but with purple mustard and heirloom tomato ketchup, which i tried and were both out of this world.
so in the end, while 8 oz. burger doesn’t have what i would call a huge vegan selection, it does offer one kick ass veggie burger. they also have tons of vegan additions, condiments, side dishes and starters. i figure one burger can go a long way, and i have loads of meals to eat at 8 oz. before i get bored. it’s a great place to saddle up, grab a bite, drink a few good beers and spend the afternoon.
PLUS…8 oz. burger bar is an awesome place to hang out with your meat-eating, beer-drinking hollywood friends when they want a “gourmet burger”.Tags: beer, hollywood, veggie burger