Pardon The Punctuation...If you live in Los Angeles you start to learn that people love burger joints like they love their favorite sports team. Arguing over which place has the best of everything. Last night I discovered a new team to root for...Pono Burger in Santa Monica. In Hawaiian, “pono” means “to do things the right way and that seems like the only way chef Makani does things at Pono Burger. To quote their website, 'that translates to fresh, never frozen organic beef from pasture raised, grass-fed cows, organic ingredients from local farmer’s markets and fresh cut organic french fries." They also grill all their burgers on a wood fire grill that's gives them a unique smokiness. Their fries are also organic and wonderful. Here's what I shoved in my mouth.
Seasonal Farmer's Market Salad: Organic arugula bed topped with organic farmer's Beets, local Gioia burrata,
crushed organic Santa Barbara pistachios, housemade champagne vinaigrette. A great way to start the meal. Fresh ingredients equals fresh flavors.
THE KUAWA CRUNCH: Organic beef patty, Hook’s 1 yr. cheddar, topped with housemade organic russet potato chips, organic green leaf lettuce, housemade cole slaw, and housemade spicy guava rum sauce. A burger with a kick. The nice thing is that it's not too hot. Just enough spice and the sweetness from the guava rum sauce adds all the balance it needs.
THE PANIOLO: Organic beef patty, English oak smoked cheddar, Niman ranch bacon, housemade Kona coffee
bourbon BBQ sauce, and housemade buttermilk beer battered onion rings. The sauce, and onion rings can be sold on their own to make a small fortune. This rich and decadent burger hits all of the senses. You could smear that BBQ sauce on pancakes...yeah I said it.
PIKU "FIG" BURGER: Housemade drunken caramelized fig jam, organic beef patty, Fermier brie cheese, Niman ranch
bacon, crushed hazelnuts, organic arugula, topped with housemade balsamic vinaigrette. The best burger I've had all year. If "Fine Dining" were a burger this would be it. Elegance on the palate and every bite is more and more complex. I've had fig and brie burgers before...but never as good as this. You must order this!
SALTED CARAMEL AND BACON MILKSHAKE: Made with Straus Family Creamery vanilla soft serve organic ice cream and Niman Ranch bacon bits. They had me at bacon and salted caramel. Just delicious and gluttonous. It was amazingly good yet I felt ashamed after I downed it. In other words it did it's job.
If you want to be blown away with an amazing burger give Pono Burger a shot. If you the service to match ask for "Tasha." She rocks. I know you'll fall in love with them as much as I have.