The placemat is the menu, and it's pretty impressive with its seven boxes that explain just how special the ingredients are--La Brea Bakery bread, grassfed beef from the Magruder Ranch in Mendocino County, SQIRL organic preserves and pickles, made in Los Angeles; TCHO chocolate, a San Francisco outfit that helps farmers become premium producers.
That chocolate was pretty good, melted and laced through Nancy's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie.
They come plain or with a sour cream and bacon dipping sauce or seasoned with house-made truffle salt.
But these are afterthoughts to the main show--burgers. How could you not want to try Nancy's Backyard Burger (at top), bursting with applewood bacon, Comte cheese, avocado, heirloom tomatoes, onion, lettuce and spicy mayo? With her name attached, it has to be extraordinary.
For a second choice, the server recommended Ida's Old School Burger, with beef, aged Cheddar, the SQIRL pickles, rosso bruno tomatoes, griddled onion, iceberg lettuce and "secret sauce."
I know I was eating impressive food, but the excitement was cerebral. Here was good meat masked by too many additions and bun bottoms so overwhelmed with moisture that they dissolved in my hands. No wonder the restaurant supplies each table with wads of paper napkins.
The place is cute--water comes in Mason jars, and a fresh thyme plant is on each table. And you can sit outside on the terrace. But if this reflects the way Americans eat, no wonder obesity is epidemic. Even great ingredients can get involved in food that you might hesitate to eat, if you have any inkling of what is good for you.
Short Order, 3rd and Fairfax corner of the Farmers Market, 6333 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles CA 90036. Tel: (323) 761-7970.