Sunday, July 5, 2009


My favorite burger in all of San Diego is at this tiny lil' hole in the wall at the end of Garnet Ave, just before you walk down Crystal Pier and into the ocean.

Kono's has been a staple of my families diet since I was a kid. There was a time, in fact, that for about a year in High School I was a vegetarian. It was the hip thing to do I guess. The day I walked by Kono's, was the day I crossed back over to the meat side and never looked back. I suppose it says something about the quality of the burgers here.

Breakfast is served all day and a favorite of the patrons, but I've never had it. I prefer the Cheeseburger and fries. Luckily today it was on special.

Once you snake yourself through the line outside, you'll enter to find a very easy menu. Breakfast, burgers, sandwiches, fries. It's easy to figure out what you want. Everything here is delicious.

The "Quote of the Week" blackboard is one of my favorites. I just love landlocked tourists.

They have seating inside, but one would be foolish to pass up the "secret" outdoor patio. Just outside to the left, past what used to be the shell shop, you'll find a great little seating area with an amazing view.

I've always loved Kono's because they just do good burgers, well. There isn't anything fancy schmancy about these burgers, just nice big hand packed meat patties, grilled and piled high with condiments. I got my burger pretty plain; ketchup, mustard, pickles and grilled onions.

My friend got the works, with bacon and avocado added.

We shared a HUGE order of hot crispy steak fries.

Pair the view with a Kono's burger and some of the best steak fries ever had, a beautiful 75* San Diego day, and you've got a perfect afternoon.

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July & Mom's Pie

It could be argued that nothing is more American than Apple Pie. I could interject and say there are lots more things that are at least JUST AS AMERICAN as Apple Pie, but in all honesty, I love me some pie.

There was, for a brief period of time where I vehemently hated cake, thank God that has passed, but I've always loved pie. Always. Apple Crumb is my favorite to be exact, but my mom makes a MEAN boysenberry.

As a child I used to go to summer camp up in the Cuyamaca Mountains north of San Diego. On the way there we would travel through the little town on Ramona and grab some burgers, the last huzzah of "real food" before the week long buffet of inedible sludge. But nothing was sweeter than the ride home when we would drive through Julian and stop for a slice of Mom's Apple Pie.

That ritual slice of pie became the staple on which we recounted our stories of the week, the hikes, the summer loves, the poison oak, it all poured out over that perfect slice of heaven.

Even now I will make the hour long trek up to Julian just for a warmed slice of Apple Crumb, zealous with anticipation for that first perfect bite.

This particular day I visited I got a slice of Apple Crumb and Bumbleberry Crumb, a mixture of Blueberries, Blackberries and Boysenberries.

The Bumbleberry was a nice sweet pie, with a perfectly tart finish, unlike the indubitably sweet apple. Both pure heaven for pie lovers.

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Father's Office.

So for years I have been hearing about the "Best Burger" East Coast/West Coast battles. Those rivalries extend past rappers, and into food you know. And since then I have also been on my own quest for the best burger ever. It's hard to decide what exactly makes a burger the best, and even then my tastes will differ from the next. All I know is I want some medium cooked juicy hamburger, some amazing toppings, and the satisfaction that I must have this again soon. I got that last night with Melissa at Father's Office. Let me share it with you.

Align CenterSanta Monica Location
1018 Montana Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90403
(310) 736-2224

We started off with some beers. Father's Office has a at any given time at least 35 awesome craftsman beers on tap, Melissa go the Maredsous 10.

I had an Old Speckled Hen. It was nice and light, and heavenly creamy.

One of the main problems of Father's Office that I've heard and the main reason (besides laziness) that I've stayed away is the crowd partnered with the Soup Nazi style of ordering. This isn't the kind of place you would want to go on a first or second date to, in fact let's keep this place for something more along the lines of a 6th or more date.

You wait outside in an astonishingly long line, only to be slowly trickled in by the doorman into a tiny hole in the wall sized room, lined with tables, with a bar at the far end. Mozy up to the bar and wait to place your order, and don't even worry about finding a place to sit yet. Grab a beer, and just wait.

FO's is famous for its burger envisioned by Sang Yoon, a self proclaimed "chef and a beer sommelier", and what we both ordered. It comes stacked high with arugula, soft tender onions caramelized in bacon, and a blend of melted blue and gruyere cheeses piled on big burger cooked to order (anything cooked longer than medium is blaspheme.) on a soft roll. For a bit more add an order of shoestring fries with parsley garlic aioli. Don't even think about substituting anything because, well, you can't. It comes as is.

After we ordered, it only took about 5 minutes to find a place to sit, and another 10 to get our burgers despite the large crowd on a Thursday night. My burger was cooked medium, juicy and AMAZING. I'm usually a burger purist and just dig meat on some bread with light condiments, but wowee was this burger worth it. The onions were quite possibly the best thing I've ever tasted on a burger, ever. The fries were thin, crispy and tasty with the aforementioned parsley garlic aioli, which tasted like fancy ranch. I think what made Melissa the most happy is, you will not find a drop of ketchup in this place, so don't even bother to ask.

The Father's Office burger definitely ranks up there in my top 10 burgers of all time, and I will be enjoying another one very soon.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Over 5000 hits!


I love you guys!

Keep it comin'!

<3, berta

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bing Crosby's

Being a foodie is on the up and up, honestly. Most of you already are foodies, or there are foodies inside of you gnawing their way out. It's ok, grasp your inner foodie, and give him or her a big hug. Welcome them home.

Being a foodie doesn't mean that you only eat the fanciest of things, or stick your nose up at the notion of fast food. Being a foodie means you appreciate all things food (and even drink) and embrace it wholeheartedly.

I know I am a foodie. I have been one since I was a child, but I just never knew the term for it. I am just as down for a juicy In-n-Out Burger as I am a trip to a fancy restaurant with perfectly proper place settings. Luckily, I've had enough burgers this month, and it was time for a bit of epicurean delights. Enter Bing Crosby's.

Now I hardly go to the mall, so I didn't know this place even had existed (it's in the Fashion Valley Mall, across from Cheesecake where Crocodile Cafe used to be) but after a quick peruse of the menu, I was uber excited. Anytime I see things like Champagne Beurre Blanc and Black Truffle Demi Glace, I can't control myself.

We started off dinner with the Baked Fresh Goat Cheese appetizer with pesto and pepper relish on grilled olive bread. It had a great consistency, warm and nutty. The bread had a bit too much of that "grilled" taste, but it was good anyway.

For our entrees we both got the Bing Crosby's Signature Dish.

Grilled Filet Mignon (cooked medium) on top of a bed of haricot vert (french green beans) and braised spinach, crispy potato cannellonis, garnished with fresh herbs, drizzled with Black Truffle Demi Glace, and topped with roasted garlic and chives.

SERIOUSLY!?! OMG. I vote for this every time I eat here. It was Amazing! Tender perfectly cooked beef, crispy snappy beans, and the most creative way I've EVER had mashed potatoes.

To finish off a perfect meal, we opted for the Grand Marnier Creme Brulee. I am a sucker for anything with "creme brulee" in the title.

A perfectly creamy creme, topped with the thinnest layer of caramelized sugar. If you've never had creme brulee, you are pretty much missing out on life. This one had some pulled candy with almonds, strawberry, raspberries and candied orange zests. The orange flavor from the zests and Grand Marnier was very subtle and delicious.

Honestly I didn't think this place would have been nearly this good, but the ambiance and mood is a really great combination. Every now and then they have live piano, but we didn't get to witness that. We did however enjoy the Jazz music and it reminded me of Andrea. I think this is a place she would just fall in love with.

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