11628 Santa Monica Blvd #9
Los Angeles, CA 90025T
Holy crap! These guys have an iPhone app--just sayin'.
I was, recently, pointed to The Nook by a co-worker, who claimed that they made a fine cheeseburger. The Nook was really tucked away in............a nook. Happy Meal and I overshot it twice and had to call for them to direct us to the spot.
|That's a LOT of bun.|
The Burger Breakdown...
|Too cool grill delivered a weak sear|
The Sear: Meh--they cooked the burgers on a gas grill, and the grill was just too cool to get a competent sear going
The Seasoning: The hit the outside with a salty, seasoning blend. The interior was relatively bland, but the strong beef flavors carried the dish over this small hurdle.
The Cheese: They topped the burger with a mild and nutty Gruyere. Fortunately, the weak cheese was compensated for by the seasoning and the beefiness of the burger meat. The Gruyere was, effectively, a "throw away" ingredient, since is contributed nothing buy a little texture and nothing in terms of flavor to the dish. This burger would have benefited from the mighty, Hook's Cheddar that was used at The Belvedere.
The Preparation: My cheeseburger came out an aggressively overcooked to Well in spite of the fact that I ordered it Medium--sigh. It wasn't the end of the world, since quality beef can tolerated some overcooking and remain flavorful and juicy. The Nook kept up their end of the bargain, and they used quality beef. The overcooking also melted more of the collagen in the chuck, which created a richer beef flavor. It was an OK trade off, but I would have preferred that the burger just be cooked the way that I requested.
|But I ordered this Medium...not Well Done.|
Meat to Bun Ratio: The Pane Rustico was the clear winner in this battle, and I left a fair amount behind on both of my visits to The Nook
The Fries: They were good on the second visit. That time they were delicately crispy and properly seasoned--previously, they were unpleasant.
The Value: Generally worth the $12 price tag--more so if they get on the ball with the preparation of the food.
Burger Review : That was close, and with a few tweaks, it could become a really good burger. However, two visits within 3 days and each had different issues. The Nook is unlikely to get to excellent at this rate. It was a real struggle not to rate this burger lower, because of the quality of the incompetent preparation and the consistency issues, but the ingredients were first class.
Rating...4 Bites (more like 3.75, so we rounded up)
Note: On a previous visit, the burgers were also overcooked--the grill was much hotter, so the sear was better--the fries were under-seasoned and lank. Clearly, there was a consistency issue at The Nook. The ingredients were good, but a guiding hand in the kitchen would have been of great value.