This Life in LA- The Counter

I live in Los Angeles and really it’s a bit ironic- I am so much a country girl at heart and yet I live right off of Hollywood Boulevard. I drive directly through Hollywood on my commute to and from work each day. I am surrounded by tourists who actually want to be here, and residents who seem to be okay with their over-priced apartments, food, gas, and everything else.

You don’t need to take this as an idea that I’m unhappy here. I’ve found plenty to enjoy in this crazy city. I have good people around me, I enjoy my job, and there is a lot to explore here.

So thus begins another consistent posting topic- “This Life in LA.” It is meant to be a series of posts of what I’ve experienced here in LA. The good and the bad, if you will, but mostly the good.

Today’s experience- eating at The Counter.

The Counter is a burger place that offers “custom built burgers.” It is primarily a California restaurant, with a few other locations across the states and two in Dublin, Ireland. I’ve no care for meat, and as a vegetarian I typically avoid places like this, but luckily for me there is a veggie burger option here. They claim “fresh and 100% natural angus beef, hormone and antibiotic free, humanely raised and handled.” No organic certifications, but they seem to be on the right track.

I went with two people I love dearly, my good friend Graham and my boyfriend Jeremy, because good food is meant to be enjoyed with good people. This was a place I’d been curious about for a while, but I wasn’t necessarily expecting it to be as delicious and immediately satisfying as it turned out to be.

I mean, seriously, check out the menu!

Happy hour ends at 7pm here, and happy hour means half price appetizers and $2 off drinks (if I remember correctly). We got there around 6:40 and were quick to ask for TWO orders of the parmesan french fries, two beers each for the guys, and a mojito for me. Sure, mojitos do not necessarily go well with burgers, but they are QUITE tasty!

I was overwhelmed by the options. We each got our own paper menu with a pencil and we marked off our selections. Veggie burger- that was easy. On a bun for sure, there is something entirely satisfying about biting into a burger, whatever type it may be. The cheese is where the options already started to become too numerous for me. What style of burger did I want? I LOVE feta cheese, but would it satisfy what I wanted in flavors? I ended up choosing the Tillamook cheddar on the basis that I wanted a standard, all-American burger. So the toppings for me ended up being dill pickle chips, grilled onions, organic mixed greens, and tomatoes. No premium toppings, as none of them really appealed to me. The sauce choice was another issue for me. I ended up choosing the hot wing sauce (everything is better spicy), but it was a hard choice between that or the sweet barbecue, or the basil pesto, or the chipotle aioli, or the peanut sauce.

The food came out fast and fresh. I tried to sit and slowly enjoy mine, and the urge to shove it all into my mouth was difficult to keep at bay- it was one of the best burgers I’ve eaten. I suppose from the concept of “building” your burger exactly as you want it added to the high-quality food they have, you really can’t go wrong. And those FRIES! Oh those fries. I really should find a recipe. I don’t care how terrible they might be for you, they were a fantastic splurge.

My burger and those amazing fries. I couldn’t help but eat some before I took the picture. Did I mention we ate outside in the beautiful California sunshine right on the Miracle Mile strip?

If I hadn’t been so full, I could have gone all-out and also ordered an “adult milk shake.” Yes, that’s right, milk shakes of varying flavors, with the addition of alcohol. Genius!

The price of the evening was medium, which really is about the maximum I prefer to spend going out. So, it was definitely a treat and not somewhere you’ll be able to find me often. But when I do go back, I can’t wait to try some other variations of burgers. An Asian-inspired veggie burger with sprouts, cucumbers, and peanut sauce? A Greek burger with feta and tomatoes? Or I could go “gourmet” with brie and scallions and sun-dried tomatoes?

Have you eaten at The Counter before? What burgers have you built? What combinations do you think would work well together?