By Laura Medina
Last Thursday's Happy Hour was a special Happy Hour...at Fatburger.
Yep, you all heard right. Fatburger has a bar, Fat Bar. The only one in Los Angeles proper. The other one is in Las Vegas, http://fatbarlasvegas.com/
It was a celebration that was long over-due. Yet, the start was so simple, that was a "why not?!" aha moment, epiphany.
Two long-time buddies, each one respected in their own fields, decided to team up for something so intrinsic, pairing burgers with beers, a classic collaboration.
Fatburger's successor, Thayer Wiederhorn and his buddy, House Beer Founder Brendan Sindell decided to pair Thayer's basic but well-done burgers with classic craft lager beer from Brendan's House Beer.
They select a lager because it's a nice middle-note of noble hops and crystal malts for a juicy, savory burger, not too thick and deep like stout nor too light and bubbly like ale. Just right.
Speaking of new yet "why can't they think of that sooner?," Fatburger also debut House Beer-Battered Onion Rings to go along with their House Beer Burger and House Beer.
Don, one of Fatburger's CEOs, describe dipping onion rings into the beer batter as an art. The beer and its yeast & hops creates chemistry magic in the wet batter; but it's the simple "dip & flick" of the wrist that separates a sensational crunchy onion ring, completely coated in crunchy, fluffy crust, from a mediocre onion ring that's too hard, too tough, too thin a crust with gaps on the surface. There are devils in the details.
Fatburger's "House Beer Burger & House Beer" launch at their only Los Angeles' Fat Bar happened during "The Founder" movie about the start and history of McDonald's.
Unlike what Ray Kroc did to the original MacDonald Brothers, at Fatburger's LA Fat Bar location, they paid honor and respect to the African-American lady who started Fatburger, Lovie Yancey. To this day, the family currently owning Fatburger lives by Lovie's motto,
"I don't worry about McDonald's, Burger King or Wendy's. They may be more popular, but a good hamburger sells itself, and I don't think anybody makes as good a hamburger as we do."
Not only do the current family upholds Lovie's motto, they expand on it with Fat Bar. Once seeing then tasting it, this new Fat Bar at The Vermont, http://thevermont.net/ (a mix-use apartment/condo complex at Vermont Avenue and Wilshire Blvd. for Koreatown's Millennial affluent hipsters) is giving the gastropub/gourmet burger originator, My Father's Office" a run for their money.
Partnering with House Beer and Fat Bar's amazing array of crafted beer on tap gives Fat Bar extra mileage.
Unlike Sang Yoon's selective and strategic opening and operating of his My Father's Office and his way more expensive ingredients and just as restrictions of no ketchup or mayonnaise, Fatburger's Fat Bar is a gastropub for everyone. They wouldn't look down their noses at you if you dip your Fat Fries or House Beer Battered Onion Rings into a ketchup/mayo combo. Shoot, you can even have your pick of cocktails, which are gourmet yet fun from their Happy Hour menu...
What Fatburger fans only know, and this is what separates the plebes from the fans, is that Fatburger also owns Buffalo's Express where the buffalo wings' and the chicken strips' dipping sauces are as deep in flavor as they are wide-spread in varieties. Something to thing about for the upcoming Super Bowl...
Fatburger's Fat Bar has flat screen TVs galore...
For those purist who feel more comfortable munching on their burgers and fries...and onion rings in a more traditional fast food setting, don't worry.
The Vermont's Fatburger/Fat Bar is evenly split into equal halves of the bar and the restaurant. But even in the restaurant, there are flat screen TVs and a high-tech, customizable soft drink machine...
But let's real here, it's the Fat Bar that brings everyone in.
Fatburger's House Beer collaboration, their signature House Beer Burger & House Beer-Battered Onion Rings then combing their Buffalo Express at their Fat Bar, at The Vermont, 3150 Wilshire Blvd., shows to the general public that basic food can be good food for everyone at a basic budget, without skimping on quality, in a quality setting in a friendly atmosphere.
Fat Bar is for everyone at 3150 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010. (213) 415-1743
It's open until 2 AM. Based on the existing Yelp reviews, the locals love it.
It's a great place to take care of you and your buddies during the Super Bowl with House Beer Burgers, House Beer Lagers, House Beer Battered Onion Rings and Buffalo Wings,.. hint, hint