February 09, 2012

The Escondite

The Escondite, "Downtown's Sexy New Burger Den,"is home to burgers like "Boss Hogg," "Herve Villachez," "Gavin MacLeod," and "Capt Kangaroo" -- essentially, burgers that have prime potential of satisfying your burger craving while stopping your heart.  It is not the kind of place where I should be pigging out considering I have a little challenge to complete in a few weeks.  But if you know me, you know I have a hard time saying no to a good burger.  Plus, a place that means "hideout" in Spanish only adds intrigue.  Some life decisions are too easy to make.

There are sandwiches and salads on the menu, but why go there when you have ten tantalizing burger selections to choose from? After all, that's where the excitement lies.  You can choose your chick, chuck, or veg burger from the following:

  1. Boss Hogg - veggie chili, sour cream, "special crunch" (which may be Fritos, but just a wild guess);
  2. Rip Taylor - parm cheese, romaine, caesar dressing, croutons;
  3. Ricardo Montalban - sour cream, refried beans, cheddar, cholula;
  4. Herve Villachez - slice of cream cheese, jalapenos;
  5. Gavin MacLeod - crumbled bleu cheese, sauteed mushrooms, A-1;
  6. Capt Kangaroo - cheddar, Canadian bacon, hashbrown, egg over easy, gravy, cholula;
  7. Don Ho - provolone, Canadian bacon, pineapple, jalapeno, teriyaki sauce
  8. Slim Pickins - cheddar, Canadian bacon, red onion, BBQ sauce, "special crunch" (this time, Funyuns - sorry for ruining the surprise for ya'll).
  9. Dr Joyce Brothers - provolone, romaine, tomato, red onion, avocado, sprouts, Italian dressing;
  10. Truckstopper - provolone, garlic mashed potatoes, veg gravy

They also have a wide selection of cocktails and beers on tap.  A burger and beer -- what more can you ask for?

The place is located in an unassuming building (for its namesake) that sits south of Little Tokyo, east of Downtown LA, and north of Skidrow.  Livin' life on the edge, that's how I do.  In many ways, it reminds me of a saloon with its dark wood-paneling.  There's a small outdoor patio, but if you don't want smokers smoking in your face, grab a seat inside.  A small, but key perk about this place?  Free lot parking.

We started with Buffalo Mushrooms, which were very tangy and meaty. They weren't cheap (about 6 for $6), but can be easily shared.  Don't they look like meatballs?

Now onto the main event...

Slim Pickins - $10

FUNYUNS!  Remember those?  Takes me back to elementary school...

The Slim Pickins burger was solid, but what really made it shine was the extra crunch thanks to the Funyuns.

Don Ho - $10

I imagined the Don Ho to be like any other "Hawaiian" burger, but the housemade teriyaki sauce kicked it up to another level.  The diced green chiles complemented the sweet and tangy, and made the juicy meat and cheese pop.  Next time, I'd ask the pineapple ring to be grilled.

Gavin MacLeod - $10
A closer look at the crumbled cheese and mushrooms drenched in A-1 sauce. Mmm.

I like blue cheese, but not as much as I like mushrooms.  Blue cheese is very pungent so a little goes a long way.  I thought the burger could have used a little less cheese and more mushrooms, but I'm partial. The A-1 sauce was alright, but a BBQ sauce might have worked better here.

And of course, the burger I would choose.  Fatty burger with breakfast-style ingredients that work well together.  Next time I might get the country fried steak-esque gravy on the burger instead of asking for it on the side.  Go big or go home.

Capt Kangaroo - $11


Sinfully delicious.

One negative thing about this place is that the service can be terribly slow.  Maybe it was an off night when I went, but taking 20 minutes to serve a medium burger, which ended up well-done, is not okay.  Let's hope that was just a one-time event because their burgers are pretty solid.  I'll be back, Escondite.

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cuisine: American (burgers)
location: Downtown/ Little Tokyo
hours: 11 AM - 2 AM, everyday
websites: { E | yelp }
parking: Lot
attire: Casual
notes: The restaurant is a little hard to find, especially at night, as it doesn't have a sign.  Once you turn onto Boyd, turn right into the parking lot.
other reviews: { MTL }