…..I should start with disclosing some pretty pertinent info about my participation in a night that is solely dedicated to eating burgers – I rarely eat beef. Not because I hate cows being slaughtered or the taste, but mainly because I used to have digestive problems (ewwww!), so I’ve just gotten used to steering (HA!) clear. But, as ever the team player, I decided to put a couple days worth of stomach pain to one side and venture to the Valley (!) to dine in one of LA’s original programmatic buildings – Idle Hour.
Having been closed since the 80s, the barrel-shaped building reopened earlier this year boasting a stunning renovation, plus food and drink based loosely on the tastes from 1941. You should Google the building, it’s pretty neat. We sat out in the garden which was pretty great, too, and also featured a huge bulldog with a door in his torso. But I forget if that actually served a purpose.
Now, burger time! I took notes on my phone whilst dining as (a) I was traveling all week, so knew that I would have a vague memory by the time I wrote this review and (b) because I indulged in an Old Fashioned (not the ones on tap, gross!) or two before our meal came. Below are my actual notes, word for word, no editing.
– The bun being roasted was good
– The onions got stuck in my teeth
– Cervelli was angry because I was late
– Jack only liked one tomato – height not taste
– Too big
– Bottom bun fell apart
– Micki – ‘it was a little seedy’
– RARELY eat beef. Rare! Get it?
– The bacon! 2″ thick oooof! Rob Thomas was not a fan
I think it best to let people draw their own conclusions from that…
Out of over 40 BEU members in attendance, here’s how Idle Hour fared:
Eric Idle beat Billy Idol in the “Who would win in a fight?” category.
Chris Restivo: “I didn’t get to eat this burger but I enjoyed watching Ben Morris get shit-faced.”
Binks: “This bun was too hard. And the service…this girl was trying, but set up to fail. There is no situation in which one server for thirty-five people is ok. Party foul.”
Geoff Siegel: “I hate this part of the valley because I’m from this part of the valley. It colors how I see things. My expectations were low – it was a little better than I thought. Flavor was ok, not great.”
Ali Dannenberg: “Love the ambiance!”
Patrick Clancy: “They rushed my buns so they came out a little crispy. Presentation on point.”
Garrett M.: “I have been here once before and it was a lot better with a smaller group (understandably). Overall, big fan of the barrel!”
Bradley Haering: “I got the Idle Burger with fried egg, it was groovy, but bun was crunchy & weird. Fries were real cool.”
Liana Gonzales: “The bun was a little dry but the taste of the beef made the burger so good. The sauce was delightful. The veggies were put in very sloppy. I LOVED the fries, perfect crisp & flavor. The pickle was flavorless.”
Laura Katz: “Burger bad, program & architecture awesome.”
Andrew H.: “The burger PANNED out pretty well!”