Who eats at The Grove? I’m sure none of you are raising your hands. Sure, we all go there for some shopping and then, occasionally, swing into the Farmer’s Market for food. But, like, no one eats there to eat there. That’s going to change because Short Order has arrived and you are going to punch yourself in the head it’s so good.
Short Order comes from chefs and restauranteurs Nancy Silverton (La Brea Bakery) and the late Amy Pressman (Old Town Bakery). Their shtick is homemade burgers and treats, with emphasis on the “home.” The restaurant itself resembles a home and essentially is a gutted house, outfitted with modernist amenities (similar to Larchmont Grill–but, like, hyper moderned up and half outdoors). Modernica chairs litter the place and wood and steel tables anchoring them. Menus are your placemats and little metal pails of Thyme beautify the table. It’s a surprisingly chic little spot.
As for the drinks and food, they’re just as homegrown and authentic. Everything has a slightly 1950-ish affect to them: you have Grandma’s burgers, “blue collar” cocktails, pot luck sides, etc. The restaurant has captured something from the “comfort food” trend that many other places have hinted at but not fully achieved: the spirit of this style of food.
The drink menu takes homegrown to heart. Many of the beers served here are local (we definitely ordered up some Eagle Rock Brewery) and the cocktails–while specialty–are not too far off this mark.The one we tried was the Blue Collar Cocktail, which is essentially a classic Gold Rush. One thing that this drink had atop of other places that serve this (ahem, Son of a Gun, ahem) is that it was particularly light and–really–carries the lemon super well. The drink is served up with a lemon peel, which is wonderful: the drink is so light and friendly it doesn’t need to be cut with ice. Whoever crafted this needs a lot of high fives!
The food was equally as delicious. The burgers are fatty and complex and–duh–simple. They aren’t particularly inventive, though, which is a good thing. This is to say that, honestly, they felt like someone’s grandmother was happily pushed into the kitchen to cook everyone her famous burgers. Case in point: Nancy’s Backyard Burger, the best burger at the place. The fatty patty (it really is fatty!) is savory and juicy and larger than its peers at Umami, Stout, In-N-Out, etc. and on par with fellow homegrowers at The Oinkster. It’s served with lots of fresh ingredients and a sharp comté, cooled with the avocado. The burger is a delight!
Also a (surprising) delight was the Tuna Melt. We almost did not order this but it came highly recommended and, really, sounded like a weird thing for them to push at a burger place. So, we tried it and it was great. Surprise! Who knew? It is likely one of the best Tuna Melts in town, opting for really great rye that isn’t too large. The comté stands strong (and deliciously) against the albacore, which is absolutely delicious. The only complaint here is that it was slightly greasy and, because of that, may not be the best on your heart. However, it is a joy to eat. Take note on this one!
As for the side items, we grabbed a few things that sounded like necessary sides. The macaroni salad, while incredibly festive looking, was okay–but not the best. Our waitress relayed that they’ve still been playing with it but, as of now, it needed more salt. The fries are pretty good–not bad but not great–and almost transform from fries to potato chips somehow. You do have to get them though so you can try one of their additional sauces, specifically the Loaded Baked Potato sauce. Yeah, yeah, yeah: it’s bad for you. It is not good at all for you, you should not be dipping anything into it, you shouldn’t even know that a “Loaded Baked Potato sauce” exists. But it does. And you should try it! The dipping sauce uses (heavy, creamy, fresh) sour cream as a base, whips in chives, and is finished with a layer of bacon sprinkles. It’s super decadent and delicious–but so not good for you. It’s hyper indulgent and we didn’t even need the sides because the sandwiches were sufficient. But, when at grandma’s house, you can’t just “have a sandwich.”
(If you are in the mood for dessert, grab one of their custard shakes. The coffee malt was delicious! They’ll also be serving brunch very, very soon. Take note!)
Short Order is a wonderful addition to The Grove’s Farmer’s Market and really has amped up the cool factor in that part of the retail destination. Moreover, Short Order and its associates (the coming soon Single Origin and Short Cake, a coffee place and a cake place from the same folks) along with the Barber Shop Club in the far Southwest corner of the Farmers Market is attracting a new, sophisticated crowd once again to this oft tourist drowned location. Take it from us: if you need some homecooked comforting, head to The Grove for some shopping and then a meal at Short Order. You will definitely be satisfied.