My wife and I were so excited to have lunch at Short Order. We, like many of our friends, hoped that this would be LA's answer to NYC's Shake Shack. I will start with the short list of positives. The shakes are terrific (I had chocolate); all potato products appear to be excellent (disclaimer, we did not try them all); and the ingredients all seem of extra high quality (heirloom tomatoes on the burgers).
Now for the bad part ... the burger, which I think is what this place should be all about, was mediocre at best. The burgers start at $11. They are small. They are uniformly formed -- reminding my wife and me of a fast food or cafeteria burger. They are dwarfed by a dry, boring bun. And they aren't tasty! I should note that I love hamburgers, almost unconditionally. This is a bland, almost anger-inducing piece of beef. Our lunch of two burgers; an order of fries; a diet cola and a chocolate shake came to $41 (before the tip).
Also, the kitchen and service are still not in sync. We intentionally did not go when the restaurant opened in the hope of avoiding "new restaurant mayhem". Our meal took forever to arrive and the restaurant was only 40% full when we were there. From our seats at the counter, my wife and I could see the confusion in the kitchen as we waited for our lunch. Avoid this place if you are looking for a quick meal. Throw in the hassle of parking at the Farmer's Market on a weekend and the experience is a real poke in the eye.
Finally, some thoughts on the "Secret Sauce". I know it is odd to end the review on a condiment, but Short Order caught my attention with this one. I was excited for a burger sauce to finally break out of the pack of me-too sauces. Sadly, this sauce is pretty much just like all of the others -- and this bugged. If you are going to go out of your way to market a "Secret Sauce" to customers, it HAS to be more than mayo, dijon, ketchup and some bland spices. To me, their "Secret Sauce" is a symbol of all that was wrong with this bland, annoyingly over-priced meal. Sadly, the hype does not match the product at Short Order.
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