After hearing about a new kind of up-scale burger-joint opening up in the neighborhood, we decided to start by doing our homework. The online buzz was very good. A premium, custom built-to-order burger restaurant, with real drinks and a hip, cool look. The Counter guarantees their beef is 100% antibiotic and hormone free as well as being humanely raised and handled. They are a top pick by several reviewers and point out that their menu offers over 300,000 burger combinations. The company was started in Santa Monica, CA in 2003 and they have quickly grown to several locations, coast to coast and worldwide.
After reading some reviews online and checking the location on thecounterburger.com, we set off. It was a very cold and rainy night for LA and this meant temperatures falling into the 50s. No patio seating today. Inside, we noticed right away that this restaurant had a modern look and a huge glass garage-door in the middle of it.Not only was the menu concept different, I’m not sure I’ve ever been confronted with a pencil and paper food order form with SO MANY options outside of a Sushi place. You can either build a burger yourself by filling out a Five-Step form or pick from the Signature Burgers/Sandwich Menu. Interestingly, they DO offer a veggie burger – so what’s not to love?
While this may seem like an impossible situation for those prone to agonizing over option-overload. . .we persevered and made our selections.
Following the on-line buzz proved smart when we got our Fifty-Fifty Fries. Sweet Fries & Onion Strings were delicious. Perfect sweet potatoes. Crispy Onions. I love the mixed-fries concept. . .very modern. The three sauces were nice too, I believe: sweet barbecue sauce, honey mustard and ranch.
With our drinks and fries we were happy. The peanut butter shake was amazing. . .wonderful ice cream and very thick.
The waitresses were exceptionally friendly and we were impressed that the manager came over to check on us and make sure we liked our food. Enough teasing. . .just tell us about the Burgers you say?
Excellent. Really. Truly. Excellent. I have eaten more expensive burgers and I never found better ingredients or more perfect cooking. We got a regular burger and a chicken burger to test both types. The Avocado option proved too delectable to pass for $1.00 extra. As you can see, the Avo was really perfect. The burger was Unbelieveable. Imagine the most tasty beef your have ever had in your life. Then imagine the burger is made from most primo, perfect ingredients. That burger sure didn’t last long. . .but then you must realize that we started small with the 1/3 lb burger. I’m not sure we could have handled the big-boy with the one pound patty. Maybe a future challenge?My Crazy Chicken sandwich included Pineapple, Roasted Green Chilies, Organic Mixed Greens, Melted Tillamook Cheddar and Pickle Slices. Delish and for the first time, everything was Pefect. Custom Burger Heaven, I have arrived.
Needless to say. . .we ate’m up fast.I really liked this place. Two extra things to mention. First, new restaurants are rare in the last few months so its more fun than usual to try a new location. The counter seems to be advertising agressively and I have high hopes for them. They seem to be willing to try new things and take risks, and I love some of their concepts. The all-glass garage door that makes this location function as both indoor and outdoor is a neat concept that features throughout the chain. I think this is a great idea, and extremely useful in temperate climates like LA. The Counter sells the art displayed on its walls (even behind the bar) but unfortunately it is a little bit too pricey at $500 per print. The prints are not available online yet, but the companies website is actually a forum and helps to promote the arts. Another great idea!
I struggled to get the concept of the print I sat under tho. It seems to proclaim, “I’ll Soon Be Softer Than A Stoned Cherry.” Whatever that means. . .note that it has a guitar pick next to it that has the print’s number printed on it. A cool detail for a place that rocks!
The Counter Westlake Village
30990 Russell Ranch Road
Westlake Village CA 91362