Tuesday, February 22, 2011

25 Degrees

You might remember from my first post of 2011 that I briefly mentioned a burger that I might have had at 1:00am. This is the one. That's 1:00am on 1/1/11. I don't know, I thought that was kind of cool.

Steph C. had talked about this spot a lot, so I made it a point to hit up this place on my last visit to LA. With so many places on my list, I knew that the only time I'd ever get to try 25 Degrees was for a second dinner, or a fourth meal. After a great night of happy hour at WP24, dinner at Wurstküche, and cocktails at Villain's Tavern, rounding out the night with one last stop only made sense.

The interior was a little bit unpleasant, but I can't blame the place for having obnoxious drunk people stumbling in on New Year's. The walls are ridiculously patterned and bleed red, creating somewhat of a tacky atmosphere. None of this took anything away from the delicious food, though.

First up was the Guinness Milkshake. The whole table shared this one since it was getting late. The sides drool with a house-made chocolate sauce that blends really well with the creamy Guinness and vanilla bean ice cream. I love Guinness, and pairing Guinness with something creamy and sweet makes a lot of sense after considering the mass appeal of an Irish Car Bomb. If I didn't have diabetes and wasn't sharing this drink, I would've swigged this whole drink in a couple of milliseconds. The milkshake is huge though, so sharing it might be worth considering.

In true post-drinking fashion, we decided to get French Fries, Sweet Potato Fries, and Onion Rings.

The French Fries were pretty straightforward. Nice and crispy, and delicious with a huge dollop of ketchup. I love ketchup.

The Sweet Potato Fries were also straightforward and delicious. These were some of the crispiest sweet potato fries I've had. Also great with a generous flood of ketchup.

I've heard great things about the Onion Rings, but I think they were just having an off night. And who could blame them with the absurd influx of drunk, typically trendy customers? I love salt, and I rarely find things so salty that they're inedible. Unfortunately, these were inedible. It was like eating an ocean with each bite. Nothing could save these. Not even an entire bottle of ketchup. I'm going to make it a point to try them again when I get a chance.

In the midst of all the fried goodness, one of us was smart enough to order the Roasted Beet Salad. The citrus vinaigrette was a great way to complement the slight bitterness of the arugula and the deep sweetness of the beets. The menu promised burrata, which we got. I just wish there was more of it.

Let's get to the burgers.

Meet Number One. Number One seems simple enough in its description as a burger filled with gorgonzola, arugula, bacon, caramelized onions, and thousand island, but with the first bite you realize that this burger is more than your average burger.

The patty is undeniably juicy, and the generous load of bacon and caramelized onions adds enough savory flavor to get you through an entire month. The gorgonzola could have easily overpowered the entire burger, but there was just enough to successfully marry the other ingredients without overpowering the senses. The bun is almost like a pastry: flaky on the outside and fluffy on the inside, with enough butter to leave you reaching for five more napkins. Number One undoubtedly deserves its number one spot.

Number Three should get some credit too. The burger is packed with the same overflow of burger juices (notice the juice creeping onto my thumb...), and features the same, beautiful bun. The flavors in the Number Three were more pepper-centric. With jack cheese, chipotle, green chili, and avocado, this burger tastes like what one might call a Cali-Mex burger. The presence of peppers and chilies was intense, in a good way. The smokiness of the chipotle was more subtle than I would've liked, but I really enjoyed the way the avocado toned down the more intense combination of peppers and chilies. It's no Number One, but it's worth a very honorable mention.

If you can get past the inevitable drunken 1:00am crowd, 25 degrees is a great place to have a late night meal. If you can't, then make it a point to hit up this place at normal lunch and dinner hours. Though I can't say just yet if this is my favorite burger in LA, I can definitely say that the Number One is well into my top 10 burgers of all time.

25 Degrees
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
7000 Hollywood Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 785-7244

GET: Guinness Milkshake; Number One Medium Rare.


  1. Number One is of my favorite burgers ever. In LA, second only to Comme Ca's, and even that I'm not sure (the Comme Ca burger is fresher in my memory). That sucked that the onion rings were off that night, because they've been phenomenal the other times I had them...

  2. I read your review on the Comme Ca burger, and I got ridiculously jealous. I'll have to try it at some point. I'm definitely going to give the onion rings a second shot though.

  3. Subbing their sickeningly garlicky (awesome) aioli in for the 1k thousand on the #1 is how I love to do up 25degree.

    Oddly, we were there on New Years Day as well, just a few hours after you left.

    This product is far superior to the Comme Ca burger hack, especially because it's equally good at 11am or 1am, which says quite a bit about the product itself.

    The shake can definitely kill a diabetic, which is quite a shame. Does an entire bun give you trouble as well?

  4. Wow, that's insane that we were there at almost the same time!

    I'm going to have to try the 1k thousand next time...the crazy garlic is pretty awesome though, haha.

    I still haven't had the Comme Ca burger, but I agree that there's a lot to be said about a burger that satisfies at all hours.

    Diabetes is all about balancing things out, so if I feel like having some fries with my burger, that usually means sacrificing a few bites with both buns. I tend to eat burgers in their full glory for half of the burger, and then eat the rest without the buns or open faced.

    I'm heading back home in LA for a week and a half in a couple weeks. I'm trying to filter through my list of places to eat at. If you had to choose a couple musts, what comes to mind?


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