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The Beach Gourmet: “Counter Productive” – The Counter Restaurant

The Counter Restaurant on Ocean Park Blvd. is a bustling chophouse with a focus on serving burgers of all styles and inclinations. On Sunday afternoon I had the experience of witnessing just how productive its staff can be in the art of provision.

Arriving at 3:30pm I was set on a late lunch/early dinner (dunch, linner?) and found myself in a bright, breezy and enlivened space enhanced in part by a very clever, hinged, south facing window frame that slides upwards on runners to create unrestricted exposure to the environment.

This is no ordinary burger bar by any standards. Upon entry I was furnished with a clipboard and pencil with which to check off my choices from the “build your own burger” ordering slip. It is, if you will, a five step program for those with a desire to keep eating and it availed me to a plethora of options that sent my frontal lobe into hyperactivity – woo-hoo!

If McGlobals and Burger Prince supply the Honda Civics of the patty world, then The Counter deals in the Beemers, Benzes or Jags with virtually limitless ways to “pimp your ride.”

Step 1 – Beef, Turkey or Veggie are the patty options and are available in 1/3, 2/3 and 1 pound sizes.

Step 2 – The cheese, and I defy anyone to be wanting here as the ten choices range from Danish Blue to Horseradish Cheddar as well as the regular Yellow American.

Step 3 – Gives up to four toppings from an array of 17, including Black Olives and Hard Boiled Eggs. Step 3.5 is a subsection here for premium toppings for an extra buck, such as Chili or Honey Cured Bacon.

Step 4 – Choose a sauce time, and again there are 17 kinds here so no room for moaning about the lack of peanut sauce ‘cause they got it!

Step 5 – The roll: English Muffin, Hamburger Bun or Honey Wheat.

So, I went for a 1/3lb Veggie patty in a regular Hamburger bun, Danish Blue cheese, Grilled Pineapple, Dill pickles and Red Relish. It was unique and an utterly brilliant fusion even if I say so myself with the musk of the Blue Cheese and the sweetness of the Pineapple creating a tango on my tongue perfectly complemented by the tradition of the dill. I ordered one side of fries that could have served three.

The friendly and busied server deftly encouraged me to try a dessert, and, being the diet saboteur that I am, I keenly succumbed and had the heavenly experience of bathing in the nectarous joy of a Caramel & Chocolate Brownie, it was that good!

With an extensive menu, a great atmosphere and fresh ingredients for their homemade dishes The Counter is recommended – count me in!

The Counter Restaurant, 2901 Ocean Park Blvd., 310.399.8383. Mon-Thurs 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm, Sun Noon-9pm

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