Around the beginning of July the new burger and craft beer joint out of Los Angeles, Stout Burgers and Beers, opened its doors on Bardstown Rd in the Highlands. It’s very exciting to see this addition to our neighborhood since the former La Bodega / De La Torres spot sat vacant for so long even after Louvino took over half of the space. I was able to grab lunch there on July 7th and I will definitely be back. Here’s what I learned on this official business trip.
COPPER & WOOD
The look of this place is very hip. There’s a lot of copper behind the bar and a lot of wood elsewhere. Shiny concrete floors complete this somewhat rustic look. I checked out some photos of their California locations, and they are definitely keeping it consistent. I like that. The lighting is great and the front windows let in quite a bit of light as well, letting you see what’s happening in the Highlands. I was greeted immediately as I walked in, and I was drawn to the bar to check out the drafts. As I sat down, one of the bartenders gave me a beer menu and a food menu, and explained to me a little bit about what they do since I had never been there before. The time was 3:01 PM, so keep that in mind. If you go during peak hours, you’re probably going to wait. It’s ok. It’s worth it.
HOPS & MALTS
The draft selection at Stout Burgers and Beers is offered in two sizes: 4 oz. and full pour, allowing you to sample a few different flavors without falling over. A thorough perusal of the draft list revealed quite a few craft brews that I had never tried. The draft tower has 38 different beers. I started with the Sliced Nectarine IPA by Moody Tongue out of Chicago. This was my first experience with Moody Tongue and a great one at that. The name, “Sliced Nectarine”, is an accurate description. You can find the likes of Evil Twin, Dark Horse, Country Boy, Anderson Valley, North Coast, and even the Founders Nitro Pale on the list, but keep in mind that this is a rotating menu. You may not see the same thing twice. Some of the pricing on these beers is rather stout as well. Most spots around town sell a 12 oz pour of West 6th, Country Boy, Evil Twin and more for between $5 and $7. Stout Burgers and Beers gets $8 and $9 for the same. Nonetheless, the selection is top notch. On this trip I discovered the Dark Horse Brewing Company IPA, “Smells like a safety meeting”. It’s quite possibly one of the most interesting beers I have ever tasted.
BEEF & BUN
The burger is the reason. Yes, the decor is nice. Yes the beers are nice, but the burger is why you go. Stout Burgers and Beers has their own righteous blend of beef, which is ground in-house every day. It produces an amazingly juicy and flavorful patty. I chose the Stout Burger. Why not go for the flagship, right? When I ordered it, the bartender asked me “pink or no pink?” What a great question! I went pink, of course. Holy cow. It’s awesome. On the burger: Blue Cheese / Emi Gruyere / Rosemary Bacon / Caramelized Onion / Horseradish Cream / Roasted Tomatoes. The bleu cheese is great, but not overkill. Same with the horseradish cream. I thought surely one of those two items would over power the rest or at least reduce the flavor of the beef, but no. The flavors mingle nicely, and I was still able to taste the beef. The caramelized onions add the perfect amount of sweetness, and the roasted tomato was a revelation. No need for ketchup because that roasted tomato blows any other tomato out of the water. The bun was soft but not soggy, even though the burger was super juicy. This burger was fantastic. $13 well spent. I also ordered a side of seasoned fries. They were crispy and delightful. By the way, a side is big enough for two people to share so bring someone with you.
This won’t be my last visit to Stout Burgers and beers in the Highlands. I look forward to trying some of their other amazing burgers as well.
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