Welcome to Agent Mystery’s ONE MINUTE RESTAURANT REVIEW. If it takes you more than one minute to read this, you must be an idiot. It’ true. I’ll prove it. Stopwatches out. And. GO!
Astro burger was founded in the 1900’s by a person with a dream. A dream to sell burgers and other prepared food items and to make money doing it. Historians believe this restaurant was the first to be founded on this principle, influencing cultures in all stretches of the world. That much we can take as scientific fact. But how can one explain the perfect zucchini stick? Now, you’re asking yourself, why one would try. And now you’re looking at your stopwatch and going, ‘it’s been forty seconds already? Am I retarded? And now you’re telling yourself, ‘No. I’m not. This review is retarded.’ And now you’re reassuring yourself that, ‘yes, it is in fact the review that is retarded.’ And only now are you ready to read the real review. Well, done. The student has indeed become the teacher.
ASTRO BURGER is a medium sized fifties diner setting with cool booths, each complete with occasionally working juke boxes on every table, so bring your quarters and a hankering for Elvis. There’s also an outdoor patio so bring your cigarettes. Or not. Maybe a coat? I don’t know. Use your common sense. You’re bound to see every type coming in for a bite. The gamut of Los Angeles runs through here nightly and steadily, right up until Four ‘o’ clock hour. That’s AM folks.
It’s a burgers and shakes, fifties rock, kind of place but it’s infused with today’s modern Los Angeles cravings. Mexican and Cali influences touch various dishes. Lots of Avocado on hand at this uniquely cool restaurant on the corner of Santa Monica and Gardner. It is also directly across the Street from FAT BURGER, which isn’t bad in it’s own right. It also just so happens to be diagonally across from the future sight of the CRACK TEAM’S Newest Restaurant, FAT ASTRO! I’m confident it will be one of the top three burger joints on that block.
Now, some notes for the unfamiliar on the MENU:
At Astro Burger, everything is freshly prepared. And all burgers come with the thousand island-chopped onions-crisp-shredded-lettuce-sliced-tomatoes compilation. I usually go for the Turkey burgers. Go bold and get the Bacon Avocado Cheeseburger. Or be dedicated to your health and your colon and grab their renowned Garden Burger. Both of these are considered “House Specialties.” Also in that category falls their pastrami burger, however, I haven’t felt myself get the urge to induce a heart attack, and frankly it doesn’t sound that good. One at a time, please. Thank you.
They’ve also got Buffalo burgers (which I ordered thinking it was some how covered in hot sauce…and then realized that I had just made a really dumb assumption and that even a burger covered in hot sauce didn’t sound very good to begin with) The Buffalo Burger is heavily seasoned and was a bit odd tasting but not bad at all. And the one I’ve yet to try but is seriously up for consideration is the Ostrich Burger. Actually made from, get this: Real Ostriches.
I don’t really have any qualms about eating Ostrich. I’ve only really seen them on TV but they just seem to act like total assholes. Y’know, kinda like the prick in high school that pushed kids into lockers. They probably taste good. Not the pricks in high school. The burgers, I mean.
All their mexican is good because the guys cooking are, um,…how you say…Mexican. Hombre, get the Quesadilla. You’ll thank me later. Ask for Sour Cream. They won’t give it to you without asking and they’ll charge you for it when you do.
SANDWICHES AND SALADS
Club Jr. and Fries is a great quick filling meal for six and a quarter. A good deal for this place. Pastrami sandwich is pretty good, though their menu clearly states, “Best in Town”. Other Pastrami Connoisseur’s believe Astro Burger’s statement is an attempt to insult the town. The Tuna Melt is a smart choice. I wouldn’t go for the steak sandwich though. But then again, I’ve never been a fan of rib-eye steak sandwiches. I’m a philly fan myself.
Side Note:(No matter what you hear, nobody in LA does a great Philadelphia Steak Sandwich. And as a rule, you definitely don’t buy it if they actually call it a “Philadelphia Steak Sandwich.”)
The Chicken Club once reigned supreme to my current norm, the Bacon Cheddar Turkey Burger. The Club has bacon and swiss on top of the large and fresh grilled chicken breast. They throw in a little mayo and BBQ sauce. It’s one club you’ll want to join. Ok. that was weak. Moving on.
Salads here are good and BIG so remember to ask for Extra Dressing. They very well might charge you for it. fifty cents bitch. CHAR CHICKEN is the way to go. I get mine with Blue Cheese but you don’t have to do everything I do. I mean this is flattering and all but c’mon.
They also have Fish and Chips here. Go ahead live dangerously. Ever wonder what Cod tastes like made at a burger joint twelve miles inland? Me neither.
Now, my favorite thing they do with food, here. HOMEMADE ZUCCHINI. The perfect amount of breading on the perfect slice of zucchini fried to a nice crispy texture. They do it right. Somehow these guys have figured out how to make breaded and fried zucchini that doesn’t scorch your mouth with its boiling zucchini juice or that doesn’t turn to mush. Other places do okay. Maybe you’ll read about them in another blog. But NO ONE compares to Astro. All fried in Cholesterol-Free Canola Oil. They give you a large portion. That’s the only size they come in. You get two sides of a very tasty ranch dressing, which is thick and creamy and great for dipping your stick in. Maybe that’s not the best way to put it. Either way, you’ll want to get your lips around it.
Onion Rings are also extremely good. And quite possibly the best I’ve had out here. And I’m talking about Rings here. Strings are a whole other category that Astro doesn’t compete in.
Of course they do fries, and they do them well. The menu notes the Chili is homemade, as are the Onion rings and as I mentioned, the zucchini, however their fries are not. Still good. Add Chili if you like. You know you want to. Go on. Do it. Don’t be shy.
Shakes are made with real ice cream but they make chocolate shakes by mixing in Syrup with Vanilla ice cream. It’s not bad but it misses the point, doesn’t it? It’s like when you use white bread when you’re out of burger buns. It’s typically a last resort.
Well, I’m not even going to bore you with the breakfast because, well, it’s your normal breakfast fare. It’s also pretty good. Breakfast Burritos, Denver Omelets, French Toast. You can’t really go wrong. The hard part is getting there before 11:00am.
This place rocks for the casual, fulfilling venture out. You might have even seen the fuss over it when Hillary Swank went there after her Oscar Win, with wife, Chad Lowe.
It’s got a great vibe, interesting people, and amazing food. It’s good day or late, late night and it’s done the way it’s supposed to be. Quality food, pretty quickly. You’ll spend about three or four bucks more than you would at the Chains but you’ll be happier you did. Try their Location on Melrose near Larchmont. Slightly different menu. But they’ve got a drive-thru.
And Stop your watches. If you are between:
0-20 seconds– YOU are a genius.
20-40 seconds — YOU are pretty smart.
40 – 60 seconds — YOU can spell most difficult words, but still get stuck on whether it’s separate or serperate.
1 – 1:20 minutes — YOU may have graduated college but you’re not fooling anybody.
1:20 – 1:40 minutes — YOU were probably home schooled and breast fed till you were twelve. It’s not your fault.
1:40 – 2:00 minutes — YOU were raised by farm animals after your only living relative left you for dead after throwing you out of the car window instead of the diaper.
2:00 and above – You probably hold some sort of political office and/or perhaps involved in some aspect of NASCAR.