Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Burger (And Beer) @ Hodad's

One late evening a month or so back, a friend and I decided to cap off a long workday with a beer and burger at Hodad's (original OB location). Hodad's probably by far has been the most famous burger joint in SD but with subsequent episodes on the Foodnetwork, the popularity with tourists seems to have gone into overdrive. Our visit though was about an hour before closing, parking was easy and the place without a line whatsoever. It felt kinda nice to be a local where an impromptu visit like the night was easy to do. In Japanese slang we say Jimotee (ジモティー) Status. Maybe I only say it, but anyway...

Shared an order of Frings ($5.75). Piping hot and great, couldn't finish it even between the two. The friend just had a Mini Bacon Hamburger ($5.25). I never had the mini burger but it looked practically identical to my vertically colossal standard sized (like say, the Japan-only JBL 4312M 3-way bookshelf speakers that are a miniature replica of the classic full-size  4312's) except for the non-sesame seeded bun (and in this case ordered without cheese).

And here is be my beautiful looking burger - a Single Bacon Cheeseburger ($6.75). Look at all that wonderful veggies! A quick side note, a close out-of-town friend once asked me after having his first In-N-Out Double-Double why there were so much vegetables in the burger. My answer was for balance, but also contrast. So to be able to have a burger as often as possible guilt free perhaps. Hodad's burgers probably lies on the spectrum end of a Californian that is particularly packed with these fresh veggies. Knowing so makes the order of the bacon pretty much a must for a proper Hodad's experience.

This famous bacon patty (a disc of rendered bacon fried under a weight) was especially light and crispy the visit. The contrast of it next to oozy melted cheese was fantastic. Then there was the great char on the warm moist beef patty with that of cold crisp iceberg lettuce, tomato slice, onion. Contrast. Not to forget the toasted buns with wonderful crisp-edges. Textural, temperate and flavoring... Contrast.(!)

Contrast is the secret, is the reason, is the moment, when everything happens. Contrast people! 3-2-1, Contrast!

Example of a burger in town that lacks contrast. SD Five Guys.

Hodad's, 5010 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107


caninecologne said...

Very ice! Your pix are so magazine worthy! Also great that you didn't have to contend with crowds or a big line. So true about the contrast in a burger. Haven't had 5 Guys but the posts I've seen from others' don't seem appealing - don't they wrap their burgers in foil, thus steaming the burgers?

Dennis K. said...

Hi CC! Thanks, it was a well assembled burger. Made me feel like the person who put it together cared about what they were doing. But yeah rarely have the patience to deal with long lines (except strangely when in Japan), so I avoid it at all cost.
All the five guys burgers I've had here were of boring sogginess that reminded me of a bk whopper. I hear they're better in the midwest / on the east coast side of the country, but never tried any out there.

Dennis K. said...

Jinxi said: "Aww I actually still like the 5 Guys here, even though the locations on the East coast are definitely way better. Maybe it's a nostalgia thing since we always went out for 5 Guys while in college and it would be an outing away from the school and dorms. Nothing beats Hodad's in my book though... in fact I'm making a visit there next Tuesday :D "

Sorry Jinxi I accidentally deleted your comment, darn iPhone! Anyway I totally understand flavors that you like cause you grew with. My love for Japanese MOS burger is that way. I think most American burger lovers won't understand the pork blended patty and its softer texture. For me it's a whole separate category on its own.
As for burgers here I've been more partial to Rocky's but my last one was over cooked and not as juicy. I guess they have their off days too.

Mary said...

I finally made it into Hodad's last night! No line. Parking wasn't bad. It does really pay to be a local... :) Thanks for the tip about arriving closer to closing time!

Dennis K. said...

Hi Mary! No problem! A much nicer experience without the craziness for sure..

tasha said...

i heart onion rings!

Dennis K. said...

Hi Tasha, me too! I usually like the battered style more but these were good.