Our latest issue out now!Fall 2016
LADERA’S NEW HOTSPOT
Walking into BLK Burgrz, you get an immediate sense that they have exorcised the spirits of tenants past. The bold look and feel – a combination of old and new in an edgy package – demonstrate as much attitude as the serious rock playing over the sound system. With a lot of personality and a formidable menu for both food and drink, this place should make a go of it.
Walking up to the hostess table, I feel drawn to the sprawling outdoor patio, complete with a tree of lights and two Olympic-worthy fire bowls. A more accessible fireplace invites you to sit down and enjoy the large-screen TV showing the sporting event of the moment. But we opt for an indoor table, which is almost outdoors, given the floor-to-ceiling doors that help open up the relatively small dining area inside.
Service is competent, though lacking in a certain grace that a year of being in business should resolve. I tried to take in a dizzying array of drink options to start. BLK Burgrz sports 14 taps of craft beer, a substantial craft beer bottle list, and a mere nod to the mass-produced beers – a restaurant after my own heart! Add to that a list of specialty “martiniz,” classic cocktails, a comprehensive wine list, and a bar stocked with an excellent whiskies, tequilas, and other liquors, and it is immediately apparent that this place has every angle covered.
With our drinks comes a basket of homemade potato chips, which are quite good and disappear fairly rapidly. We end up ordering the calamari and the kale salad, as well, both on the recommendation of our server. Both were good. The calamari had a little kick to it, and while I’m not a huge consumer of kale, the salad was well-done, with a light citrus dressing.
For the main course, the menu is astoundingly comprehensive, if you like burgers, and that’s why you came to a place with the word “burgrz” in the name, right? There are stuffed burgers, signature burgers, specialty burgers, and endless opportunities to customize your burger, even though the process can be confusing, at first. For beef burgers, BLK is touting Kobe beef for the majority of its offerings. Vegetarians will have already been dragged here reluctantly, but there are a few decent options for the meat-free crowd, as well.
Once we wrapped our heads around the ordering process, it was fun to be able to select from a variety of rolls, cheeses, vegetables, and other add-ons (hello, fried egg) that make for a quality burger experience. Similarly, there are a number of sides to choose from that run the gamut from traditional french fries to a cup of chili. I tried the chili, which was very good, and my dining companion opted for fries, which were also quite good. Other options for sides include traditional offerings, such as baked potato or rice pilaf, amongst others.
Both burgers that we ordered were tasty, but keep in mind that the stuffed burgers have to be cooked medium-well to make sure that the stuffed portion is heated to the appropriate temperature. Between the homemade chips, the appetizers, and the burgers and sides, we were definitely full. Throw in a couple of craft beers and a Moscow Mule and I was ready to seek out a warm rock to lay on for a while.
BLK Burgrz has a good number of things going for it – nice décor, great patio area, good service, and a wealth of choices. The Kobe beef approach is a differentiator, though it also adds a few dollars to the price of a burger, which I would consider a worthy splurge. Grandma might not groove on the music, so you might want to leave her at home. For that matter, get a sitter for the kids, since I would consider this place a date night locale where you and your significant other can unwind, or a group of friends can enjoy a quality night on the town without having to drive out of town.
BLK Burgrz is located at 27742 Antonio Parkway, Suite 7, in Ladera Ranch. You can reach them at 949-429-6666, or find out more on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BLKBurgrz. They are currently open from 11:00 AM to an astounding 1:00 AM, seven days a week.