Purveyor: Hinano Cafe, Venice, CA USA
Menu Item: Turkey Burger
Price: $9 USD (w/ Cheese)
Squawk: First of all, don’t get your panties all in a wad over the fact that we’re reviewing a TURKEY burger on a chicken burger blog. Turkeys and chickens have a lot in common: both have two legs, one beak, lots of feathers, can’t fly very well and taste delicious. Secondly, it would take a very special turkey burger to earn a spot here on Holy-Gobble… errr… Cluck. Point is, Hinano claims their burgers are “world famous” and while the validity of such an overused claim is in part due to their iconic location right at Venice Pier, it’s also due to the fact that they make a kick-ass burger in a salty, old run down dive bar, that if you didn’t know better, looks like it would surely be home to a sneaky salmonella or two.
Thankfully it is not and more thankfully, they get it consistently right. We love the simplicity of serving in a cardboard tray, the random bag of chips that gets thrown in (You don’t get to choose – I got Cheetos, my friend got Sour Cream & Onion), and we especially love the accompanying pickled chilli peppers and dill pickle. It may not sound like it all makes sense, but trust us, it does. Simplicity is the key here. Other than choosing a cheese (Cheddar or Swiss) you don’t get a ton of options like some other places (See The Counter review coming soon), but you do get a perfectly grilled turkey patty on a nice bun with fresh lettuce, tomato and if you need to sauce it up there’s big ol’ squeeze bottles of yellow mustard and red ketchup within easy reach.
Buaawk: Did we mention this place is a dive bar? It’s seen better days, and so have most of the regular patrons who hold court there – and their relentless flow of nonsensical drunk talk sorta drives us bananas. But then again, maybe we just didn’t have enough to drink.
Bonus Points: Sawdust on the floors and a jukebox that just don’t give a fuck.