Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 68 | Reviews: 65 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by czechsaaz:
4.28/5 rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$$
O.K. I have a LONG history with F.O. going back to the previous owner. I used to live 10 blocks away and would drop in 3-4 nights a week. I've been gone now for almost 5 years but visited last night and I feel like I've got more objectivity now. There are no bartenders left who know me and give me special treatment.
Atmosphere, well it's clean, the polished wood paneling gives it a slick look. It is still really loud in here just from the conversations. For a while, the fight for a table was epic (no reservations, no list, just hope to be nearby when a table empties.) With the opening of F.O.2, the weekday crowd seems to be back to manageable levels so the struggle for a table is a diminished. The hipster faction seems a little lower now than just a year ago but "the guys," the regulars who used to congregate at the back bar appear to be gone. Not a one of them was there. So no familiar faces for me.
The tap list is still excellent. On any given night there are a handful of World Class beers and a bunch of more local micros. No industrial beer (or even macro crafts) on tap.
The service. No table service, order everything from the bar. That can be a pain when the wait gets long. Do NOT ask for substitutions on the menu, period. I don't have a problem with this. I'm in the "hail to the chef" camp. I want a talented chef to tell me what's good, not have him make whatever I want. I bet it gets really irritating for the staff to explain that policy without choking the life out of the 25th person who asks for no cheese on the burger. The eye rolls and the refusals by the staff may come off as rude, but they're just doing their job. Cut 'em some slack.
The food! The burger is justifiably famous and it rocks. But for my money, the lamb skewers are the best thing on the regular menu. The soft shell crabs on the specials board were un-effin-believable and worth $17. I may go back tonight just to eat that. Seriously! And though a far cry from anything you'd get in Belgium, the shoestring "Frites" are stellar.
Prices are Montana Ave.
In short, I still love my local, even though it isn't "My Bar" anymore. (Quick story, came back from my honeymoon and we went here from the airport. The doorman, a new thing at F.O. while we were gone, asked to see our I.D. In unison, the Mrs. and I said "No" and walked right by him to be hugged by the bartender and welcomed back. Ah, good times!)
06-18-2009 22:33:07 | More by czechsaaz
More User Reviews:
4.35/5 rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Stopped in here for dinner last night, I have wanted to check this place out for years now glad I could finally stop in. Atmosphere is pretty laid back but busy at the same time. Tables are shared amongst groups so they are hard to come by. We got lucky and two people left the bar so we snagged the seats right away. Service was solid. They were always around to get me a beer but they weren't the most approachable people either. Quality was top notch. My food was high quality and my beers were all served in the proper glasses so no complaints there. Selection was killer. Abyss, §ucaba etc. on-tap were all pleasant surprises that I was able to partake in. I had heard nothing but amazing thing about the burgers so I knew what I was getting when we walked in and I was not let down, it was cooked perfectly and tasted amazing. Prices were a touch high but I was expecting that going in. Overall an awesome place to stop in Santa Monica, I would return in a heartbeat.
02-12-2014 06:07:37 | More by orangesol
4.49/5 rDev +8.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4 | $$
Visited on a Tuesday or Wednesday night for one of the game of the World Series and arrived 7:30 – 8pm and the place was crazy packed. I managed to talk a guy out of his seat at the bar, which probably only accommodated 15-20 people. The place had a great vibe to it; it was pretty loud, but not so much that it lessened the experience. They had a ton of good beer options on tap, different breweries and different styles, with the day’s specials on a chalk board above the wall-o-taps. I ordered a Weizenbock and an ESB to go with my burger and frites. The burger was very good, as were the frites. The staff was very knowledgeable about the beers and their service was good all the way around. After finishing my meal and I was about ready to order, I spot a tap on the wall that I did not believe was on the menu and asked for the beer menu back. Sure enough, they had Pliny the Elder on tap and were not advertising it. I asked the bartender if that tap was just for show and she replied “Nope, there is beer behind that tap.” I had to order one, as I had only had one a few years back while visiting Denver. Overall, a great experience. I can’t believe that I had been to Santa Monica/L.A. a few times before and did not hit the place up. You can bet that the next time that I am, I will be at the Father’s Office. A must try for any BA.
11-23-2013 22:16:12 | More by PhillyStyle
4.61/5 rDev +11.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I LLLOOOVVVEEE (deep breath) this place! The whole atmosphere and how they have things set up is great. This place is great for one on one dates or any type of dates. If you have crazy friends, don't bring them to this place. This place won't tolerate that shit. But, this is a great place for great beers, wines, and everything. Limited menu, but for what's on the menu, its great
10-08-2013 20:21:37 | More by GentlemanQuan27
3.89/5 rDev -6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.25 | $$$
I had always wanted to visit this place. I saw a tv show mention their office burger so I was really looking forward to it.
Atmosphere: The atmosphere was fine, very loud as you would expect on a Saturday afternoon. The place had mostly a hipster crowd, but maybe these people were just the regular Santa Monica crowd!
Quality: The quality of the beer was good, this place had several different beers to choose from, mostly on draft. Unlike other awesome places, I could not find any special reserve bottles on their menu.
Food: I had their Office Burger, medium rare. I also had their frites and a side of their Patatas Bravas. I was not impressed with their food. The office Burger was good but it was not mind blowing. I would definitely give it another chance at impressing me tho.
Value: The prices here are standard. The only thing I don't like is their minuscule $1 tasters!! An ounce of beer is never enough to judge weather you like a beer or not!!
05-07-2013 16:27:41 | More by ChanChan
4.68/5 rDev +13%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
This is THE FIRST gastropub in America according to many sources. Chef Sang Yoon was a regular at this Santa Monica hang out and after two years of haggling bought it in 2000, installed a kitchen, expanded the tap list and the rest is history.
This place is most famous for it's burger. It has been called the best burger in LA, even named the best burger in the country by Esquire Magazine. The burger is very good, as is the rest of the food, which most people do not even try because they just get the burger. Beyond the food, this place stands out for its beer selection.
They have 36 craft brews on tap. No cow-towing to Bud-Miller-Coors. They never even have Blue moon on tap. It is all focused on local, Belgian or craft offerings. This is the only place in LA that almost always has a beer from Russian River Brewing, usually Pliny the Elder and/or Perdition, thanks to the owner's personal friendship with Vinny. The taps continue through different styles from breweries like Stone, Hanger 24, Allagash, Beechwood, Taps, Surf Brewing, Strand Brewing, Anchor, North Coast et. al.
In bottles you have even more options representing imports including Trippel Karmielt, Caracol, Orval, Duvel, Hitachino, Russian River sours (Suppication, Consecration, Temptation), Westmall and more.
They also have a good wine list featuring small artisan vintners.
The place is small, like a place in a strip mall before strip malls were invented. The seating is open. Grab a spot when and where you can. The decor is spartan; yellow wood paneling a bar along the side and 11 tables that you can fit 4-6 people around. Pop-rock on the sound system and one TV with whatever game is on, but no sound for the TV, they are not a sports bar.
Grab a bar seat and let the bartender tell you about the beer. If you know what you want they will pour it for you. If you do not know, they will ask you what you like and give you something in the same vein.
Service is only at the bar. You have to get all drinks, even water, from there. For food they will take your order and give you a number where the runners will take it to you. Some hate this system, but I think it is actually very efficient. This is a bar after all, and does not try to be a full service restaurant.
Great place for great beer and great food. The service may be spartan, but you are not here for that.
05-07-2013 11:01:52 | More by Bang34
4/5 rDev -3.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
"Let's drink more man!" Already filled up with booze at Venice Ale House, Maria brings up the idea of heading over to Father's Office for a change in scenery. Yes, I was getting a little bored of the beach by now, so maybe a different bar wouldn't be such a bad idea. But I was curious how much more drinking would be involved. Well, if I could try a little food, maybe it wouldn't be so bad. After all, they got the Office Burger®.
Not many options to park on the street, so we had to park a block away to find one. We walk in, hand the bouncer our ID's to prove our age, and we start to look for a place to sit. One problem, there was no place to sit. Or wasn't there? It's a small, somewhat "hip" place, with several small tables and modest sized bar (though not for the crowd that was here on Thursday night). We received help from an employee for our seating needs, where he "split" a big table of two people and gave us the use of one-half. I appreciate that.
40 different taps and 20 bottles to choose. Its selection is an upgrade of Venice Ale House, not just in quantity, but offering up beers from Russian River, Surf Brewing, Big Sky, Ladyface, Castelein, Straind, Craftsman, Full Sail, Caracole, and Green Flash. But don't forget the bottles either (Hitachino, Anchorage, DeuS, Unibroue). Glassware is given some respects, and the beer is too.
The Office Burger® came out already cut in half. Not being able to substitute (what if you can't eat bacon?), I took it with everything on it. Best burger in America? I wouldn't say in today's America, having already had tasted the outstanding Slater's and Sides Harware burgers in the previous week, but there's no doubt this version is very good. Regarding the "no ketchup" rule, I was dissapointed at first, but when I saw the fries come with a good garlic aioli sauce, I gladly took the trade. Maria orders some sauteed mushroom to share with me and Guilherme, and those were noteworthy as well (espeically since I don't eat mushrooms). There isn't much else on the food menu, so don't come expecting a full-fledged gastronomic experience.
I already knew about the controversies of Father's Office, so I threw caution into the wind. While it is a little expensive, the food was very good (and didn't need any subsituting) and the beers offered make this a good place to drink in Santa Monica.
07-09-2012 04:53:53 | More by DoubleJ
Father's Office in Santa Monica, CA
92 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.