It is a truth universally acknowledged: A chef in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a hamburger stand or pizzeria or something. However little-known the feelings or views of such a chef may be on his running a restaurant in his neighborhood, this truth is so fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, as well as his banker, that he may as well get on with it. And so Govind Armstrong, whose good looks and stern mastery of the California-organic school of tavern cookery made his Table 8 such a success, has opened 8 Oz. Burger Bar in the former space of his more formal restaurant, which is moving a few blocks south. At 8 Oz. Burger Bar, you can pick up a mug of microbrew, a perfect rye Manhattan and a plate of chicken-confit buffalo wings, little corn dogs made with Kobe-style cocktail franks and served with violet mustard, fried potato skins sprinkled with truffle salt, or a grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with braised short ribs — the kinds of things chefs like to make for themselves from the contents of the walk-in but which rarely make it onto restaurant menus. There is a degustation platter of sliders made with ground boar, ground lamb and something called ground triple-prime beef, all paired with small, matching pours of beer. And the burgers are really good, of the drippy, bloody school, especially a burger made with roasted mushrooms and grass-fed beef that ranges just on the near side of gaminess. Is it a drag to pay a buck extra for catsup, no matter how organic and artisanal it may be? Kind of. But there are s’more tarts for dessert. 7661 Melrose Ave., between Stanley and Spaulding avenues, W. Hlywd., (323) 852-0008 or www.8ozburgerbar.com.
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