Old School Eats: Howard's Famous Bacon & Avocado Burgers (LA)
This post goes out to all you haters out there on the internet (specifically, those living in the suburbs of Chowhound and Yelp), please stand corrected. Of the many, many times I've dined at Howard's Famous Bacon & Avocado Burger, I've never been served anything that slightly resembled a "greasy guacamole burger" and never consumed a burger where the "avocado was sparse, and the bacon was limp and flavorless."
Howard's is a special place where you go for a specific taste. Whether it comforted me on a shitty day on set, nourished me on a slow and boring Friday afternoon, or fed me on my way to LAX, Howard's has been nothing but a supremely awesome burger joint that tastes like none other.
Located in the gastronomicly underrated Culver City, Howard's sits in a dated and weather worn strip mall a few blocks from the Sony Lot, next to the 405 on-ramp at Sepulveda and Venice Blvd.
Inside the small establishment you have the choice of Mexican and Americana favorites. Burgers and tacos, horchata and "orange" drink, patty melts and chili cheese fries are all made-to-order favorites.
On a recent trip to LAX, I carved out enough time to stop at Howard's for a late lunch so that I'd miss the 12-1:30pm rush. I ordered the Bacon & Avocado Burger, fries and a horchata. After I paid and took a seat, I immediately regretted not ordering the chili cheese fries, but lazily left my order alone as I thought about sitting on a three-hour flight with a stomach full of a bacon and chili meat mash-up. Ten minutes later my number was called and I gathered my burger accouterments of mustard and spicy whole peppers.
The burger was, as always, a multi-colored, salty, satisfying meal. Many of Howard's critics complain about the burger patty being too thin, and I agree that YES, the burger patty is thin. BUT, I prefer a thin patty nine times out of ten, UNLESS I'm standing next to a grill master at an outdoor bbq or ordering a gourmet-hyped, Kobe beef burger for $16. Howard's patty is thin but flavorful, allowing for the remarkable combination of avocado and bacon to mix together in the way that they should, creating the same awesome sensation that inspired the success of the Cobb Salad.
Also, I would like to mention that one seeks out an avocado burger for the avocado, not the burger, hence the word positioning of the bacon & AVOCADO burger, not the burger with bacon and avocado. In Howard's equation the burger is the afterthought. And besides, it's a $5 burger--stop giving it such a hard time, it's not like Danny Meyer is running the joint with duckets to spare on prime cuts.
The most impressive part of the meal is always the avocado. They don't skimp on the fresh and flavorful fruit and it doesn't matter what time of year it is the avocado's at Howard's are always in season. I'll repeatedly buy watery, flavorless avocados in February and then I'll go to Howard's and somehow, the avocados taste like summertime in California.
I could have stopped eating when I was full 3/4's of the way through my meal, but it was just too good not to finish the last bite--which, I might add, was full of avocado.