Mohawk Bend in Echo Park is a scary place. No, it’s not in a bad neighborhood or perched precariously upon a cliff along a fault line. It’s scary because its menu defaults to vegan. Yes, you read that right. If you don’t want to eat vegan you have to find something on the menu with (NV) after the name of the dish. That presumably stands for Not Vegan and they were the only menu items worth looking at.
One of these items was The Fonz, a burger topped with bacon, IPA battered onion rings, charred jalapenos and beer-cheese sauce. I decided it had to be mine, so I ordered without veggies (just in case such a place would do such a thing) and chose fries as my side.
I should have known this place was not to be trusted, but somehow I was still shocked when I found a pickle spear atop my bun, spoiling any excitement I had once had for the NV part of the menu. I removed it promptly, but all this did was minimize the damage. The funk of the pickle would pervade the entire burger and despite the fact that it was a very good burger, this was hard to get over. I managed to eat the whole thing, of course, because the combination of ground beef, beer-cheese sauce, bacon and onion rings were executed well, yet that bun remained tainted.
But somewhat redeeming was the fact that the homemade ketchup was actually the best homemade ketchup I’ve had simply based on the fact that I did not immediately crave Heinz after trying it. The fries weren’t half bad either.
Ultimately, Mohawk Bend made a pretty good burger with a very obvious flaw. Then again, the menu itself was mostly flawed by vegan items, relegating Mohawk Bend to the realm of places that never need to be visited (again).