The Unvegan

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The recession never looked so good.
The recession never looked so good.

Drink, Eat, Play has been spearheading a “Screw the Recession” effort by finding restaurants to offer 50% promotions while our nation suffers. In other words, if you still have your job, you can get some pretty awesome deals.

Recently, The Yard in Santa Monica was chosen for the 50% promo. I made some reservations and headed there for a semi-early dinner, hoping to take advantage of both happy hour and the promo. Unfortunately, upon arrival I was told that people doing the promo couldn’t partake in happy hour. What the hell? Nonetheless, I stayed the course and chose a couple dishes to split with my girlfriend.

They were offering a special grilled cheese with pears and bacon cooked into it that I couldn’t pass up. They had a few good unvegan options on the menu, but something that stood out to me was their Kobe beef burger, which I have always been curious about. To the best of my knowledge, the reason that Kobe beef is so good is because of the marbling created in raising the cattle. To make that beef into a burger patty, the meat has to be ground, which gets rid of any semblance of the marbling there once was. In the end, curiosity got the best of me and I ordered it, with the vegetables on the side so my companion could ruin her taste buds with vegetables if she pleased.

When our food was served, the first thing I noticed was the painfully small size of the grilled cheese. I’m pretty sure I’ve made bigger grilled cheeses in my toaster oven with just cheese, bread and butter. As I gave half of it to the girlfriend, I noticed that the bottom half of the sandwich had been burned. This was another bad sign. My girlfriend gave me half of the burger, which actually looked great. The only topping on it was blue cheese and the bun looked good and thick.

The grilled cheese turned out to taste pretty good and I really couldn’t taste the burn. Unfortunately, the small size of it left me wanting so much more. Perhaps it was just a good appetizer before the Kobe burger main course.

The burger turned out to be just as I suspected. It was definitely a good burger, but in the end the beef tasted like any other well-prepared beef. It was nothing like the difference between a good steak and a Kobe beef steak.

Had I paid full price for my food, I probably would have left the place disappointed. Instead, I was pretty happy with my half-price meal. I’ll be sure to go back if they have another 50% off deal, but otherwise I can find better burgers elsewhere.