the first time i went to the lazy ox canteen was before the los angeles times food critic s. irene virbila gave it a 3 star review well over a year ago. i was really impressed with everything, and have been meaning to go back ever since. it is only 2 blocks from my loft, and i go by it often, but it is almost always busy. today i happened upon it pre-lunch rush and i was craving a burger, so i bellied up to the bar, which i often do when eating alone, and ordered their 8 oz grass-fed beef burger medium.

it was topped with cantal cheese, butter lettuce, onion, pickles and mayo on a grilled poppy seed bun. it came with a side of thick(ish) cut fries, as well as, green peppercorn mustard and a dipping sauce that i couldn’t quite place the flavors, but i’m thinking it was a tomato red pepper aioli. the fries were ok, but i prefer mine with some crisp to them and a bit thinner.

my first bite into the burger indicated that it was too salty, and the cheese was quite strong, both of which i might have looked over, if this wasn’t how my burger looked like in the middle:

ok, that isn’t the best picture, but it was over done, and on the verge of being well done. as you can see, all the juices were on my plate. i wanted them in my burger.

i even showed the manager manny castillo what my ‘medium’ burger looked like, just to alert him that perhaps simply his grill/oven is too hot? i can’t imagine his chef doesn’t know what ‘medium’ should look like. it seemed as though he agreed, and was about to get me another, but i said that it was fine and that i would finish it. honestly i was so hungry i didn’t want to wait, but in the end i didn’t finish it, and regret not asking him to bring me another. live and learn.

this will not keep me from going back to the lazy ox, but it will probably keep me from ordering the burger again.