Is It Any Good?

Good Burger and Beer from…maybe…one of the guys who brought you Umami.

Plan Check Kitchen + Bar on Urbanspoon
Plan Check Kitchen + Bar on Foodio54

Umami, the Burger franchise that’s spreading like a…like a…let’s just say it’s spreading a lot throughout Southern California. Hell, there’s almost too many of them at this point.

Does take some of the fun out of it, don’t it?

The specialness, the uniqueness of a meal is kinda…well…dulled, if the meal you’re having can be had at eighteen locations in the Southland.

Yeah, you’re right, that’s a terribly Foodie thing to say. My bad.

Then, there’s the matter of history. From what I heard, one of the original masterminds behind Umami fell out of favor a while ago, and when he left, he formed this place: Plan Check.

Now, what exactly is Plan Check, I mean, what does it mean as a term in reference to the restaurant? I’m…not…sure, but the menus and the whole graphic theme seemed to be set around Compasses and Checklists.


That’s not going to matter. You’re here for a Burger, and a Burger you shall have, and be most happy with.

Walking inside, you get a little Westside bull@#$% from the Host/Hostess, a little of that Westside sneer. Not much, but enough. I guess them being happy to see me, or anyone for that matter is optional. Wandering through, you can’t help but notice how loud it is, and I mean loud.

Then again, it’s a burger joint. Burgers and contemplative don’t mix.

Fortunately, things got noticeably nicer once I sat and the bar. Once I started order Beer, Cocktails and Food, they got even better. Momentary Westside rage…fading.

The beers were good. The cocktails…also good. The Burger…hitting my happy spot.


WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Well, my Buddy was running late (probably trying to find Street Parking — see below) so I started of with the Cured and Preserved Meats plate. It’s five dollars a shot, so don’t expect a cornucopia of meats. Expect instead, a small plate of one item, unless you got it going on. I went with Soppressata Piccante (Berkshire pork), which was a nice foundation from which to start in on Cocktails and Beer afterwards. It comes with a Miso Mustard, which was good and all, but tasted a lot like straight ahead Dijon Mustard to me. Not that I minded, of course.

After that, I went for the Chef’s Favorite Burger.  I’m a total suck up that way.  The Chef’s Favorite comes with cheese two ways, bacon two ways, ketchup leather, sunny fried egg, hot sauce. I’m not sure what cheese two ways means, nor bacon two ways. And just what the hell is Ketchup Leather, I still have no idea. But this burger reminded me (in a good way) of two burgers I’m quite fond of: The Manly Burger, both seem to have a caramelized cracker made of pure melted chess, and the Morning After Burger at Stout, with it’s fried egg on Sriracha Ketchup. Both had just enough of a kick to make my day. I’m also told that the Blueprint Burger puts one in a happy place.

The fries were good, in not extraordinary. Still, I’d have them again in a second.

And the cocktails were good. I got the Kentucky Bubble Bath which was a bit too bitter for me, so know that going in. Mine came with Rye, Cynar, Lemon, Agave Syrup, and Lavender Water, but the new menu calls for Buffalo Trace Whiskey. I saw a few House Old Fashioneds getting made, and from what I heard, that was the cocktail to get.


IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Plan Check is a bit odd in that the Bar area is soooo much bigger than the “Restaurant” area. I’d say it’s an even fifty fifty split, maybe even sixty forty in its favor. There is an Army of Staff at this place. They were loaded up for a Friday night. Still don’t be surprised if you have a hard time getting folks attention when you’re in there. It’s just that crazy.


PARKING: For once, we have a restaurant that actually puts Parking Information on its website. Miracula Miraculum! There is a small lot two or three doors down from Plan Check that charges $6 a shot, and is well worth it. Otherwise, you’re going to have to take your chances on Street Parking, and from what I could see, Street Parking filled up mighty fast.

Oh, and lest you think you can park at Farmer’s Market or The Grove and hoof it? No, that’s way too far to go. Don’t bother.


Plan Check (Fairfax)
351 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Tel: (310) 288-6500


Sunday-Thursday: 11:30am – 11:00pm
Friday-Saturday: 11:30am – 1:00am