ELEVATED AMERICAN CUISINE
So, when I say that Hank’s in Pacific Palisades offers elevated American cuisine, you may ask exactly what do I mean by that? Are we talking meatloaf? No, we are talking hamburgers. Think badass burgers like you’ve died and gone to Burger Heaven.
With a menu crafted by Executive Chef Isaias Peña, Hank’s is a comfy spot in chic Palisades Village. The outdoor patio offers several tables for fine al fresco dining. And on weekend nights, there’s even a trio playing live music creating a very relaxed and refined setting to dine and drink.
The Hank’s interior is cozy with an impressive jukebox offering two songs per dime. During our recent visit for an early weekend dinner, we started with the Sinatra Martini—Beefeater gin, vermouth and lemon twist on the rocks. This is a very nice and stiff martini just perfect to get your dining experience off the ground. With the accompanying sidecar, you get two mighty martinis for the price of one.
If you’re looking to start with Small Plates, you can’t go wrong with the Meatball Al Forno. In fact, consider this one a must-have. Featuring three cuts of meat—lamb, beef and pork—the meaty meatballs are served over polenta with marinara, Pecorino Romano and herbs. This dish is hearty and absolutely heavenly.
The Deviled Eggs are also a nice starter. There are four to an order—Gravlax, salmon roe, prosciutto de parma, and applewood smoked bacon—and they’re a great way to start, especially paired with a martini.
Because the setting screamed classic eatery, I had to try the Classic Caesar with white anchovies, pain de mie croutons, grana Padano, and olive oil. Truth be told, I compare all Caesar salads to Dan Tana’s—the best in town in my opinion. This one wasn’t quite there but it definitely held its own. It was far and away better than most Caesar salads I order.
But now let’s talk Burgers!
Don’t fool around when you’re at Hank’s. Just get the Double Diamond burger made with Tillamook cheddar, tomato, butter lettuce, grilled onion and house sauce. Named Best Burger of the Southland, I had high burger expectations and they were not only met but exceeded. Pricey at $27, the burger—with a patty made up of wagyu, short rib and brisket—comes with your choice of fries, onion rings or side salad. You can opt for the Hank’s Single for $24 but get the double as you will not be disappointed. In fact, you will be hard pressed to find a better burger.
Other standout burgers that we contemplated included the Pub Burger with smoked cheddar cheese, bacon, and worchestershire aioli, and the California Burger with American cheese, bacon, and avocado. But we opted for the Bordelaise Burger with Havarti (semisoft Danish cow’s milk cheese), Provolone, and crispy onions for our second entrée. This burger came swimming in a delicious bordelaise sauce—made with dry red wine, bone marrow, butter, shallots and sauce demi-glace (a rich brown sauce). This was rich and decadent. Different than your average burger, it held its own even after we were still marveling at the Double Diamond.
You can make it a boozy burger night and pair your eats with the Sinatra Martini (believe me, you’ll feel like you can fly to the moon), or you can opt for wine, especially with the Bordelaise Burger, or make it a classic burger experience and opt for a milkshake—and I recommend spiking it to really indulge.
The dessert options are pretty simple here but, honestly, we were too full to try any of them although the banana split did sound tempting. But we just couldn’t resist a boozy root beer float. Made with their own Hank’s root beer, it was just a nice way to finish off a great night out.
The Brunch menu at Hank’s is pretty extensive and it seems like their weekend brunch is quite the scene. I kept seeing orders of the deliciously smelling Chicken Fajitas go by. Apparently that one is very popular. The King Salmon, Fish and Chips, and NY Steak also seemed like solid options but for us, it was all about the burgers. Come for the burgers and you will leave a happy camper.
Hank’s, located at Palisades Village at 1033 N. Swarthmore Avenue, is open daily. Call (424) 363-7166.
Story By: Jose Martinez
Photography Courtesy Of: Hank's