Chef Makani is the woman behind this Pono Burger in Santa Monica. Her philosophy is all about using "organic and farm fresh ingredients for a handcrafted burger made with integrity that above all, tastes great." In case you're wondering, Pono is Hawaiian for doing things the right way.
The lemonade was squeezed to order and the freshness came through with every sip. It had just enough sugar not to make you cringe, but still tart enough to taste the lemons.
Burger of the day
The patty was made from 100% certified organic grass-fed beef and cooked medium rare, the recommended temperature by the Chef. It was topped with cheddar cheese and a caramelized onion and strawberry compote. I could immediately taste the difference in the beef after the first bite. There was a distinct beef flavor from organic grass-fed beef that's hard to describe. The sweetness from the strawberry compote mixed with the salty richness from the cheddar complimented the burger. The other notable thing about the burger was the texture of the brioche buns. The buns held up really well to the juicy burger, but it was light enough that it didn't over power everything else.
Organic sweet potato fries
Two thumbs up for the sweet potato fries and housemade ranch bacon chipotle aioli. The fries were skinny but not greasy and the sweetness from the fries worked really well with the savory aioli.
The visit to Pono Burger was not cheap, but we got what we paid for, and that's good quality and tasty food. $12 is not bad for a carefully and thoughtfully crafted burger made with great ingredients. Can't wait to go back and try some of their signature burgers.
829 Broadway Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401