Pono Burger

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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Chef Windy Makani at Pono Burger
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
The Kuawa Crunch at Pono Burger
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Sassy Wahine at Pono Burger
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Pono Burger
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Pono Burger
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Organic sweet potato and Russet potato fries at Pono Burger

Santa Monica

How's this for food in unexpected places—a WWII bunker. Westsiders can sit inside a free-standing, covered shelter—redone to a minimalist-meets-Etsy decor—for Hawaiian-style burgers made with "pono" (i.e. grass-fed, local, organic). These morally-superior beauties take on flavors of the Pacific islands with wasabi mayo, pickled ginger and spicy guava sauce. Build a burger that starts with grass-fed, wood-grilled beef patty, and add on farmers market toppings atop a brioche bun. House burgers range from the spicy—Kuawa Crunch ($12) is stuffed with housemade organic potato chips, cheddar, cole slaw and a guava rum sauce—to the Posh ($11), made with organic arugula and sautéed mushrooms, truffle aioli and blue cheese. Kids and vegetarians can also get their fill, while groups can take court on the outdoor patio. Service can be sloppy and a bit abrasive, but chef Makani cooks with heart. Don't forget an order of sweet or Russet fries, sprinkled with fresh herbs and served with aioli. And to drink, there's craft beer on tap and by the bottle (pitchers if you're really thirsty), along with wine by the glass and bottle. Alcohol virgins can order a virtuous housemade milkshake. So, what does a righteous milkshake look like? Organic, Strauss Creamery soft serve meets salted caramel and Niman Ranch bacon—dieters, retreat.

Venue name: Pono Burger
Contact:
Address: 829 Broadway
Los Angeles

Opening hours: Sun-Wed 11am-9pm, Thu-Sat 11am-10pm
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