Being burned by restaurant hype has numbed my excitement over the years. When I heard about a new “It thing” burger bar opening in Fashion Island, my dude-brain flushed the news faster than Larry in accounting telling me about his crazy dreams where he plays disc golf with paper plates. What?
Scrolling through Taphunter (app to find what is on tap where), my tires screeched on the same “It thing” burger bar, Hopdoddy. I backed up to peep their opening lineup. Am I the one dreaming? Not only does Hopdoddy have O.C. beer on tap, they have ONLY Orange County brewed-beer on tap. This is a first, fine readers*.
Needless to say, I went on Grand Opening day. I went back a couple times to try different menu items. I’ll leave the food writing for the food writers, but I can tell you my excitement was big at finding a burger bar with several options less than ten dollars, using all-natural local ingredients, no less.
My top five Hopdoddy burger and O.C. beer pairings:
Magic Shroom Burger: Angus Beef, Laura Chenel Goat Cheese, Field Mushrooms paired with The Bruery Mischief. Goat cheese and Belgian style beer are magic!
Good Night / Good Cause Burger, Angus Beef, Tillamook Cheddar, Caramelized Onions, Jalapeños, Hickory BBQ, Sassy Sauce paired with Artifex Brewing Bog Trotter (Irish Red). Barbeque sauce and caramel malts of this Irish Red really play off each other.
K-Town Belly Burger: Grass-Fed Beef, Braised Beeler’s Pure Pork Belly, Kimchi, House-made Gochujang, Korean Rice Crispies, Mayo, Basil Leaves pair with Barley Forge The Patsy (on Nitro). Coconut and basil brings this pairing to a whole new level.
Thunderbird: Chicken, Apple-Smoked Bacon, Pepper Jack, Avocado, Seared Poblanos, Pico de Gallo, Chipotle Mayo paired with Noble Ale Works Big Whig IPA or Left Coast Trestles IPA.
Buffalo Bill: Bison, Apple-Smoked Bacon, Blue Jack Cheese, Frank’s Hot Sauce, Sassy Sauce paired with Valiant Brewing Alpha Drive Double IPA.
Find a great beer pairing? Let us know!
*for a non-brewpub