Have it your way at The Counter

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carole-rosnerBY CAROLE ROSNER

The concept behind Studio City’s The Counter is “choice.”

This recently-opened neighborhood burger joint is all about having it your way.  You choose everything you want on a burger — the meat, the toppings, the sauces, the cheeses and even the bread. When I asked my dinner companion what she thought of the menu, she exclaimed, “There are more than enough choices, because usually my only choice is ketchup!”

Build your own burger  your way — seriously. Photos Courtesy of The Counter

Build your own burger your way — seriously. Photos Courtesy of The Counter

In 2003, The Counter Santa Monica was opened by restaurateur Jeff Weinstein, who has a longstanding history in the food business. He managed many successful restaurants including Red, Club Sugar and The Brig, and he and two partners created the very popular Firefly in Studio City.

In 2005, Weinstein partnered with Craig Albert and The Counter started franchising. There are now locations all over the world with more opening every month, but the Studio City location is the only one in the San Fernando Valley.

The fun of The Counter is creating your own burger. One look at the “Build Your Own Burger” menu and you’ll see the choices are virtually endless. In addition to traditional beef burgers, there are also turkey, chicken and veggie options. Ten cheese choices (such as Greek Feta and Jalapeno Jack), 18 topping choices (including grilled pineapple, hard-boiled eggs and black olives) and 10 premium toppings (how about a fried egg or honey-cured bacon?) are just a few ingredients you can have on your ultimate burger.

The Counter interior is sleek, modern and clean.

The Counter interior is sleek, modern and clean.

According to Assistant General Manager Keyara Kaiser, one of the most popular burger combination is a one-third pound beef patty with grilled onions, bacon, avocado, and provolone cheese with garlic aioli sauce. Keyara said customers also like the one-pound burger and challenge themselves (and each other) to eat it all.

If you aren’t in the mood for a traditional burger, there’s a delicious slightly sweet turkey chili, burgers without buns (on lettuce), a rotating Burger of the Month (this month’s is an Ahi tuna burger), as well as chicken, turkey and veggie choices.   A variety of fresh salads are also offered.  The very generous side order of thin, crispy onion strings is fabulous, as well as the perfectly-cooked sweet potato fries.

Homey, gooey, delicious desserts are also on the menu. An average meal for two with beer or wine, two burgers and a side is about $40.

A veggie burger on a choice of lettuce is a healthier way to eat at The Counter — if you choose.

A veggie burger on a choice of lettuce is a healthier way to eat at The Counter — if you choose.

This family-friendly, perfect date spot, guys’ burger bar, and trendy hot spot is a welcome addition to Studio City. Although there’s often a line out the door, the wait time is usually no more than 15-20 minutes – just enough time to stroll down the street, do some people-watching and try to burn off some of the calories you’re about to eat!

Free parking in large lot behind restaurant; metered parking on Ventura.

The Counter 12117 Ventura Blvd Studio City, CA 91604 (818) 980-0004 www.thecounterburger.com Sunday-Thursday  11am-10pm OPEN DAILY Friday-Saturday 11am-11pm

Carole Rosner is a native Valley Girl who has lived in Studio City for the past 11 years. She is a strong supporter of her local public schools and an active volunteer in her neighborhood. Some of her favorite things to do in Studio City are to celebrate 4th of July at CBS Radford, walk along Ventura Blvd. and browse through the racks at Crossroads Trading Company.

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

  • http://amysculinaryadventures.com Amy Jurist

    What a great review. isnt’ this the best place. I used to go to the one in santa monica forever and waited for a year for this one to open. i love this place. the sweet potato fries are awesome as you mentioned. And even better dipped into their garlic sauce and ranch dressing! I didn’t know about the owners connection to Red which was one of my favorite restaurant, and i really love firefly too. thanks! i think i’ll go tonight!

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