New burgers, bar concept at Daily Grill

Daily Grill's pepper bacon burger

The tried-and-true Daily Grill restaurants are shaking things up a bit with some new burger options, as well as a new bar concept soft opening at the downtown Los Angeles location March 8. Other food writers and I were recently invited to try out the new burgers — a wild mushroom and a pepper bacon — and take a look at new bar Public School 612’s menu. I left impressed with the new items, as my years-long memory of Daily Grill was more staid than current.

The burger topped with saut√©ed wild mushrooms, Danish Havarti cheese and pesto aioli was my favorite. The pesto was key — anyone can slap some mushrooms on top of a burger, but the addition of the pesto made it especially delicious. I was skeptical at first, but I quickly came around after the first bite.

Daily Grill's wild mushroom burger

The pepper bacon burger, which is basically the restaurant’s cheeseburger topped with chopped pepper bacon, was also good, but by the time I tried it, it wasn’t hot anymore. The pepper with the bacon was a nice touch, though, for sure.

(By the way, the fries are really, really tasty here. Addictively, dangerously tasty. They’re perfectly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.)

Another impressive thing about the burgers here is the fact that all Daily Grill locations grind their meat in-house twice a day. We were also served a couple other ground-beef dishes: the new-recipe meatloaf and the plank steak. The meatloaf was really satisfying — it was full of veggies so it crumbled nicely, and it was topped with a tasty tomato glaze. Choose it over the plank steak, which I found kind of strange. It was like eating a big hamburger patty like a steak — not my cup of tea.

Daily Grill's meatloaf

We ended the night with beer floats off the new Public School 612 menu made with chocolate stout and vanilla ice cream. I’ve had a beer float before made with Old Rasputin, which was just too bitter for my taste, even with the ice cream. But PS612’s version with the Young’s Double Chocolate Stout was perfect for my palate. It even comes with a cute pirouette cookie.

Public School 612's chocolate stout beer float

PS612’s menu will include a list of beers — 22 on tap and others in bottles and cans — curated by Hallie Beaune of the The Beer Chicks, so you know it’s legit. There will also be a smaller list of specialty cocktails, which also looked promising, and a food menu that features items such as a Colorado lamb burger with tomato cranberry jam, arugula and brie, and peanut butter and jelly cookies with a side of milk.

Note: This meal was hosted.

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Maya Meinert

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03 2011

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