Father's Office (Santa Monica)

Burger Joint / Gastropub
Father's Office (Santa Monica) A classic LA favorite where everyone from celebrities to sunburned surfers in board shorts gathers to please their taste buds, Father's Office is a popular gastropub offering gourmet dining in a comfy, unpretentious setting. Los Angeles United States 34.029288 -118.498336
3.8 44
Father's Office (Santa Monica) - Burger Joint | Gastropub in Los Angeles.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review A classic LA favorite where everyone from celebrities to sunburned surfers in board shorts gathers to please their taste buds, Father’s Office is a popular gastropub offering gourmet dining in a comfy, unpretentious setting... ... read full review

  • Hours:

    Bar: M–W 5pm–1am, Th 5pm–1am, F 4pm–2am, Sa noon–2am, Su noon–midnight
    Kitchen: M–W 5–10pm, Th 5–11pm, F 4–11pm, Sa noon–11pm, Su noon–10pm

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth Father's Office (Santa Monica) Review

The Scene

A classic LA favorite where everyone from celebrities to sunburned surfers in board shorts gathers to please their taste buds, Father's Office is a popular gastropub offering gourmet dining in a comfy, unpretentious setting.

A classic LA favorite where everyone from celebrities to sunburned surfers in board shorts gathers to please their taste buds, Father’s Office is a popular gastropub offering gourmet dining in a comfy, unpretentious setting.

The brainchild of dictatorial chef Sang Yoon – who allows absolutely no substitutions on his menu – the venue is not much more than a narrow box consisting of a few scattered tables and chairs squeezed into the area beside the bar, where a diverse after-work crowd jostles for space and gets in some face-to-face flirting while waiting for their craft beers.

Latecomers will need sharp eyes and elbows to find an unoccupied stool at the fiery-red bar where execs, work-at-home entrepreneurs, and local housewives unite in their common quest for the famous Office Burger, an imitated but never duplicated culinary masterpiece of dry-aged beef, arugula, gruyere, Maytag blue cheese, caramelized onions, and applewood bacon compote on a French roll.

The higher prices and questionable service are soon forgiven, however, once patrons taste the excellent food and see the impressive list of imported tap beers.

Although the bustling activity dies down once the kitchen closes, Father’s Office is almost invariably packed to the rafters with a loud and chatty crowd earlier in the evening, making it a perfect spot for a delectable and flirty pre-party stop before heading out to late-night destinations.

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Tip from Emma:

This place is packed every night, so better to arrive earlier than later – if they’re at capacity, the doorman won’t let you in until someone else leaves.

  • Crowd

    Everyone from hip, fashion-conscious neighborhood locals to groups of older professionals, mid-20s to 40s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Ambient mix of iPod tunes. Big-screen TV on mute tuned to sports.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Appetizers, specials, vegetarian dishes, and the prized Office Burger with garlic aioli.

  • Prices

    Small plates $4.50–$12, entrées $10.50–$16, burgers $12.50. Beer $6–$9, rare/fine beer $9–$74, wine $7.50–$12.50.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Anything goes, from casual to work attire.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Any day between 6 and 9pm for the liveliest crowd, Fridays for the after-work crowd, and Saturdays for a consistently busy scene. The place settles down after 10pm when the kitchen closes.

Father's Office (Santa Monica) User Reviews

Average rating:
Good Drinks and Eats
Britt E. Aug 30, 2013
Been here a few times and it never fails to disappoint. From the friendly bar staff to the delicious food. It can get crazy busy which is a bit of a turnoff, but it also helps set the vibe. Love the wide and constantly changing selection of beers, makes every time a new experience.
Great burger and huge beer selection
Jason C. Aug 16, 2013
Atmosphere: It is loud and it is crowded. This is due to the small size of the building. There is a scarcity in seating, however people come and go so I personally don't think finding a seat is an issue. While it is crowded, it is relatively easy to get an order in. Burger and Beer: The burger here is delicious. Having had various upscale burgers like Umami and such, this is my personal favorite. There is also a wide selection of beers to complement the burger. The sweet potato fries here are also really good.
Good food & environment. What more could you ask for?
Suyoung C. Aug 7, 2013
Before turning 21, my friends have been raving about Father's Office and their mouth watering burgers. As soon as I turned 21, this was one of the restaurants that I wanted to check out. Father's Office was not a disappoint and it is considered one of my favorite places to eat at. You must try the office burger at FO. It is seriously so delicious and it is made with perfection. I've tried other gourmet burger places, but nothing can beat FO. There is a wide range of beer/ drink selections. I'm not too big on the beer, so I usually get the pear or apple drinks. They are fruity and very refreshing! I've also tried the cheese plate at FO. I think the cheese plates are around 30 dollars. I wouldn't recommend it if you don't love cheese. It's expensive and they give you very little. All in all, Father Office is one of my favorite places to come and catch up with friends. It can get very busy, so make sure to come at a reasonable time.
Great Beer, Great Food... Enough Said.
Michael G. Jun 12, 2013
If you want a delicious burger, great beer, and a cool place to hang out, look no further than Father's Office! Father's Office is close quarters and open seating, so if you don't want to stand and wait for a table for a decent amount of time, I would suggest you arrive more on the early side. Father's Office is widely known for their vast beer selection and their burgers! They have a large selection of beer including malty, hoppy and yeasty beers. I generally like to experiment with the malty and belgium brewed beers. My personal beers of choice are, St. Bernardus Abt 12 and Trappistes Rochefort 10, both of which are malty belgium beers. Also, Father's Office is one of the few places in the West LA area that sells Pliny the Elder, which maybe be the best domestic beer. Pliny the Elder is an IPA so it is very hoppy, and if you are into that, Pliny the Elder may become your new favorite beer. That is a lot coming from me because personally I dislike IPA's, but I even think Pliny the Elder is a good tasting beer. Those beers are of course suggestions, if you don't like those categories of beer, Father's Office has such a large variety of options, you will easily be able to find a beer that fits your liking. Finally lets get to the Burger! The Office burger is amazing to say the least. Hands down one of my favorite hamburgers. You can't make any changes to the burger because Chef Sang Yoon won't allow it, and you know what, I'm totally fine with that. Once you take a bite of this burger, the caramelized onions, bacon, arugula, Gruyère, and Maytag blue cheese creates this magnificent taste, and then you finally understand why the chef won't allow any changes to this burger. Also, it is a must to get the sweet potato fries as a side. I don't need to tell you why, go find out for yourself. Have been to Father's Office many times and definitely will keep going!
Pliny on Tap!
Stephanie A. May 9, 2013
If you are really into beer, Father's Office is the place to check out. And if you are really, really into beer, chances are--you know about Russian River Brewery's Pliny the Elder. This is one of the few places in Los Angeles that has this highly sought after brew on tap, among many other great craft beers. In addition to great ale, the burgers here are amazing. They are probably the best I've ever had. This is NOT an exaggeration. The sweet potato fries are delicious too, and come in a generous portion. The environment is understated and casual, but still polished. It has a very masculine feel. This is a great place to go straight after work, and the crowd is mainly young professionals. And LOTS OF THEM. There always seems to be a crowd here, and it can be tough to get a table. The snug space and small tables make for an intimate feel, but the noise level makes it a bit hard for conversation. Father's Office is located on Montana, so it's a great area to walk around and enjoy afterwards. There are some great shops, restaurants, and cafes nearby. This bar is a Santa Monica favorite!
Step into my office..
Stephanie K. May 8, 2013
Straight up, the burger and sweet potato fries are AMAZING! Don't mess around with the other stuff on their menu, because that is just not why you came to Father's Office. (Okay okay, I'm actually quite intrigued by some of their other offerings, but the burger is just SO darn good I never want to try anything else.) Also, if you're picky about what goes on your burger, then just go elsewhere. At FO, it's their way or the highway. But when a restaurant makes a burger that's THIS tasty, they can afford to be a little snooty. They also have an impressive, very diverse and unusual selection of brews! Once again, if you're a Bud Light-only guy or gal (or worse Miller, ugh), just be aware that you ain't gonna find it here. I recommend going right after work on a week night. I got there around 6pm on a Thursday. Every table was full but there were only a few people milling around at the bar. By 8pm, the place was a zoo. Also, check out the Culver City location/ It still gets busy, but it's a lot roomier and also offers outdoor seating. The Culver location feels more like a swanky after-work bar than the original Father's Office. Of course, the original has it's own cozy appeal as well. Does FO sound too good to be true? Well, my friends, the only downside is that it an be a hassle to get a table in this joint. The bartenders will advise you to "just be aggressive." Well, that's the understatement of the year. Man, it is a madhouse in this place. Get ready for the hovering swarms of beer-guzzlers to swoop in on you if it even LOOKS like you're about to finish your meal... But, once you have a table, it's more than worth the wait. So 4 stars it is.
Best Burger and Beer Combo You'll Ever Have
Jason J. May 3, 2013
Father's Office is what a gourmet burger is all about. The Father's Office Burger -- lightly glazed with their signature sauce, with a cheesy meat patty that melts in your mouth -- is a classy party in your mouth. Be sure to order a side of their fries/sweet potato fries, but it's a healthy service size of fried goodness, easily share-able between two people. If you're a beer lover like me, I recommend you check out their amazing choices of draft/craft beer. Don't be fooled by the laid-back, dimmed atmosphere, as the small gastropub can often get packed during peak dinner hours. The restaurant itself is very inviting, the waiters and servers very friendly, and for the +21 crowd only. So next time you're off work and wondering where to go for a relaxed, delicious dinner, take a cruise to Santa Monica or Culver City and try an Office Burger.
A Beer Connoissuer's Dream
Nicole M. Apr 26, 2013
If you're tired of generic beer brands, it's generic labels and it's generic taste, Father's Office is the answer to your craft beer loving problems. They serve an immense selection of craft beers and all from local California breweries. So if one tugs at your heartstrings like an old Neil Young song, it won't be too far for you to drive, get a local tour and leave with samples of that said beer. But this, of course, is besides the point. Aside from craft beers, they also offer wine. Also don't forget to check out their walls for recommended brews depending on your malt and hop preference. I particularly appreciate this gesture seeing as my lips will not touch anything stronger than a double i.p.a. beer. Am I too girly for saying that? Scratch that. If it's a suggestion from Father's Office, I will take that beer with open lips! Now that you've quenched your quivering thirst, be sure to order their signature Father's Office Burger; with a side of sweet potato fries. You can't have a burger without sweet potato fries. And from my experience, this place has the best hands down! Okay, back to the burger since I clearly cannot concentrate and is now thinking about food! Their burgers consist of arugula, beef, cheese, their signature sauce and buns.The burger is simple, with simple ingredients and a simple bun yet with all these mixed together in one bite, it somehow works. A little note, this is a bar so clientele is strictly 21+ but that just makes it that much more fun. For a beer connoisseur like myself, this place definitely gets an A. An A+ because of their burgers!
Best Burger I Have Ever Had...And That's Saying Something!
Noelle G. Mar 28, 2013
I would never consider myself a burger connoisseur, but I have definitely had my fair share--from fast food legends like In n Out and Five Guys to top rated bistro burgers like Umami, and this one blows them all out of the water. When we first got there, I was a little concerned by the price, which is a little high for a bar burger, but this is no mere bar burger. The combination of flavors is absolute perfection. I would have never thought to put arugala on a burger, but it stands up to the beef so much better than lettuce. On top of the amazing burger, the fries were exactly how I like them: extra thin, crispy, and perfectly salted. They give you a garlic aioli to dip them in, which is also both unexpected and delicious. I can't speak for any of the other items on the menu, but if you go here and order anything but the burger on your first try, you're doing something wrong. The selection of beers is unbelievable; the beers are divided by flavor (malty, hoppy, etc) and mostly come from California and Oregon, though there are plenty from other locations as well, including foreign beers. I'm not a huge fan of beer, but this definitely offers enough options that even a non-beer drinker like myself can easily find something to suit their tastes. As stated by other reviewers, this place can get fairly crowded, and loud as a result. We got there around 6:30 and had no trouble finding a table, but there were only two of us, and if our group had been any bigger it might have been a struggle. Around seven is when it started to get really crowded. This was on a Saturday night, however, so I imagine that during the week it might not be quite so busy. Overall, I would definitely recommend this place to anyone looking for a great burger or a fun bar. Definitely worth the trip!
Best Burger in La
Jasmit N. Mar 25, 2013
The Father’s Office has one of the best burgers in Los Angeles. The burger may seem unorthodox, but the flavors work very well together. The fries also are very good and the dipping sauces they give you are tasty. The best thing about them however is the number of beers on tap. I think they have more than 50 beers on tap. The place is always crowded regardless of the time and day, so expect to wait for a table. Furthermore, it can get pretty loud, so holding a conversation can be difficult. Also, because it is a bar as well as a restaurant, you have to be 21 to enter the place.
Burger Bar
Kate K. Mar 25, 2013
This is one of the best gourmet hamburgers in Los Angeles. This is primarily a bar, so it is restricted to 21 and over. The menu isn’t expansive, but all you need to get is the hamburger and the sweet potato fries. They have an amazing selection of beer, including many microbrews. Additionally, although I have not tried their dessert, they have some unique specialties that looked delicious. It is crowded every night, especially on weekends and the seating is largely communal, be sure to get there early! The vibe is very fun and the restaurant is filled with 20-somethings.
Awesome choices of beers and really cool atmosphere!
Camille H. Mar 5, 2013
When I went to the father's office, I was going purely for a beer, as opposed to food, and found the selection to be one of the best I've seen in Los Angeles. They even had Pliny The Elder on tap, which is usually pretty hard to find and tasted phenomenal!! After I tried that beer I was able to branch out into a few different fruity IPAs, all of which were very unique and tasted excellent. The scene was a little crowded, but it was a Friday night, so that is to be expected! Although I can't speak of how the food was, I can assure anyone that goes there, they will find a beer that they will not be disappointed in! Guarantee!
Amazing burgers and excellent beer selection. Can definitely get too packed at times though.
Duane L. Feb 22, 2013
Father’s Office is the only bar I’ve ever been to with the main intention of buying food and not alcohol. I had to try it after many friends said the burger is incredible, and it definitely did not disappoint. Though there actually isn’t anything too complex about the burger (didn’t look like there were many ingredients) and it’s relatively small, it tasted unique to me. It also worked great with fries dipped in the Father’s Office special sauce (they use their concoction and don’t even have ketchup in the place). The beer selection is excellent as well. They have a ton of beers on tap. I’m definitely not a beer connoisseur by any means, so the different varieties didn’t necessarily mean much to me but I still thought it was cool how many options they had. The one negative I can think of is that it was pretty packed when I went. My friends told me it’s regularly like this because it’s such a popular place. We had to wait a while to find a table and there are often people lurking about waiting for others to leave so they can pounce on a table. My only wish is that the bar was bigger!
Culver City Sister
Cristina M. Feb 22, 2013
Forget the location on 17th street, everyone who loves this unique gastropub must visit their Culver City location off Venice Blvd. Boasting the same menu and casual atmosphere, this new location seats far more people with an abundant amount of tables indoors and outdoors in their heated patio. This location draws an eclectic crowd from beer snobs, hipsters to the young professionals who can afford to get a good taste of their vast beer selection. Dark lighting and mahogany surroundings exudes a laid-back style, while the menu still carries a fancy selection of gourmet food, uniquely brewed beer and classic cocktails. The detailed menu separates their on tap beer into different flavor categories accompanied by descriptions of its ingredients, making the selection process fun and inventive. The higher prices are soon forgotten once you get a taste of their mouthwatering food and première list of local and imported beers. The coveted Office Burger is a must try, sublimely packed with unique ingredients that will satisfy any appetite. Big crowds are inevitable here so better to arrive earlier rather later so you can snag a table and not have to stand with your drink and burger in hand. Early evening is the prime time to come, to have a savory meal and drink before heading out for other late night gatherings. Although some may opt to go to the original Santa Monica bar, the Culver City location offers the same classic California ambience and delectable menu but with more spacious surroundings. (And a parking lot!).
Beer & Food trumps all
Brian L. Feb 20, 2013
Much has been discussed about Father's office and its newer sibling FO2, but the bottom line is this: their food and selection of craft beers are worth it. Yes it's a shoebox of a dining area, and yes it's supremely difficult to emerge victorious with a table, and yes their no substitutions policy may irk, but getting to pair their still unrivaled and unmatched Office Burger with Russian River's Pliny the Elder keeps me coming back. Situated in a tony Santa Monica neighborhood on Montana Ave., FO is a haven for craft beer lovers, as their regular beer menu provides a fabulous and varied mix of styles from California IPAs to Belgian trippels to lambics - all conveniently grouped together in categories designed to help guide the uninitiated. In addition, they have anywhere from 5-7 seasonals displayed on a mounted chalkboard that prove to be a handy supplement to the usual stable. Plus, they have a decent selection of wine for those not wishing to take down a pint or three. FO's calling card is their signature burger - medium rare please - a salty and sweet concoction dreamed up by chef Sang Yoon that puts the "gourmet" in the traditional American staple. Together with their amazing skinny fries and garlic aioli - they don't even stock ketchup in the establishment - it's as good of a meal as one can have in LA, bar none. But what's even more amazing is that the rest of the menu is full of gems as well, everything from the organic beet salad to the outstanding curry mussels. But the most difficult aspect to navigate at FO is their cramped quarters. Because each of their tables represents prime real estate, those lucky enough to snag one hold on for dear life, often calling/texting their friends to come by to revel in the celebration. Therefore, one must exercise sharp negotiation skills in order to secure a table, often making friends with those eating in order to set up the payoff down the line. That being said, parking to brave this urban jungle is generally a breeze, with plenty of metered parking up and down Montana Ave. It's never convenient to get in and out of FO, nor is it ever easy, but aren't some things worth the extra effort?
Bar Food Never Had It So Good
Marc C. Feb 20, 2013
Everything you've heard or read about Father's Office is true. First and foremost, you will wait for a table, and even subjected to lurking around seated patrons that you hope will abandon their swanky leather-studded booths soon. Eventually, a table opens up just for you (the feeling of winning a small lottery prize doesn't even compare) and you are minutes away from devouring Father's Office signature creation: a burger made of tender, dry-aged New York chuck and sirloin, complimented by arugula, applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onion, gruyere, and blue cheese served on a French roll. You might as well go all out (you did wait all that time, after all) and order the sweet potato fries, lamb skewers, Brussels sprouts, and other hearty pub favorites. Another truth to Father's Office: there are TONS of craft beers on tap and an equally impressive wine selection. Overwhelmed by the beer choices? Ask any one of their friendly and knowledgeable bartenders. Happy dining!
GOOD FOOD. GOOD BEER.
Paige K. Feb 5, 2013
YUM YUM YUM! The burger here is amazing. The fries are delicious. There is a huge huge HUGE selection of beer. The two main problems are parking and seating arrangements. You kind of have to drive around for awhile to find parking, but it's manageable. Finding a seat in the restaurant is really hard. You have to find your own seat and it's really crowded, so prepare yourself. You might have to get a little cozy with your neighbors. BUT definitely check this place out.
Tap Into Two Westside Gem
Gabriel M. Dec 9, 2012
Forget Wurstkuche, Father's Office has been the home of choice beers and fine pub cuisine for decades. With two locations - Santa Monica, and at the Helm's complex in Culver City - your crowd is your choice. Pick the studio centric Culver City location for a more accommodating square footage, or keep it quaint and close to the sea at Santa Monica. At either location, you'll find a sturdy atmosphere of Ale-lovers of all ages. And the atmosphere is equally as dynamic. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights sure occupy each inch of both locations, but opening hours on weekdays (5pm-) see both offices become informal venues. Go in search of great beers and superb cuisine. Few burgers in town rival Father's.
Great beer and an even better burger!
Brett C. Dec 4, 2012
While gastropubs in Los Angeles have become very commonplace, Father’s Office was the original, having been around since the 1950’s. The beer selection is excellent and rotates constantly. You won’t find anything you’ve ever heard of unless you know your international and craft brews or spend a lot of time at BevMo, but there are always some really interesting options on tap, and they carry many of the local California breweries like Anderson Valley and Green Flash. Bartenders here are very knowledgeable and can help find a beer for everyone. The Office Burger is absolutely as good as everyone says it is. I seriously dreamed about this burger after eating it. The rest of the menu looked tasty as well, and I’ll be sure to try more of it the next time I am there. Father’s Office is the perfect place for a cold beer and superb food after a long day at your office.
I thought it was a hit!
Alexis M. Dec 3, 2012
Father's Office may be my favorite Venue in LA. It is comfortably tucked into a shopping strip and the layout is very cozy and intimate. You can get your classic comfort food here. The restaurant was known for its burger so I went in anticipating that I would order that. There was only one burger on the menu so I would have appreciated a few more options. I order my burger medium rare and loved it. My brother ordered his medium and he was not a fan. The service is kinda funky. You have to order at the bar and you're on your own to find seating. I'm definitely glad we came at an off hour and didn't have to fight for seating. That would have gotten annoying real quick. I should also add that parking is simple and not out of the way for customers--there is a lot outside. It was a fun stop but the whole family didn't leave pleased.
Great burger and fun atmosphere
Calli C. Nov 30, 2012
Father's office has one of my favorite burgers in LA. It's not your traditional burger, but it's absolutely delicious! In addition, the menu is much more gourmet than I had expected from a bar. The atmosphere is pretty cool, and is somehow sophisticated but also casual. The staff is friendly and very willing to help give suggestions on their large selection of beers. I would totally recommend this place.
Definitely Check This Out
Georgina S. Nov 28, 2012
I came here on a Saturday night and had to wait outside for a few minutes as it was over capacity. That was alright, because it meant that it was probably pretty good considering how popular it was! The scene is young and fun, and it's right in Santa Monica so there's a ton to do near by. I've only had the cocktails here, which are pretty good. I've heard that they have THE BEST french fries and burgers around though, so I'm eager to come again and taste the food! It's kind of sporty and has a manly feel, but I enjoyed myself there. I would go again, but definitely this time, I want to try the burgers!!
My Father's Office
N. A. Nov 28, 2012
When I was a kid I used to sit in my father's office for hours and hours, playing with the pages of his chemistry books or looking over his red ink-stained graded papers and pretending to understand what I was reading. Luckily, this "father's office" is a lot more fun! Located in Santa Monica, Father's Office is a great venue to enjoy a night out with your close friends or coworkers. There are plenty of options including savory hamburgers, flavorful sweet potato fries and an impressive beer selection. The only downside is the shoebox size of the restaurant but that is quickly forgotten due to the quick service and friendly patrons.
Yummy Food, Yummy Booze
Julie T. Nov 13, 2012
I've only gone once so far, but I've been told to check out the bar by several people. As everyone recommended, I went with the burger and was not disappointed. It was a delicious burst of flavor that was definitely not of the conventional burger. I also stole some (or a lot) of my friend's fries and thought that they were perfectly crispy. In terms of beer, their craft selection is unique and interesting. My friend and I probably just spent ten minutes pouring over the menu trying to decide which beer to try because everything sounded crazy delicious. The only problem? It's expensive for those on a college budget. A burger and a beer including tip was around $27, but if you can shell that out by all means, go soon and go often. Eat some fries for me. PS I went around 5-6 because I heard that the place gets crazy busy and it was perfect when I went.
Favorite Burger
Nisha S. Oct 26, 2012
I absolutely love the Father's Office burger exactly how it comes (brioche bun, arugula and all!) I am rarely able to finish a full one--it is pretty big and super filling, but totally worth it. Definitely try the sweet potato fries if you have room. This place is usually packed any given night of the week, so try to come early at an off time to beat the crowd. The one issue I have with Father's Office is that they don't serve liquor. Sometimes beer and wine with my burger is just too heavy. I tend to feel rushed out of there after I eat, and if there were cocktails I might want to stay and hang longer to socialize.
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