Sometimes people who drink beer miss out on the finer things in life.
When you order a beer, generally you say, “I’ll have a Stella.” Or a Heineken. Or a Budweiser. Or maybe a draft micro-brew if you’re trying to be pretentious. But when it comes to pretentious affectation, beer guzzlers can’t compete with wine connoisseurs.
“I’d like something dry but not too earthy. I’m ordering escargot, so I want tannins that will just barely cut through the butter.”
Beer drinkers miss out. Partially because beer just doesn’t pair well with your pheasant (I’m assuming – I really have no clue) and fancy restaurants generally have wine cellars, not kegs. This is because they want you to enjoy all the flavors that a delicate wine will bring out in their cuisine, and also because there is a much higher markup and profit margin on wine. Mostly the latter.
Stout Burgers & Beer, on the other hand, offers the Los Angeles burger and beer set more access to such pretension. Each burger is described in loving detail, along with suggestions on what ale might pair well to bring out the terroir of your ego.
Now, I’m not really a beer drinker – but I do love me some pretension. I only eat real dark chocolate (no, your 56% dark chocolate barely qualifies as chocolate, let alone dark chocolate). Those artisan chocolate producers are cute, but they can’t get the particle size small enough with their equipment, so the chocolate mouthfeel is gritty and doesn’t melt the same way as a large Swiss or Belgian producer’s bar.
Damn. Now that I’ve used the word ‘mouthfeel’, I have to take a quick shower.
Ok, I think I’ve established my pretension bona fides. (Fides should be pronounced as two syllables to get maximum pretension). Stout should really be up my alley. They also have some very nice wines by the glass for quite reasonable prices. They offer french fries with an off-the-menu preparation (melted cheese all over it – of course we agreed to this modification, unable to resist even a semi-secret menu).
The delicious fries were a nice way to ease into the meal. Unfortunately the burger that followed it didn’t live up to my expectations. The server warned me that the Six Weeker was sweet. Apparently the Six Weeker’s fig jam and brie laden burger pairs well with belgian ales, white porters and lagers. I generally lean toward simple orders, but Stout didn’t really have a ‘simple’ burger. Their signature Stout Burger comes with bacon (I generally avoid bacon on burgers), roasted tomatoes, horseradish, etc. You can ask them to leave something off a burger, but no substitutions.
So yes, although quite pretty, the burger was overly sweet. Even after I wiped off most of the fig jam, it was still rather sweet – but more importantly, the texture and flavor of the beef was underwhelming. The condiments tried to make up for a lack of seasoning. For a burger joint that proudly advertises they grind their own meat daily in-house, I expected more. It wasn’t a bad burger, but I didn’t finish it.
I don’t mind some fanciness. I’m fine with bougie. Whatever you call it. Yet it all starts with the core ingredients. A great chunk of beef cooked well is gonna taste pretty good. This is why steakhouses often can create a pretty decent burger. So while I’m generally a purist at heart (plain dark chocolate, no secret sauce on my burger, etc), I don’t mind some flair. Unless the flair is covering up what’s underneath.
Ambience 8/10, Burger 6.5/10, Fries 7.5/10
New York City is known for many things around the world. Rude cab drivers. Street hustlers. The people who sank the world economy. And all those are deserved parts of the city’s reputation, but so is a particular talent for that simple creation – the hamburger.
Like many great things (the Mona Lisa, sex), hamburgers are deceptively simple at first glance, yet become exponentially complicated and wonderful with each successive look. Ground beef sandwiched between two pieces of bread – what could be simpler?
Japan’s economy may have collapsed and the country may have lost most of its mojo to a 20+ year long depression, but hey – on the upside it now has a lot of good hamburger shops. These hamburger shops have a tinge of the East in them; they are wonderful, but they are Japanese. This isn’t a bad thing. Reg-On in Shibuya makes a wonderful burger, but it’s the Japanese interpretation of what an American 50’s diner burger should be.
If you venture to the Kagurazaka area in Tokyo, known for French cuisine and French expats, you may find a hamburger shop called Martini Burger a short walk from the station. In an unlikely spot, this is a real New York hamburger shop. Inside it’s not a run down joint like the amazingly grungy Paul’s in the East Village, but instead has more in common with the hotel bar at the W or the Aloft (yes, I’m a Starwood guy).
The proprietor Eliot Bergman is as authentic as the burgers – a soft-spoken but blunt New Yorker who speaks fluent Japanese and somehow manages to keep these diametrically opposed cultures from imploding. Ah, a cynical Tokyo-ite, that rare breed.
The interior feels expensive, as does the burger. As opposed to a typically small $10 Tokyo burger, their creations start at around $15 and comes with a bit fancier sides as opposed to a traditional pile of carb-loaded fries. On my first visit I tried some roasted rosemary potatoes – delicious but a Japanese sized portion. The burger is the opposite – an American sized slab of beef, cooked medium rare unless otherwise requested. A great char and adequate salt and pepper seasoning – something that almost everyone gets wrong (except for his lordship Danny Meyer – hallowed be thy name). The mustard aioli nicely complements the rest of the expensive ingredients. The bun is light and chewy, although it could be a little more airy so it doesn’t dominate the burger. Again, very few shops get the burger to bun ratio perfect (all hail Meyer).
This is one of the very few genuinely American high quality burgers in Tokyo. The texture is perfect, the seasoning is familiar and the English is flawless. The interior feels a bit more date-like than an everyday burger shop, but that’s typical for Japan as burgers appeal to a very different demographic than in the USA. I feel like the interior could be a bit more comfy for dates, but the design is impressive with its modern feel. (Modern and comfy rarely coexist without friction).
I’m originally from New York, and despite being a devout In N Out convert, overall New York might win the burger war with quantity. Shake Shack, Minetta Tavern, Spotted Pig, Burger Joint, Paul’s, etc. LA has In N Out, Plan Check, an overrated Father’s Office, a very overrated Umami Burger, etc.
So, we’re sorry we crashed the world economy, but you’re welcome for the burgers. Goldman Sachs and Shake Shacks. Let’s call it even.
Ambience 7/10, Burger 8.5/10, Fries N/A
As with many things (geopolitical conflict, musical movements), nothing is real until it goes viral on the internet.
Although Burger King Japan introduced the Kuro Burger (kuro is ‘black’ in Japanese) two years ago, it was only this fall that the English speaking interwebs became obsessed. Granted, I did live in Japan for the better part of last year so my facebook feed may be a bit abnormal, but it became cluttered with links to various sites that were mostly (in the grand tradition of doing as little work as possible) just publishing the pics from Burger King Japan’s site and adding their commentary, “hey look – that’s pretty weird” and not much else.
Part of the reason that I believe it became more visible is McDonald’s Japan got fed up (ho ho) with Burger King Japan’s domination of the special edition black burger game. In Japan, ‘Special Editions’ of anything rule the world. Last year I went to a pop-up store selling Special Edition Kit Kats. While at first this sounds, well basically amazing – it was actually quite disappointing as this Special Edition (like many in Japan) included a slightly different label and not a single change to the product.
Yet in the highly competitive Japanese fast food game, they can’t just slap a different label on it. Thus the battle of the black burgers.
I photographed and consumed these burgers several months ago not that long after they were introduced (both in the same day for comparison’s sake and gluttony’s sake) but I think it took quite awhile for them to fully digest, so my apologies for the delay.
The answering volley to the Burger King Kuro Burger is the McDonald’s Ikasumi Halloween Burger (ika means squid, sumi means ink). McDonald’s also has a Squid Ink Camembert Chicken Burger, but that is outside the scope of this website. Let the chicken burger blogs take on that one.
Let me just stick a pin in this and let some of the magic out right here. The artwork on these burgers is quite well done – McDonald’s going with a more Halloween theme and Burger King trying to be minimal and fancy. Either way, good photography and even better retouching because these burgers look nothing like most of the pictures circulating on the web.
the real McDonald’s Black Burger in all its blue-grey glory
I’m a huge fan of burgers (duh) and I’m even a big fan of visual gimmicks, but these things give burgers a bad name.
First of all, the bread doesn’t look very black to me anywhere except on the in-store displays. McDonald’s is blue-grey, reminiscent of a nice grocery store bun after two weeks of mold accumulation. Burger King’s is quite a bit darker, rendering a nice shade of dark brown (to contrast with the strangely light brown patty). Although the McDonalds ads do show the bun in a lighter shade than the Burger King ads – so maybe they’re lying in equal amounts. Unfortunately while Burger King gets closer to black, the presentation of the burger looks like it was run over a few times while the McDonald’s burger is quite well assembled.
the beautiful dark brown Burger King Black Burger
Of course taste is paramount even in gimmicky black burgers, so we don’t have to worry too much about visuals because they both taste disgusting. I don’t really like McDonalds or Burger King all that much anyways, but these left me fondly craving Big Macs and Whoppers.
Steve Martin summed it up in LA Story when giving helpful feedback about his neighbor’s juicing habit: “It’s exactly like licking a shag carpet.”
In truth, one is like licking a shag carpet (Burger King) and the other is like licking an Ikea area rug (McDonalds). In other words, if I were captured by ISIS and forced to choose – I would go for the McDonald’s Ikasumi Burger, but it wouldn’t be an easy choice.
As far as I can tell from the various marketing materials, the burgers are made in roughly the same way – bamboo charcoal is used to make the buns black (and BK black cheese) and squid ink is used to make the sauces black.
McDonald’s Black Burger – the lesser of two evils
McDonald’s comes out ahead, but it’s still terrible. The little fried onions give a nice bit of crunch while offering no taste at all (which means it’s the best tasting thing on the burger). Luckily the charcoal in the dough also offers no taste leaving the bun utterly forgettable. Unfortunately the sauce does have a taste, but not one I’d care to repeat. It’s artificial and cloying, even when compared to the rest of McDonald’s offerings. The patty is of a rubbery variety, albeit a slightly better and chewier rubber than Burger King’s version.
Burger King’s scary Black Burger
Somehow Burger King still brings up the rear with it’s more convincingly colored bun and, well – let’s call it a burger for lack of a better term. The cheese looks fantastically black (the only thing that actually does look jet black) but is tasteless. The theoretically all-beef patty has an unpleasant aftertaste and the sauce adds a nice counterbalancing unpleasant taste. Similarly to the McDonalds offering, ‘artificial’ is the word that best describes the overall taste. How I imagine the first prototype for lab grown ‘beef’ tasted.
This is where I try to say something nice about BK and McDonalds since my mom raised me to say something nice or nothing at all – oops, sorry. Judging by some passed out salarymen, McDonalds is the preferred spot for the face down on the table nap. The Burger King I visited is underneath Shinjuku Station so it’s one of the tiny ones. It’s quite close to a 7-11 if you need to buy something to cover up that awful taste.
Anyways, if you’re craving bamboo charcoal, squid ink and rubbery fast food patties, have I got a fantastic recommendation for you!
McDonalds Black Burger • Ambience N/A, Burger 3/10, Fries N/A
Burger King Black Burger • Ambience N/A, Burger 2/10, Fries N/A
A long time ago, there was a burger joint in Los Angeles called Mo Better Meatty Meat Burgers. Besides being an enjoyable mouthful to say (try it now – I’ll wait), they also produced a pretty fantastic burger in a slightly run down looking structure at Fairfax and Pico. An even longer time ago, that same burger joint was located on Melrose back when Melrose actually felt kinda cool. (Yes, this was the mid 90’s).
Alas, Mo Better Meatty Meat Burgers closed down. There were complaints – it was slow, it wasn’t in the nicest location, it was kinda expensive, etc. Still, I missed it.
So I was excited to see that Mo Better Meatty Meat Burgers had reopened on LaBrea, although now it had been truncated to Mo Better Burgers. I had been burger hunting in Asia for months and had been unable to visit, but recently I met up with photographer (and Instagrammer extraordinaire) Pete Halvorsen for lunch at their new location.
Let’s get a few things out of the way. It’s in a weird mini-mall. I’ve lived in this general area for years and it’s always been a weird mini-mall. The patron saint of mini-malls must have cursed it. Still, the interior of the shop is pretty comfy, so I can’t deduct too much for the location. At least on the day I went the parking lot seemed pretty open, which slightly improved my disposition as I was truly feeling nostalgic for the wonderful train system in Tokyo.
Similar to the old incarnation, this is not fast food. It’s gonna take you 15-20 minutes to get your burger on a quick day. I think it might’ve taken us longer, but it wasn’t uncomfortably long as we knew what to expect (and they warned us).
Now the important part. It’s very similar (in a good way) to the old Mo Better Meatty Meat Burger, with a perfect char on the 5oz patty and simple tasty toppings atop a nicely squishy bun. Shredded lettuce, raw or grilled onions, tomato, mayo, etc. I haven’t been to the old shop in about ten years, but I remember the beef seasoning to be stronger. Maybe when they removed the Meatty Meat from the name, they removed a bit of the heavy handed seasoning. I actually preferred the old seasoning, but this was still a really good burger; I’m quibbling based on a ten year old comparison to a cult favorite. Of course my memory is always reliable, so I’m sure I remember it perfectly.
Compared to Japanese burgers, there’s a common difference. Good American shops get the beef cuts and grind absolutely perfect. The meat texture here couldn’t be any better. Yet I feel that the Japanese shops actually do a better job with condiments, toppings, sauces and sometimes seasonings (although I’d say seasoning is a tie – except for Shake Shack which kills it with their seasoning – all hail the king). The fries were similar to the old shop, although I wouldn’t mind them a bit crunchier (I had the same complaint ten years ago).
The menu is quite simple (offering a beef burger, steak burger and turkey burger). It does not have tacos on it. Why is this notable? Because they secretly serve tacos as well, although I haven’t tried them. When Pete and I were standing in the parking lot afterwards, the shopkeeper (maybe the owner?) came out to give us coupons for free tacos on our next visit, so I will eventually report back. Any self respecting Los Angeles establishment has to have a secret menu, secret entrance, secret cult affiliation. Just something secret.
This is a good burger on a stretch of LaBrea without too many good burgers (Umami Burger closed this location – but I always think they’re overly heavy anyways). If you want a taste of the old Mo Better Meatty Meat Burger, this satisfies the urge pretty nicely.
Ambience 7.5/10, Burger 8.5/10, Fries 7.5/10
Photography is a peculiar job.
Thus I found myself on a Monday afternoon accompanying a photographer friend to the Nishi-Azabu area of Tokyo. He was shooting for a Chinese newspaper on strange places to visit in Tokyo. Unfortunately I had missed the Owl Cafe part of the shoot, so I joined him on his Japanese S&M Club visit. We had an hour to kill before the shoot and decided to further my cultural research at a nearby burger shop.
On the Japanese review sites, the All Orders burger shop had a decent rating. Not great, but not bad. Decent marks for food, but a low rating for ambience. The reasons for that soon became apparent.
As we took in the strange furnishings of All Orders, we really couldn’t categorize it. Looking more like something you would expect to find in India, it felt like a cross between’s someone’s house, a bar and maybe a burger shop.
The front window was dirty, the furniture didn’t match (and not in that most Japanese curated mismatched style), and they served curry, burgers, draft beer, Moet and Chandon champagne, diner steaks, etc. Even the vinyl exterior sign was all mixed up – advertising hamburgers, steak, antipasto and beer. Pretty much the definition of scattered.
With pretty low expectations, I ordered my usual avocado burger and my photographer friend decided on the diner-style steak.
The plating matched my low expectations. Although perfectly satisfactory and actually somewhat appetizing, I’ve gotten used to Japanese burgers looking like small little art installations. This just looked like…a burger.
And it tasted…like a burger. A surprisingly good burger. Nicely seared on the outside and well seasoned. A well matched squishy bun with fresh avocado. I don’t understand how 100% of Japanese avocado is perfectly ripe and unblemished. Maybe the fries could have been crispier, but they were still tastier than I expected.
In short, I’d eat here again. Is the texture perfect? Nope. Are the fries among the best I’ve had in Tokyo? Definitely not. But it was very satisfying and I wouldn’t hesitate to pop in again for the burger if I found myself in the area again.
The Japanese S&M club, on the other hand, wasn’t worth a return trip. Quite bland and overpriced, unlike my peculiar friend All Orders.
(My friend’s diner steak was reported to be quite satisfying, as was the Owl Cafe – two things to put on my to-do list).
Ambience 6.5/10, Burger 7/10, Fries 7/10
Japan has so many wonderful traditional approaches to cuisine from all over the world. More Michelin starred restaurants than Paris. Better Italian food than most of Italy. Yet somehow it still has a reputation for culinary weirdness.
Burger Mania’s Cherry Cream Cheese Burger won’t do anything to change that reputation.
There are two Burger Mania shops in Tokyo, but only the Hiro-o branch serves the unusual Cherry Cream Cheese Burger. The Japanese have a longstanding love affair with special editions, limited time offers, etc. I just wrote up a review of one of McDonald’s Japan’s limited time offerings for the fine folks at Serious Eats.
As for Burger Mania, I had visited once before and they served a perfectly respectable cheeseburger. I’d say even beyond respectable. Possibly a bit unremarkable, though. The kind of burger you’d bring home to mom and dad, but simultaneously downplay the future possibilities to avoid raising their expectations.
I usually get the standard cheeseburger for comparison purposes, being a big believer in fundamentals. Lately I’ve ordered a lot of avocado burgers just ’cause the Japanese do such a phenomenal job with them. I justify it by believing that avocado is a subtle enough flavor and fat source that it’s similar to a mild cheese. Also it instantly turns a hamburger into health food.
Anyways, I returned to Burger Mania with a friend one chilly winter’s day and decided to try something different. Living on the edge! So I tried the Cherry Cream Cheese Burger – highly recommended by the staff. It starts with their usual 100% beef patty. If I understood the staff member, their meat is sourced from different parts of Japan depending on which cut they think is best from which place, and then it’s combined into their own special blend.
Then comes the interesting part. Some cherry jam-like substance sits on top of some softening squares of cream cheese. Under the burger are some of the more usual suspects like onion, tomato and lettuce.
How could this work? Cherry jam. Cream cheese. Beef patties. This is just crazy talk. And this is where food writing gets tough. I can show you pictures, but how do I describe the taste? Actually quite easily.
It tastes exactly like simultaneously eating toast and jam, along with a bagel and cream cheese, plus a hamburger. The strange this is that somehow all these tastes exist separately yet harmoniously while you’re eating. It’s easy to identify all the flavors, but it actually pulls together into one very satisfying meal.
So if you’re in Hiro-o, go try the Cherry Cream Cheese burger at Burger Mania. Then tell all your friends how weird Japan can be. Maybe also mention that there was a conservative cheeseburger on the menu, but you’re the weird one who decided cherry jam and cream cheese should be on your burger.
Ambience 7.5/10, Burger 8/10, Fries 7/10
Like many Japanese signs written in English, I’m sure Reg-On means something. It’s probably clever. Like many Japanese signs written in English, it’s also incomprehensible. I can spell it phonetically in Japanese katakana, but I have no clue what it means.
Luckily, my lack of clues didn’t stop me from tracking down the rather hidden Reg-On Diner in the back streets between Shibuya and Ebisu. It’s not really close to any train station. Most train stations are about 20 minutes apart by foot, and Reg-On is about 10 minutes from the closest station.
Despite these terrible obstacles, I managed to overcome and with the aid of my trusty phone I found Reg-On Diner on a cold winter’s night.
This is probably the Japanese mental image of what a small American diner looks like. They got a few things wrong. First of all, nowadays it’s tough to get a liquor license so possibly those bottles of Coors, Budweiser, Corona, Tecate and Brooklyn Lager wouldn’t be there. Also, the immaculate bathroom wouldn’t exist in an American diner (I’m not sure what to make of the July 2000 Mademoiselle cover featuring TLC hanging on the bathroom wall? Again, no clue.)
Still, American diners sometimes make a pretty damn good burger, and so does Reg-On. The avocado burger I ordered might be a bit fancier than diner fare, but I’m okay with that. The avocado was perfectly ripe, like most Japanese burger joints. I don’t know how they do it since I can spend 3.5 hours in an American Whole Foods trying to find one avocado with no brown spots. The tomato was nicely ripe as well, an almost mythical thing in American produce.
The patty had a nice charbroiled flavor and good texture. There was even a hint of spice; just enough to give the aftertaste a bit of a kick but not change the flavor of the burger. The super springy buns that crushed down made for a good burger to bun ratio and the flavors all pulled together nicely.
I wouldn’t have minded some more onions and I tend to like thinner fries as it’s almost impossible to cook large wedges perfectly. These were quite crispy for the most part, with only a few undercooked stragglers. Some more seasoning on the fries would’ve been nice, too. Some tasty gherkin pickles rounded out the approximately $11 meal.
I don’t know what Reg-On means, I’m not sure why TLC had a place of honor in the bathroom, but I’m positive I will be back for another burger if I’m ever in the neighborhood. If it were 5 minutes closer to Shibuya station I’d be there all the time.
Ambience 8/10, Burger 8/10, Fries 7/10
Up until recently I had spent pretty close to zero time in Roppongi.
Sometimes you feel a bit homesick, and Roppongi can fix that. Getting overly comfortable with the safety of Japan? Roppongi is one of the only areas where you have to keep your eye on your wallet. Missing being hassled on the street by people trying to separate you from your cash? Roppongi has an impressive contingent of West African hustlers aggressively promoting strip clubs and brothels. And in the unusually homogenous society of Japan, Roppongi is foreigners as far as the eye can see.
Then again, recently I’ve started to appreciate a bit of Roppongi after being more formally introduced by some foreign friends. I think that’s why I avoided it before; it felt like a waste being in Japan and hanging out in the foreigner area.
The huge Roppongi Hills complex sits in the middle of Roppongi and, according to my Japanese friends, is the coolest place to be. Assuming that you’ve time traveled to 2004, because apparently now it’s quite passé and Roppongi Midtown is the new hot spot. When I mentioned to a Japanese friend that Google’s offices were located in one of the Roppongi Hills towers, they sniffed with disdain that it wasn’t in Midtown.
Be that as it may, for some reason I found myself walking by Roppongi Hills one day and noticed that a pretty highly rated burger joint called AS CLASSICS Diner was nestled inside the Hollywood Plaza mall, part of the Hills complex.
Inside, as usual, the Japanese have managed to design a quite beautiful space, complete with faux weathered surfaces. (It has been around for 9 whole years, so maybe that’s 90 in Japanese shopping years).
The menu claimed they served American hand chopped beef, which sounded awfully good after suffering through all the poorly textured Japanese burgers. Maybe American beef is just more suited to the art of the burger.
My very neat and simple cheeseburger came with some super crunchy wedge fries. I don’t mind a good wedge fry as long as it’s fried to within an inch of its life – mushy wedge fries are one of the scourges of Western society.
The burger itself sat on a sesame seed bun – a bit bready, but it balanced out their shop sauce, a combo of BBQ and mayo. The texture was good, but not as American as I was hoping; it missed a bit of the crumbly goodness. The flavor and seasoning of the patty was okay, but a bit bland.
Overall, this is a solid effort by a solid shop. Unfortunately, neither the burger nor the ambience are enough of a standout to lure me into the depths of Roppongi.
Ambience 7/10, Burger 7.5/10, Fries 8/10
Tucked away on a side street across from Yoyogi park is the Arms Park Side Burger Shop. A little slice of Americana near the Yoyogi-koen train station.
For approximately $10, you get a fine looking (and tasting) cheeseburger. This is not a fancy gourmet burger with blue cheese and caramelized stuff on it. It’s a simple burger with lettuce, tomato, onion, mustard, relish and mayonnaise (which I generally think has no business on a burger, but to each their own). This is a burger that hearkens back to a simpler time – a time when Bobby Vee and Elvis took turns on the hi-fi system (as they do at Arms).
I’ve eaten here several times and the fries are a bit variable, ranging from good to just okay. They never quite make it to great, and they occasionally commit the cardinal sin of undercooking their fries – not yet a capital crime, but I’m still hoping. How many times in my life have I said, “Hey, these fries are way too crispy!” Almost as often as I’ve said, “Wait, maybe pizza at 2am is a bad idea.”
But the taste and texture of the burger are both excellent – I’d say 8/10. Nicely seasoned without being overpowering, the cheeseburger and avocado burger are equally good. Lately I’ve started ordering the avocado burger (strangely popular in 2013 Tokyo).
The bun is nice and squishy (and squishy is a wonderful quality in a hamburger bun and not much else), and the ratio is good although I wouldn’t mind a bit less bun. I do have a tendency to pick apart buns or order ‘protein style’, so you might want to ignore me on this one. Then again, Shake Shack has the perfect bun to burger ratio, so you’d have to ignore me and Danny Meyer.
This is an excellent burger and five years ago might’ve been the best burger shop in Tokyo, but nowadays a new burger spot opens every 12 minutes, so we’ll just have to find out by eating a lot of burgers. For science.
Ambience – 9/10, Burger 8/10, Fries 7/10
http://goo.gl/maps/TgmVH 11am-10:30pm (closed Mondays)