Burgers and healthy don’t typically go hand in hand. Pono Burger in Santa Monica, and the new location in West Hollywood, is an exception. The beef for the burgers is from pasture raised, grass-fed cows, and the french fries are 100% organic. Not only is this spot perfect for the health conscious meat-lover, but it is also great for the kids as well! With food this delicious, they won’t realize how healthy they’re eating…
With West Hollywood’s launch also comes a fresh new menu, continuing to incorporate Hawaiian-inspired dishes from chef Makani. All ingredients continue to be organic, and all fish fresh and locally sourced when possible. I’m a sucker when it comes to having a “vibrant” table, so the purple potato chips with a fresh rum sauce were a great snacky finger food to kick us off. The guava rum sauce is housemade and packs a punch! Depending on what you’re in the mood for, you really can’t go wrong. We wanted to satisfy our burger craving as well as attempt to be a bit healthy also. The Farmer’s Market Mix salad is plentiful and delicious. We added fresh ahi tuna, took out the wonton crisps, and opted for a balsamic vinegar dressing to make it gluten-free. For the burgers we had the highly recommended ‘Alekina- chorizo, avocado, sweet potato nest and chimichurri sauce. The sweet potato nest texturizes the burger nicely, giving each bite a really satisfying crunch. The ‘Piku’ Fig burger is just as yummy, but packing a more sweet and savory mix with a drunken fig jam to accompany the melted brie, bacon and hazelnuts. Although we opted for gluten-free buns, all burgers can be made with a lettuce wrap or into a salad as well. And make sure to get a side of the perfect sweet potato fries. I mean, you can’t have burgers without fries, right? The sweet potato fries are NOT subject to cross-contamination in the fryer, so they are 100% gluten-free, but the kitchen is a shared kitchen, so a slight risk remains.
If you have any room left, do yourself a favor and try their popular butterscotch pudding. While rich in flavor, the base is creamy yet light as well.
The new menu is full of goodies to cater to any desire. We were so excited to hear that all of the burgers could be made into a salad for when we are craving something on the lighter side. The new menu is currently only available at Venice and West Hollywood locations, but will roll out to Santa Monica shortly. With the philosophy to use all organic, local, farmer’s market ingredients when possible, Pono Burger’s handcrafted burgers are made with the integrity that Pono Burger stands by. Go get yourself one of these bad boys asap!