Virbila Finds Hits and Misses at Short Order; Gold Beelines For Bouillabaisse

Nancy's Backyard Burger
Nancy's Backyard Burger Photo: Tatiana Arbogast

For the first time in a long time, it kind of feels like S. Irene Virbila is speaking for us when she says, “Not everything deserves a rave, not even every burger, but, all in all, Short Order is a fine addition to the sprawling complex at Fairfax and 3rd.” Of Nancy’s Backyard Burger, she’s all like, that burger isn’t so special, I make it at home all the time. But the spot “has more than burgers going for it,” she writes, obsessing on hot dogs in pretzel buns called “Pretzel Pups” (aww…), finding the “rafts” too hard to eat, and talking about the shakes, but probably not putting down her glass of Zinfandel to try one. “The quality ingredients, full bar and short, sweet wine list add up to one classy burger joint,” she concludes, before reminding us that “It’s not perfect.” [LAT]

J. Gold tells us where to find a good bouillabaisse, after some dude asks about his dark twisted desires to eat it in an Italian trattoria…or something like that. The critic breaks down the poor-man’s history of the dish as “a thrifty soup of bony, gelatin-rich Mediterranean trash fish that Marseilles fishermen would bring home after they had sold all the good stuff to brokers.” It’s a “strange creature” locally, he argues, “an invention of poverty nearly always sold as a luxury dish,” as the people’s version appears to have mostly croaked around town. Gold currently finds Fig & Olive’s bouillabaisse to be satisfying, and though “it may be too fancy by half…the bouillabaisse tastes like bouillabaisse.” [LAW]