When Josh Pourgol closed UNCOOL Burgers—a vegan-friendly burger joint located in Larchmont Village—in late 2021 after being open for a little less than a year, it was for a simple reason: he wanted to offer booze.
“As a brand, we always wanted to serve alcohol and be a bar that serves great food too, [but] on Larchmont we couldn’t do that because there were limitations on what we could do at the space,” Pourgol told Los Angeles. So once the longtime restaurateur—who also opened Bardonna, Tu Madre, and Echo Park’s now-closed Counterpart Vegan—found a new location, he said goodbye to Larchmont and moved the popular smash burger eatery to West Hollywood.
The reimagined version of UNCOOL Burgers, which now goes by UNCOOL, debuted in late February under Pourgol’s Blurred Limes Hospitality company. Tucked in an unassuming strip mall at the corner of Fairfax Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, UNCOOL offers an unconventional approach to boozy cocktails and comfort foods including their beloved smash burgers, which are served with crispy cheese cooked directly on the grill and a signature sauce that has a sweet and tangy flavor. The menu also features chicken wings, chicken sandwiches, breakfast options, and a variety of vegan alternatives.
Among the burger options is the quesobirria burger—topped with brisket birria, crispy cheese, their signature burger sauce, onions, and cilantro—which nods to the current birria taco craze and a western honey BBQ-styled burger. Another standout is the the Rolls Royce of Burgers, which features a double wagyu patty, black truffle mayo, truffle cheese, and onion jam. But for those who like to keep it more traditional, the classic or the Uncool burger is the way to go.
Non-meat burger highlights from the menu include the vegan version of the Uncool burger, the Party in My Plants—served with onion jam, vegan American cheese, truffle island sauce, lettuce, tomato, and house pickles—and the Vegan HotBurger, which comes with a vegan spicy burger sauce, grilled chilis, and pickled jalapeños.
Pourgol teamed up with consultant Nha Quach—who also helped him with the drink menu at Tu Madre—to deliver Uncool’s new bar menu, which features playful cocktails, alcoholic snow cones, wine, beer, and hard seltzer. Customer favorites include the Banana Boat tiki cocktail with white and dark rums, crème de banane, lime juice, and orgeat syrup, as well as the Floral & Co. snow cone beverage with Tito’s vodka, poire, crème de violette, and lemon juice.
UNCOOL’s wings—which are available as boneless vegan alternatives as well—gives chains like Buffalo Wild Wings a run for their money due to its variety of flavors. Those flavors include chili lime tajin, cacio e pepe, soy very garlic, chili crisp, Korean BBQ, chamoy, and even takis—yes, the chip flavor.
Equally extensive are the sauces, which range from yuzu-kosho mayo to house-made ranch and black truffle mayo and are all perfect on wings, crispy fries, or tater tots.
Although the upbeat music and bright lights that come from the burger joint may give the impression that the venue is only open to adults 21 and up, the backyard-style venue with primarily outdoor seating remains family-friendly. The modern space, which was designed by Nic Albritton, offers a neighborhood vibe that is perfect for everything ranging from a work lunch, date night, or the last stop on a wild night out.
UNCOOL is located at 7881 Santa Monica Blvd. and is open Sunday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to midnight, and Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Prices range from $8 to $15 for smash burgers. uncool.fun
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