High-end burgers and craft beers arrive in the Grove this week as LoKal Burgers & Beer opens its doors on Commodore Plaza. Owner and third generation restaurateur Matthew “Kush” Kuscher (Houston’s) plans to add his Puerto Rican heritage to the menu, including his version of a frita – a pressed burger with guava jelly, melted gruyere and chopped French fries. All burgers are ground in-house daily from free-range, Kobe-style cattle grass fed in Ocala’s White Ranch.
Menu highlights include My Childhood Dream (a 70oz burger, American cheese and crispy bacon served inside a donut), the 50.05 (a patty made from 50% Florida ground beef and 50% Florida ground bacon served with mayo, Monterey jack, tomato and sweet onion marmalade) and the Royale with Cheese (burger with Canadian bacon, BBQ sauce, diced white onions and shredded Monterey jack cheese). Other items include tuna fish sandwich sandwiches, bang bang shrimp tacos, New Mexico chili, Homestead guacamole and the Redlands salad.
Less than a week old, LoKal is already a media darling. Thrillist declares “the K should probably stand for ‘kick-ass burgers’” and likens the graffiti-lined space to “where a garage band would record a demo that’s much less awesome than the hundreds of cassettes covering the bar.”
The New Times votes LoKal one of the five best places to grand a hangover-soaking bite on New Year’s Day, singling out the Frita and My Childhood Dream burgers. It also gives the Grove spot some love in its top five food trends of 2011 for its dedication to local craft beer.