Last week I did something I have not done in a long time: wait in line to get into a bar. (Hold the rotten tomatoes, that's the only perk this job has.) Actually, scratch that. I have NEVER waited in line to get into a bar. Clubs? Sure. But bars? Um, no. But this wasn't just any bar. This was Father's Office, the brand spanking new Culver City outpost of the Santa Monica hotspot. And as if to prove just how hot it was, there was not only a line, but also a velvet rope (!!!) and a doorman.
At least there was a wall with amusing quotations to help us pass the time, like this one by Humphrey Bogart: "The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind."
My co-waiters in line also expressed shock and dismay at the fact there was even a line (We're told it's even worse at the Santa Monica venue). "This never happens!" explained the girl behind me to her friend. "This is so weird." Yes, it was weird, but then so is Father's Office. It's sort of communal in its set up—most of the seating was outside with large, wide wooden tables designed for either large groups or several couples who love to have intimate conversations while sitting next to total strangers.
My friend and I, meeting in person for the first time (we are internet buds) experienced this conundrum. Inside, it was standing room only, but then, voila!, a space opened up, next to a couple that seemed to be celebrating a birthday. They invited us to sit there, and it quickly became nearly impossible to talk, mostly because the guy half of the couple insisted on shouting and laughing at the top of his lungs. Then, a third person showed up—the actual birthday boy, and it just got worse from there.
We took advantage of an empty table opening up and moved over, not before noticing that one of our former table mates had raised her arms in a "touchdown!" victory pose. Nice passive aggressive move. At least in NYC, people are openly rude and tell you you can't sit there just 'cause they don't want you to.
The lure of Father's Office lies in the quality beer and the food. The beer menu is impressive—there's even a $72 bottle, which, though I am not a beer person, I was tempted to try to see if it was so good it could make me a beer person. Alas, my pockets are not that deep.
Instead, I got something pale and lemony, a Hefeweiss. It was nice and smooth and I swear, was spiked with something because I felt pretty loopy afterwards (I only had one!). My friend went with an India Pale Ale and a Red Ale.
As for the food, my friend reported: "This is a really good burger." It looked good, but I had already eaten.
The garlic-parsley fries were yum, just skinny enough, too. I don't know about you, but I hate fat fries.
I had the Sobresada appetizer—three tasty nuggets of spicy sausage, manchego cheese and shaved onion on pieces of bread. Perfect snack.
All in all, Father's Office is a pleasant, if a bit chaotic, experience (you have to go to the bar to order, get a number and take it to the table, which means that if you and your friends drink at different rates, you end up waiting for the other person a lot). Next time, I would not only go earlier, but I would also avoid the Friday night rush. And, of course, cross my fingers that there's no line.