One of Los Angeles’s most iconic burgers is back — albeit in a new location, and with a new name. Chef David Myers, formerly of Comme Ça and Hinoki + the Bird, is planning to open Adrift Burger Bar in Venice, and will be pulling some of his old burger tricks out for a whole new menu.
Myers has spent the past decade drifting across the globe (hence the name of his website, Gypsy Chef) opening restaurants in places like Singapore, Dubai, and Tokyo, and was most recently running the show locally at Hinoki + the Bird in Century City back in 2013. But with travel restrictions in place and jetsetting mostly at a standstill, he decided to open something more casual and more local.
“I’ve been essentially grounded here,” says Myers with a laugh when reached by phone, “since I can’t get into my other restaurants.” Travel to places like Japan is off the table right now, Myers says, “so instead of watching Netflix and drinking wine every night, I decided to do something impactful.” More than half a decade ago in Los Angeles, Myers came to some national (and even international) fame for the burger at restaurant Comme Ça on Melrose, which the New York Times called “perfect” at the time. He’s hoping to recapture that language with his new Venice menu, arriving Wednesday.
Update: The opening of Adrift has been pushed from Tuesday, November 10 to Wednesday, November 11.
“It seemed like the perfect time to put this in play,” Myers says. “I’ve had nothing but time on my hands.” The plan for now is to run Adrift as a pop-up out of 1025 Abbot Kinney in Venice, next door to Felix, “at least through the end of the year,” says Myers.
Myers’ legendary burger returns with a new name, the DM Burger, served on a brioche bun, along with several other styles including a namesake Adrift burger with ajwan-spiced jam. The burgers can be ordered in different ways (including multiple patties, and plant-based options) and with add-ons like fried button mushrooms and milkshakes. There’s also a “charitable topping” setup on the menu, where diners can choose to add a financial donation to their meal that goes directly to the St. Joseph Center in Venice.
Myers says the laid-back menu feels right for the neighborhood, and for the ongoing pandemic. “I don’t know about you,” he says, “but I just want comforting items right now.” The opening menu is below.
As for the Adrift space, the former Hal’s Bar & Grill building has been overhauled by designer Danny Gonzales to feature much more greenery and muted tones, and with art from Sophie Kipner, though the primary focus will be on takeaway sales. There’s even a living wall of plants with pottery from BOZU Los Angeles, which can be purchased and taken home by customers. Expect some limited on-site distanced al fresco seating for more than a dozen diners at a time, plus GrubHub for delivery. Hours begin Wednesday, November 11, and run from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.