THE CUT in Irvine, CA
Please believe me when I say that I am obsessed with burgers. Like, seriously. When it comes to finding an excellent burger, I'm very, very picky. I will go into details of my checklist for a perfect burger later on, but I just need you to know that before anything else I say here. Got it? Good.
It is BECAUSE of my obsession with burgers that I was pretty thrilled to be invited to come and try out some of what The Cut has to offer. And guys, I'm using the word "thrilled" here lightly. I was STOKED. I had heard tell of a food truck that offered hand crafted burgers with an elevated flair. I wasn't too sure about this place at first... I mean, I've had some pretty rocking burgers before. I have a very solid list of my favorite burgers ever, and I only allow 5 on that list to avoid getting too complicated. I already had all those spots filled; I couldn't imagine knocking any of those off the list. Plus, food trucks come and go, right?
Why was I stoked about visiting this place then?? I'll tell you. Once a food truck gets a "brick and mortar" establishment (basically, a permanent residence without wheels), that's when you know you need to check it out for reals. And ladies and gents, that time has arrived for The Cut.
The day before their Grand Opening, I had the joy of joining fellow bloggers and 'grammers (the cool term for Instagram Influencers. It's a word. I swear. LOL) for a private event, which I dragged my sister to.
We were both immediately smitten with the space. SO. FREAKING. CUTE. And excuse me... did you see the pillows?? Yea. They are really hitting it out of the park with this trendy aesthetic. (Side note: I didn't sit with the pillows... I was too scared of RUINING them the day before they open! Yeeks!). From the caged lanterns hanging from the ceiling to the gorgeous tile lining the face of the bar, this is a place you hope to bump into that popular group from high school ("Oh HIIII!!!! Oh my gosh, yes! I AMMM trendy enough to frequent a place like this!")
Hopes were high from the moment we walked in. I seriously hoped the food was going to be enouhg to make me want to come back. I mind-shouted a quick prayer to the universe, and my dears, the universe answered.
I'll just come out and spoil the ending for you. The food here is ridiculous. As in ridiculously amazing. Sure, there are a few basic items on the menu that I'm not sure I'll ever get. But honestly, every restaurant has those items. The question you should as yourself in order to determine if an eaterie is actually worth the trip, money, and calories is "do they serve something/an experience that I can't get anywhere else". The answer for The Cut? Yes.
Let's hit appetizers and sides first.
What I tried: Cheesey Tots, Honey Sriracha Wings, Croquettes and Poutine.
What I LOVED: The clear winners were the Croquettes and the Poutine!
These Croquettes were BY FAR my fave app of the night. An indulgent bechamel sauce with prosciutto and chorizo is battered in a nicely seasoned corn batter, then deep fried to crispy and gooey perfection, topped with a marinara-like sauce and served on their Mad Sauce. I mean... come ON. I can't even pretend to hate this.
The Poutine (a typically Canadian dish of french fries, cheese curds and gravy) had a Colombian twist thanks to Executive Chef Andres Dangond's roots. Topped with braised brisket, mozzarella and (my fave) cilantro chimichurri. Heck. YES. That chimichurri was amaze-balls
Now I'm moving on to the good stuff. THE BURGERSSSSSSS.
What I tried: The Original, The Colombian, The Savory, and The Grand Cut.
What I loved: The Savory and The Grand Cut!
While The Original was basic in only the purest and yummiest way (served with American Cheese, Pickles and Cut Sauce) and The Colombian was extremely innovative and had great umami (layered with Smoked Mozzarella, Cilantro Chimichurri and Roasted Bananas), the two burgers I would 100% come back for were The Grand Cut and The Savory.
The Grand Cut was our last burger of the night, and for good reason! This baby is RICH, RICH, RICH. With a Signature Patty, Braised Pork, Bacon Jam (hashtag ADDICTING), Aioli, and Havarti and Comte Fondue, this is on burger that you don't need to order sides for. I only ate a quarter of it and was completely satisfied. Mind you, I had also eaten bites of a million others things that night, so I was full. I can image coming, ordering JUST this, eating half and being completely satisfied. The pork was great and not too pork-ish (that's a thing and huge concern of mine. I don't want to be tasting HAM if the menu says PORK). And. That. Bacon. Jam. Ugggh. To die for.
The best burger of the night has to be The Savory. I'll admit, when I first saw it I thought "Well that looks like it could be tasty, but I'll probably forget about that one the next day". Nope. Could not be more wrong. I'm now SO SAD that I didn't get more pictures of this burger!! The Savory Burger is my Mary Poppins of the menu: practically perfect in every way. Two EXCELLENT buns, Bacon Relish (made with I think cranberries! I know, right??), Swiss Cheese, Aioli and their signature 3,000 Island Sauce. I just can't fully describe to you how amazing this burger is. It's satisfying without being heavy, and simple while also housing some beautifully complex and complimentary flavors. The patty is the perfect mix of flavorful fat and juicy beef, the swiss cheese adds a smidge of saltiness and that bacon relish is the mind blowing cherry on top.
Guys. This burger is now in my list of Top 5 Burgers Ever. *insert ghostly surprised emoji here*. It hits every marker for a perfect burger, and has bumped one unfortunate burger off my list. I won't name names here; I'll save that for another post. Just know, that this is a HUGE deal and I could not be more happy about the newest addition to my list.
So please. Do yourself a favor and if you find yourself near Irvine, CA, hit this place up. I had such a pleasant experience, I will definitely be coming back, and bringing every single person I know along for the ride.