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Thursday, November 13, 2008

CLOSED! burgers/new in town: i strongly recommend CALIFORNIA GRILL at Dun Hua

CLOSED! (a/o july 2010)

No. 1, Lane 238, Dun Hua S Road, Sec. 1
(02) 8771-9423

website: hasn't been updated in over a year

hours: 11:30 AM - 10 PM

$-$$ Cash only

Kid friendliness: very small space, about 10 seats on booths.

Visit reviewed: 10/23/2008 and 11/13/2008

I had been wanting to try California Grill for awhile- with my first attempt at the Yong Kong Jie branch before they were ready for business.

So lucky for me, a friend introducing a friend from out of town chose this newly opened Dun Hua branch for lunch- a tiny nook right behind the Dun Hua S Road Sogo. I didn't know they had opened a new branch, though I probably would have spotted it sooner or later as I'm in that area a lot.

California Grill makes classic burgers without too much frills- they do have a few house variations, such as the Mofo Burger (topped with two slices of bacon, garlic mayo, american cheese and bbq sauce), teriyaki chicken, salmon burger, or even a tofu burger. You can add fries or salad and ice tea or soda for extra NT$50.

If you can't decide, you can order the Sliders (NT$250), which are mini-burgers where you can sample four different types of burgers.

Like their menu states, it's a classic burger- hot, beefy, juicy grilled patty, two hearty slices of tomato, and each part of the burger is proportional to its parts, unlike other places where the lettuce is bigger than the patty.

I love that California Grill gives you TWO slices of tomato and it's probably how I would make a burger if I was having a bbq. They serve it open faced and you can see the grill marks, and then you assemble it together and try to make it fit in your mouth!

I got the Western Bacon Burger (NT$205) which comes topped with not only bacon, but also onion rings, bbq sauce and cheese.

The first time I went a few weeks ago, they didn't offer a set lunch combo. But now they have a pretty good weekday lunch special- 1/3 pound beef or teriyaki chicken or tofu burger with fries or a salad and ice tea for NT$155 (which is like getting the side and tea for free). I got it today with the side Valley Girl salad (mixed greens with diced tomato, cucumber onions and sprouts with oil vinaigrette) and ice tea and extra side of onion rings.

I'd choose their onion rings(NT$40) over their fries- as the rings are fried just right, crispy with a thin layer of batter and served with a side of bbq sauce (which you could also put on your burger).

For those that don't eat beef, there is also a grilled or panko fried chicken burger (NT$155) as well as a grilled or fried tofu burger (NT$135). This is not a ground up pretend garden burger- it's a grilled slice of tofu with sesame and ginger glaze for the vegetarians out there. Have you ever wondered why vegetarian fare offers things that look like the "real thing"- doesn't that sort of defeat the purpose of being a vegetarian? I dunno.

There's also a few salads to choose from, as well as milkshakes, beers and sodas (Dad's Root Beer) to guzzle down.

For those of you missing your hometown (LA) burger joint while in Taipei, you should definitely check out California Grill. Though the space is small, it's a cool classic diner-like atmosphere with shiny red seats and white tables. If you're in a rush, you might to call in your order as sometimes (like today) they are handling large to-go orders.

other location:

53-1 Yongkang St, Taipei
(02) 2343 5111

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Sera said...

damn i passed by this place so many times just "planning" to go.
so sad i never got the chance it looks so good!

joanh said...

sera: haha.. well, you shouldn't have any problems finding good burgers where you are now, right?? :)

Unknown said...

From: California Grill
For all our blog friends, we say THANKS for your support by giving you a chance to try our new mini-burgers FREE!!!

If you have written about us, then please print this private coupon, write your blogname on the space below and bring to our new Dunhua location for a free Mini-Burger set
(4 mini-burgers+fries) *only 1 coupon per blog

Blogpage: __________________________________________________
DUNHUA SOUTH RD SECT 1-Alley 238 (8771-9423)

Unknown said...

Nothin' can beat In-N-Out burgers in Southern California. I would need to try this when I head back to TW

Anonymous said...

This is Da-Hai from MSI, Anita and I both went to this resturant, we ordered a chicken burger and a tofu burger, we were blown away... it was amazing, so delicious, thank you so much for recommeding this place.
PS, we thought the tofu burger was surprisingly good.

Steve said...

I've been 3 times and I've been disappointed each time. I'm not a big eater, but even their regular-sized burgers seemed small. The tofu burger is really tasteless (unmarinated?). My girlfriend said her chicken burger was also average and she refuses to go back to California Grill again. My pick for an American-style burger would be The Diner, but overall the best burgers I've tasted in Taiwan would have to be the ones from KGB.

Anonymous said...


You need to check out Bravo Burger (Mingquan East Rd. Section 3, Lane 140, #2, or their new location on Civic Boulevard). They have, in my opinion, the best burgers in TW. KGB in Shi Da area is a close second, but they blow Cali Grill away. Look into it! Would love to hear your review. Keep up the great blog!

Anonymous said...

The sliders mini-burgers lunch special were laughable. A complete rip-off. Truly disappointing and pushing the limits of stinginess. I was a longtime fan but haven't been back since...

Ben Andac said...

ATTENTION: Just to let you know this place has now shut down; I work just around the corner and found it closed and cleaned out when I went for a visit at lunch time a couple of weeks ago.

joanh said...

Wei: thanks! sorry the Dunhua location closed.. hope to try the Yongkang location someday!

lin: i'm not that crazy about in-n-out. haha

Anonymous: thanks!! i thought the tofu burger was surprisingly good too!

Steve: i do have to do my review on KGB. i had a few occasions where i thought the burgers were on the small side, but i usually got the lunch combo..

Anonymous: thanks for the rec! i do have to try Bravo Burger.. so many places to try!

Anonymous: thanks for your comment. once i got the sliders lunch combo and i agree, the portions were tiny and not worth it. i think their downsizing might have created a ripple effect of customers not going back.

Ben Andac: thanks for the info! Cali Grill did post on their FB that they were shutting down this location. their Yongkang location is still open. i've updated the post

Debbie said...

We are new to Taipei & are so happy to find a fabulous food blogger :) Thanks for all the posts & our first stop was California Grill. YUM! Since we've been living in Singapore for the last 2 1/2 years (originally from US) it did not disappoint! Thanks for all the tips & keep them coming. :)