11419 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
After originally opening April 2019 in Los Feliz, Honeybee Burger, owned and operated by Palisadian Adam Weiss, has buzzed over to the Westside to deliver a 100% plant-based menu.
The counter-serve joint currently operates two locations: Weiss recently moved the main location from Los Feliz to Silver Lake to avoid a hefty rent increase, and opened a second spot on Santa Monica Boulevard a week before the pandemic began prompting closures and restrictions across Los Angeles.
“What’s different is that we are totally mission driven,” Weiss explained. “Our mission is to help save the planet by getting people to choose plant-based food over animal-based alternatives.”
Honeybee Burger features the “best plant-based ingredients,” according to its website, “from the patty to the bun and everything in between.” This includes ingredients like Violife cheese, a house-made burger sauce and locally sourced produce. Burgers can by ordered with a Beyond Meat or Impossible patty.
Oh, and why the bee?
“The honeybee’s role as a pollinator makes her one of nature’s most important creatures,” the website explains. “Studies show the honeybee impacts one in three bites of food that we eat each day.”
This is not Weiss’ first foray into the Los Angeles dining scene: He has previously invested in other restaurants, including Café Gratitude, Gracias Madre and others.
Born in the South Carthay neighborhood of Central LA, Weiss has lived the Riviera and Village areas of the Palisades since 2014.
Weiss is already working hard to expand Honeybee Burger to additional locations, including a forthcoming spot in the Mid City area.
Honeybee Burger is located within the Colony—a collection of restaurants that serve food out of a front pickup lobby. There are currently nearly 40 options, with places like Canter’s, Trejo’s Tacos, Chin Chin Street Side Kitchen and more available.
Those interested in dining can visit the Colony’s website (ordercolony.com), place the order and head to the lobby. According to the website, the average order ready time is 15 minutes, and there are no fees or commissions.
For this review, I took the food home, but there is a small patio area for those interested in enjoying their meal on-site.
Though burger is in the restaurant name, Honeybee serves more than just that: I kicked off my dining experience with The Bee-rito, packed with JUST Egg, cheesey tots, house-made pico de gallo and a roasted pepper sauce, all rolled into a toasted jumbo spinach tortilla.
When the menu says packed, this is an understatement. The over-sized tortilla was filled to the brim. I took the recommendation to add avocado and it did not disappoint.
Available all day, this breakfast burrito is hefty, but I was able to save half and eat the rest for breakfast the next day. After heating up in the microwave and air-frying for just a couple of minutes to get some of the crisp back, it was back to fresh, making for a good option if you’re looking to make two meals out of one.
Keeping with the breakfast theme, next up was The Brekky Bee, a classic breakfast sandwich, served with an Impossible or Beyond patty, JUST egg, a layer of hash browns and Violife cheese, topped with Honeybee’s own Sriracha sauce.
This sandwich was similar to a classic fast-casual breakfast offering, but without any of the heaviness the comes along. The hash browns are served crispy, contrasting well with the softness of the egg and cheese.
I am not a vegetarian or vegan, but like to order as if I am when possible, but I don’t think I have ever had plant-based eggs. If you didn’t tell me this was a vegan sandwich, I would have never guessed. Sometimes the textures of substitute offerings can be off, but everything hit the mark here.
I’m going to take a second to talk about the Sriracha sauce, because wow. I had a side of it and ended up dipping most every menu item I tried in it and there were zero misses. The sauce is mildly spicy, but citrusy at the same time. I saved leftover sauce to try on even more dishes.
Dipping into the burger offerings, I tried The Honeybee, a classic cheeseburger with house sauce, house-made onion jam, lettuce, tomato, a thin ribbon of onion and house-made pickles.
This burger is the closest plant-based option to In-N-Out that I have encountered, down to the thousand island-esque house sauce. Again, another menu item that if you did not mention that it was vegan, I never would have guessed.
I topped off the meal with a couple of sides. First was an order of FROTS (fries and tots), which are prepared in rice bran oil, creating a light, crisp texture and “seasoned to perfection.” Diners have a choice between sweet potato and classic—I opted for sweet potato.
This side speaks to me. One of the hardest things about picking a side is picking just one, so I love the option of having both together. FROTS are served with one sauce, and might I suggest the ranch, which was creamy and herby, making for an ideal companion to the dish.
Last was the Mac and Cheese—a house-made dish that is made with carrots, potatoes and what the menu lists as secret ingredients. Just as Honeybee promises, this dish is “so creamy and rich, you’ll swear it’s not vegan.” But it is, and it’s delicious.
Other items available that Weiss ranked among the most popular are Honeybee’s Shakes and Soft Serve, crafted from coconuts and probiotic cultures, with Strawberry near the top of that list.
So don’t bee shy: Whether you’re vegan or just dabbling in plant-based fare, there is something on the Honeybee Burger menu for everyone.
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