It’s 2 o’clock in the morning on a Saturday. The lights of restaurants and stores illuminate Fairfax Avenue as people meander through the streets looking for a quick bite to eat in order to complete their night out with friends. The familiar sights, sounds and smells of bars and pubs such as Rosewood Tavern and The Dime fill the air, but a new joint with a brightly lit sign catches the eye of a young couple, prompting them to check out the new ’50s meets indie blast from the past, Twins Sliders, Milkshakes and Fries.
Twins Sliders likes to keep things simple. The front entrance of the restaurant conjures life from a time filled with doo-wops and soda shops, but the interior says elementary school playground with fiberglass tables and benches. The argument might be that the restaurant meets present day “hipster” and “indie” standards, especially with bumper and urban designer stickers lining the walls of the joint, but what ever happened to bringing back the classics?
Twins Sliders offers one of the simplest menus in Los Angeles, serving up two kinds of sliders — classic cheeseburger with onions or fried spicy Cajun chicken. They offer house cut fries also known as “shoestrings” in either their original form, cheesed up or “dirty,” and milkshakes — classic vanilla, strawberry, chocolate and the original date shake. To top off the menu, Twins Sliders has a 40-ounce loaded shake, called The Big One.
Everything on the Twins Sliders menu is made fresh daily and the ingredients don’t have any preservatives or additives, so customers can feel good about ordering calorie-laden comfort food.
Their sliders are supposed to bring back a nostalgia of a time long past, but if anything, the cheeseburger with onions slider is something very similar to another SoCal favorite: the In-N-Out “Animal Style” Cheeseburger. Granted, it is hard to mess up a cheeseburger with caramelized onions and Thousand Island dressing, and it is a delicious combination enjoyed by all, but why pay for a mini In-N-Out burger when you can go to In-N-Out and get a normal-sized burger for the same price?
The chicken slider is a good burger but doesn’t live up to its name. The spicy fried Cajun chicken slider has more originality than its beefy counterpart, but for claiming to be spicy, it’s not.
Every great burger joint needs a good fry, but unfortunately Twins Sliders has soggy shoestrings. The Cheesy Shoestrings came highly recommended by a server, and fooled a familiar Daily Trojan beat writer into thinking that the cheese itself would be something tasty and similar to our local Freebird’s queso. Instead, the cheese tasted like it came straight from a can that could be found in any local grocery store and warmed up in the microwave. The fries were overcooked and unappetizing, with a consistency similar to that of overcooked noodles. The dirty fries, like their cheeseburger slider, eerily resemble In-N-Out’s Animal Style Fries. The two things Twins Sliders has to set them apart from competitive burger chains are its shakes and its hours.
Twins Sliders is a recent addition to the popular Fairfax nightlife scene and on weekends is open until 2:30a.m., bringing in customers for a post-midnight treat.
Twins Sliders’ shakes embody what every great milkshake should have — thick consistency, but just thin enough to drink through a straw and simple, enjoyable ingredients. The Date Shake and The Big One are set to be especially big hits. The Date Shake has three ingredients: vanilla ice cream, dates and milk. The Big One is a different entity unto itself and is sure to make lactose intolerant and calorie-conscious run the opposite direction, but for those who like a larger-than-life challenge, The Big One is the way to go. Containing practically everything but the kitchen sink in the mix, The Big One is an excellent dessert to share with friends and even comes with a whole Twinkie as a garnish.
Owner George Abou-Daoud, a Los Angeles restauranteur known for having very successful restaurants in Hollywood, East Hollywood and down Sunset Boulevard, seems to have lowered his standards for good quality food and originality. The location he chose for his new joint is brilliant — replacing his previous restaurant Urban Garden and next door to one of his more popular bars, Rosewood Tavern — but might be too close to similar burger restaurants such as In-N-Out and The Oinkster.
If you pay a visit to the latest blast from the past restaurant — chances of disappointment aren’t too far fetched, but at least your stomach will be satisfied, and the shakes are terrific.
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