Eatery - Mick's Karma Bar (CA)

2010 Main St, Ste 165, Irvine, CA 92614
Pricing - $ | Dining - Casual, To-go | Cuisine - American, Burgers

After finding out that our fooding venture for the night wasn't going to work out, my friends and I ended up going to Mick's since I had mentioned hearing so many rave reviews about it before. Yelp showed us that it wasn't too far off so there we went. It was a bit difficult to figure out where it was exactly since it's nestled in the corner of a building amongst all other corporate offices but we eventually got in.

When you walk into the front, it's very unassuming and short. The menu items are listed via chalkboard (a growing trend among food establishments lately I've noticed), and the temptation large. We put in our orders and sat down outside where most of the seating was. It was a good area as there were metal modern art structures all around outside.

Our drinks came out first. We wanted to give the most popular drinks a try, so we did the Strawberry Basil Lemonade (delightfully refreshing), Mojito Ice-T (very minty), and Purple Palmer (a mix of hibiscus, pomegranate, cranberry, and lemonade which served a tart but satiating drink). We noticed that Mick himself was walking around and saying hi to people. We were later graced with his presence.


We had gotten three different burgers just so we could try them all. Mine was the Habanero (chilies, queso fresco, garlic mayo), Duc's the original Karma Burger (Karma sauce, American cheese), and Tim's the Club Med (hummus, roasted peppers, Feta). First of all, the presentation was well-done (about which we learned more on later) and the food hot. Since it was pitch-black outside, my pictures are not as up-to-par as they have been recently but you get the gist of the abundance of food per order which was about $6 or less by the way. Across the board the meat was juicy but in no way greasy, well-spaced in terms of patty formation, and fresh tasting. The buns were all lightly toasted and perfectly unassuming next to the other flavors in the burgers. The Habanero was very spicy, forcing me to down as much of the liquids in front of me as possible, BUT it was a good kind of spicy. It was the kind filled with flavor and nudging me, constantly asking why I couldn't eat more since it was so complex a heat. I liked it a lot. I also really enjoyed the Karma Burger - if you need a solid burger, go for this. The Club Med had a lot of Feta in it which really gave it the Mediterranean taste. That was very enjoyable as well.

Probably the best part of the evening, however, was getting to talk to Mick himself. He came out and started up a conversation with us like we were old friends. We learned a lot about how the restaurant started up, got its name, and so forth (it used to be a coffee shop space and then was slated to become a juice bar - hence the "bar" in the name - with a few food items...and eventually became a restaurant). We also got to learn about how he experiments with the way he makes his food, the choices for why foods are presented a certain way, how the restaurant's advertising is solely driven by its customers, etc. He even let us sample some tomatillo chutney he'd been working on to add to a new burger. It was spectacular and tasted both Mexican and Indian at the same time. What a clever mix. By the way, did you know that they grind their sirloin steaks individually so that they can only produce 20-30 burgers at one time? That ensures that your patty is the freshest it can be. No wonder the burgers were to die for! We're definitely coming back and if you want to go, I encourage it!