Decrypt visited Bored & Hungry, the new California burger joint inspired by Bored Ape Yacht Club Ethereum NFTs. Here’s our review.
By Jason Nelson
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- Bored & Hungry opened its doors earlier this month.
- Originally planned as a 90-day pop-up, due to popular demand, it’s now permanent.
When Bored & Hungry opened its doors earlier this month, the idea was to be just a 90-day pop-up. But the Bored Ape NFT-inspired eatery has been such a hit that it recently announced it would instead become a permanent restaurant.
As the NFT-turned-IRL burger joint settles into its new life as the latest Los Angeles hotspot, we wanted to find out: How’s the food? Decrypt sent carnivorous correspondent Jason Nelson and herbivorous reporter Kate Irwin to have a taste.
While the long lines from the grand opening may be a fading memory, there was a steady flow of customers ready to try the fare. The parking lot, although small, was accessible.
When you walk into Bored & Hungry, you’re met by giant replicas of the Bored and Mutant Ape NFTs the founders own. The aesthetic is like “Rick and Morty” crossed with “SpongeBob”—but with beef.
The operation is simple: a counter with a register and card/phone pay app scanner upfront and a kitchen in the back. The tables are outside so patrons can enjoy the sunny climes and fuel exhaust of Long Beach.
What Bored & Hungry—still in pop-up mode—doesn’t have is a bathroom. So be sure to come with an empty stomach, an empty bladder, and a full bottle of hand sanitizer.
While popups and food trucks often tout a cash-only policy, Bored & Hungry won’t accept your dirty dollar bills, citing safety reasons. Only credit, debit, and, of course, Ethereum and Apecoin—the native token of the Bored Ape Yacht Club.
While the theme is Bored and Mutant Ape NFTs, Bored & Hungry didn’t advertise that paying in crypto was an option. There were no signs that read “Pay in Ethereum” or “Pay in Apecoin!”
Bored & Hungry offers two menus provided by partner companies Trill Burger and Beleaf Burgers. The Trill Burgers’ Boring menu is the standard burgers, and fries fare, while the Beleaf Burgers’ Mutant Feeding menu is a 100% plant-based vegan option.
Items on the Boring Menu include the Bored OG Burger for $13.00 and a Bored Onion Burger for $14.00. The Plant-based Mutant Feeding menu includes the Beleaf Mutant OG Burger for $15.50 and the Beleaf Mutant Onion Burger for $16.50. Add a couple of bucks for a combo.
Not everyone knows the schtick.
Passersby stopped to check out the restaurant and have a bite to eat. “Do you own any NFTs?” we asked a silver-haired man wearing a t-shirt and shorts, in full summer mode. He responded, confused, “What’s that?”
Another customer, while heading back to her car, stopped to look back at the restaurant and said, astonished, “I can’t believe we can buy a burger with a picture now,” referring to a promotion that would award free perks like a free combo meal to verified Bored Ape or Mutant Ape NFT collectors.
After placing our order—which we paid for in U.S. dollars because the idea of creating a taxable event for a burger just didn’t sit right with us—we checked out the various Apes and talked to Kevin Seo, one of the co-founders.
“Bored & Hungry is our way of utilizing the NFT [intellectual property] and creating this unique experience,” said Seo. “We’re bringing the Web3 community along to meet all the beautiful people of Long Beach.”
Thankfully, it also has food. Ours came out in under 10 minutes.
Jason, who ordered the Bored OG Burger and Fries, reports: “The OG burger is terrific; it reminds me of Smashburger. I was born and raised in Southern California, so I’m pickier about my fries, and while Bored & Hunger’s fries are good, they’re no In & Out. But then again, Bored & Hungry isn’t trying to be In & Out.”
Kate, who chose the plant-based Mutant OG Burger and Fries, says: “I am a fan. I like the pepper and salt on the fries and they are crispy + squishy at the same time! I wasn’t expecting to be full from the burger because it looked small, but the two patties made it filling.”
Other patrons are fans as well, hence the owners’ decision to make the restaurant permanent.
“We like to listen to our community,” Seo said. “We are absolutely here to stay and have a lot of collaborations and special things on the menu coming up.”
The Final Verdict
Bored & Hungry is a must-go, especially if you are in the crypto space and want to see Web3 represented in a physical space that isn’t an art gallery or convention. The food is excellent, if a tad pricey. But if you are a collector of all things Bored Ape Yacht Club, hang on to your Bored & Hungry cup that features Bored Ape #6184, which is sure to become a collector’s item.
Hopefully, the Bored & Hungry team’s next venture is in food trucks to take Bored & Hungry on the road.
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