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April 22, 2022 1:30 PM PDT

In Southern California, it is requisite to compare any food item remotely resembling a hamburger to an In-N-Out burger.

So when I visited Bored & Hungry, the world’s first NFT-branded hamburger joint, on Tuesday afternoon, I had In-N-Out on my mind. The new place, formerly a Louisiana Fried Chicken, is at a busy intersection of Long Beach, Calif., next to a neighborhood of bungalows and across from some auto-repair places. It is not where you’d expect a great experiment in cryptocurrency to take place.

The motif of Bored & Hungry is apes—from both Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club, the two biggest NFT collections currently in circulation, stare from decals and murals, to-go cups and french fry containers. When the restaurant opened on April 9, the line of curious diners stretched around the block. On the day I arrived, it was a more subdued post-lunch-rush crowd that included a trio of hospital workers wearing scrubs and a couple of ape owners from Washington, D.C., who’d heard about the place on the Ape Discord channel.

The menu offered beef burgers and plant-based Beleaf patties served in a flat, Smashburger style, plus fries and drinks. (They had sold out of ape-related T-shirts and hats on opening day.) I ordered a Bored OG Burger Combo ($15) and this is just one man’s opinion, but here goes...Bored & Hungry produces a better hamburger than In-N-Out: two patties, perfectly cooked and disappearing under melty cheese, with pickles and no onions (by request), served with not-too-salty fries. It’s no-frills, or rather, the frills are all found in those bored monkey stares.

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