Friday, February 25, 2011


Burger building is a work of art
Around the same time that the cupcake trend started to heat up in Los Angeles, a savory, meatier trend was also popping up -- the BURGER. Now, you may say that burgers have always been popular! Dad grills them every summer Saturday! My girlfriend George Foreman's them right in the kitchen! Heck, even Grandma loves to get a juicy one from her favorite drive-through! But the burgers we're talking about here kids are a rather chic take on old-school goodness, while still keeping that beloved old-school goodness intact. Whether it's grinding their own meat, using grass-fed, hormone-free beef, or creating the most unique flavors you'll ever find between the world's softest hamburger buns -- I present to you my favorites. The unforgettable, the tasty, and the oh-so-filling.

1) Umami Burger - what was once a small burger joint on La Brea touting "fine dining fast food" has now become a mini-burger empire with four locations and a fifth on the way. It's Japanese name means "fifth taste" -- a term used to describe the fifth flavor experience we have on our palates that isn't quite pinpointed as sweet, salty, sour, or bitter. It's this unique flavor experience that owner Adam Fleischman, without a doubt, knows how to tap into. With house-ground beef, perfect golden buns and an array of exciting toppings such as truffle glaze, slow-roasted tomatoes, port-caramelized onions and pimento aioli -- these burgers live up to their reputation. Personal favorites: Umami Signature Burger, Truffle Burger, Earth Burger (whether you're a vegetarian or not it's incredible!) 

A nice window seat view
2) The Golden State - located across from Canter's on Fairfax, this always busy exposed brick cafe meets sports bar serves up a tasty seasonal beer-on-tap menu as well as a mean burger. While their menu offers a variety of sandwiches and a delicious bratwurst, it's their meaty goodness, called The Burger, that can compete with the big boys. Made with Harris Ranch beef, glazed applewood-smoked bacon, arugula, cheddar, and homemade ailoi, this burger will make your taste buds happy. Dip some of their fries into their Curry Ketchup and you'll call this your second home.

Saigon with fresh cilantro and sea salt fries
3) Kalbi Burger - situated in a shopping plaza on Wilshire at Wilton in Koreatown, this burger joint may look no frills but one bite of their juicy large patties infused with Asian flavors and you realize that amazing food doesn't always need a glossy exterior or a hefty price tag. Which is impressive considering that for $5.95 you get a Certified 100% Angus Beef hormone-free burger with fresh, sustainable ingredients. What's even more exciting is their array of toppings from pickled carrots & radish to kimchi. Personal Favorite: Saigon Burger  

Looks like I'm gonna need that knife
4) 8 oz. Burger Bar - located on Melrose, this burger bar led by Chef Govind Armstrong (Top Chef Masters!!!) & Chef Jacob Wildman serves up local ingredients, house-cured bacon, and they even make their own dill pickles! All their burgers are cooked over a wood-burning grill, giving just the right amount of smoky flavor to their meats. Personal favorites: Estancia Grass-Fed Burger, Turkey Burger with sauteed mustard greens

5) The Counter - this build-your-own burger restaurant is NOT your typical Fuddruckers.  A hip little chain that can be found across the country (but mainly in California) allows you to roll up your sleeves and construct your burger from scratch. You can choose your burger size, whether you'd like beef, turkey, chicken, or veggie, add from over 50 toppings, and even select the type of bun. My Personal Favorite: Turkey Burger w/ Herb Goat Cheese, Organic Mixed Greens, Sprouts, Caramelized Onions, and Apricot Chutney on a Multigrain Bun

No comments:

Post a Comment