If there’s one thing our collective Southern Californian guts can agree on, it’s burgers.
Ground beef pounded into a patty and kissed with fire. Keep it bloody on the inside, melt some cheese on top and serve with fries.
If there’s one thing our collective guts disagree on, though, it’s which burger.
So in observance of National Hamburger Day (this Saturday, May 28th), we’re taking a look at five relative newcomers contending the throne.
Chef Neal Fraser’s expanded Fritzi DTLA showcases a lot of rotisserie chicken, but the burger — specifically the one with 40 percent ground bacon mixed in with top sirloin — is a lipsmacker. Melted fontina fondue, calabrese relish and thousand island on a buttery soft bun. Get the fried potato waffle instead of the fries.
814 Traction Ave (map)
Straight up, the Big Mec at Petit Trois is the best hamburger in Los Angeles. Forget the napkin: you need a fork and knife, because the red wine bordelaise sauce spiked with foie gras oozes across the plate like a river breaching a levee. Two four oz. patties of rich, juicy ground chuck topped with housemade cheddar and onions that look like there were fostered in an onion soup. Aioli is slathered on bread baked fresh there to finish. Get fries.
718 Highland Ave (map)
Christine Page (Short Order) bought the naming rights, crossfire broiler and patty maker from classic Koreatown cafeteria Cassell’s Hamburgers and relocated it to the Normandie Hotel. The burgers are ground in-house from prime beef and sandwiched between Parker House buns. Soft. Rich. Understated.
605 Normandie Ave (map)
Grass-fed beef tastes different, especially if it’s from California. Because simply put, we don’t have a lot of grass and grain around to fatten cattle. You’ll notice that when you eat Belcampo’s meat: it’s leaner. That’s definitely at play with their Fastburger, a crispy patty made to evoke In-n-Out, right down to the sauce. But it’s way better. We said it.
Chef Josef Centeno's “Baco” at Baco Mercat and the burger at Bar Ama both merit mention, but the Ledlow burger is the one that you’d wish you could make at your backyard BBQ. Offered in 4-12 ounces, with melted cheddar, pickles, dijon and mayo. He serves it with cottage fries, which along with the tile floors and bistro feel makes it feel like an East Coast joint like JG Melon’s.
400 S. Main St (map)