The Unvegan

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Burgers, Bourbon + Beer 2017


Can’t have burgers without beers.

Just like last fall, Los Angeles Magazine decided the world needed Burgers, Bourbon + Beer and thus brought some purveyors of these delicious “B” digestibles to the Victorian in Santa Monica to determine who could win the Burger Battle. Many of the players from the previous edition had changed, and those who hadn’t changed up their burgers anyway, so I dove headfirst into the burgers, with a quick can of beer from Golden Road to lubricate my senses. Highlights below!

Kuawa Crunch – Pono Kitchen + Bar

Special beef, special cheddar, spicy guava rum sauce and potato chips (plus the unnecessary lettuce and cole slaw) made the Kuawa Crunch a fantastic burger. It might have even stood a chance as the best burger of the night if it hadn’t been for the lettuce and slaw.



Citizen Burger – Citizen Beverly Hills

Citizen’s take on the cili cheese burger included pimento cheese and pickled cabbage on a brioche bun. Unfortunately, some hidden mustard derailed this burger’s chances, but I will say that pimento cheese on a burger was a great decision and one I hope other burgers will follow.


The Basement Tavern Burger – The Basement Tavern

I can’t help but wonder how much better this burger would have been if it were still warm, as the wagyu beef, candied bacon, brie and garlic sherry aioli all worked well, especially when I took the onions off. Alas, I will never know…

The Cannibal Burger – The Cannibal Beer & Butcher

My big winner was this burger, which was made from 60 day dry aged beef, stilton bleu cheese and harissa mayo. Simple, satisfying and perfectly executed.

Looks almost normal.

I also want to give a shout out to the burger from Erven, which is Vegan. It uses a Beyond Burger Patty, fake cheese and some veggies that I had no interest in. As of now it doesn’t compare to a real beef burger, but I am glad to live in a world that is working to make meat substitutes that actually taste like meat. Perhaps one day I could even swap out a burger for something like the Beyond Burger on occasion and not feel like I’m missing out on too much. Some day…

Until then, that wraps up another Burgers, Bourbon + Beer!