May is Burger Month! And while LA is an easy target for jokes of all varieties, the one thing that no one can take away from LA is its amazing burgers. After years of devouring said burgers, I have compiled a list of the 8 best that LA has to offer. The key, though, is that they must be completely unique to LA. Sorry In-N-Out, Tommy’s and 25 Degrees.
8. The Garage – The Garage Burger
The Garage opened up with little fanfare, which allowed its Garage Burger to completely slip under the radar and into my heart and stomach. The combination of juicy beef, sour cherry laquered bacon, cheddar and peppercorn aioli is a pleasant surprise and allowed this newcomer to the burger scene to make an impact.
7. Grill ‘Em All – The Behemoth
Once upon a time, Grill ‘Em All rocked into LA’s food truck scene with some truly unique burgers. None were more unique than The Behemoth, which used two grilled cheeses instead of buns. They have since moved into a brick and mortar location in Alhambra, but The Behemoth is still rocking it out on the menu.
6. Irv’s Burgers – Double Cheeseburger
Remnants of the golden age of fast food, LA is littered with local burger shacks dishing out burgers the same way they were served 50 years ago. Of these, Irv’s Burgers stands above the rest with its friendly staff, but more important with its perfectly simple Double Cheeseburger that reminds any eater of simpler times.
5. Laurel Tavern – Bacon Blue Cheeseburger
In the heyday of gastropubs, one burger stood above the rest. It was the Bacon Blue Cheeseburger at Laurel Tavern. Perfectly balanced, the burger even sports apple slices to give it a little hint of sweet, tart crunchiness. It may be the only reason to go to The Valley, but it is a good reason.
4. The Apple Pan – Hickory Burger
No top LA burger list would be complete without The Apple Pan and its Hickory Burger. It is an unquestionable LA staple that is truly special, albeit not quite mind-blowing as it is often claimed to be. Eat it, enjoy it, and then realize that The Apple Pan has existed since long before you were born and is likely to remain long after you are gone.
3. The Oinkster – Cheddar Cheeseburger with Pastrami
The Oinkster is known for its pastrami. The Oinkster is known for its burgers. So, it goes without saying that adding their house-cured pastrami to their Cheddar Cheeseburger is like one of those terrible AM/PM commercials about how you can’t have too much of a good thing. It’s an edible dream come true.
2. Plan Check – Chefs Favorite Burger
Plan Check is a relatively new player in the LA burger scene, and not just compared to The Apple Pan. What it lacks in age, it makes up for with the mouthgasm that is the Chefs Favorite Burger. The crunchy bun, bacon two ways, cheese two ways, hot sauce, sunny fried egg and ketchup leather seem like a little too much, but end up being a just right burger even Goldilocks would find comfort in.
1. Umami Burger – Truffle Burger
The way I see it, there is Umami Burger and there is everyone else. It is the bar in which all other burgers are measured against and their finest is the Truffle Burger. Simply topped with truffle cheese and a truffle glaze, the Truffle Burger taught me everything that a burger could aspire to and no burger since has equaled that feeling.
Love the list? Hate it? Wondering where Father’s Office is? Let me know in the comments below.