This has been a grueling 6 month process, but I think the votes are in.
Being from south eastern part of the United States, and having a lot of grilling and bbq-ing in my life, I think I know a good burger. Plus, I’ve collected the weight to prove it.
In this search, we looked for a few basic rules:
1: The meat of the burger itself has to be the best part. Not the sauce, not the fancy cheese, the meat. No meat, no burger. (Sorry vegans)
2: ITS A BURGER. I don’t want to pay $30, and wait 45 minutes – 1 hour to eat one. End of story.
3: Be flexible, not everyone wants your pounds of blue cheese and bitter arugela lettuce. Make this stuff to order!
Dress it up all you want, but a burger is a burger, so top five you’ll find in The City of Angels?:
#5 Apple Pan
Delicious burger, and a classic for the area. Vintage feel, and the place is always busy. I was pretty convinced a knife fight would have started with the right combination of people there based on seating. Not only is it first come first find a seat, you eat with people “vulturing” over you waiting for you to finish so they can sit. Needless to say, eating in wasn’t a comfortable experience. I do love that they had cream soda to drink!! Reason it is number five? The sauce, their “own sauce” was really overpowering…well and the seating was too stressful to go back.
I know what you west coaster’s are thinking, “How could this crazy from the east coast say our beloved in and out burger is number four!?” Because, its just a fast food burger, that’s why. Albeit, a damn good one. In and Out redeems itself, and gets to the number four spot because of their low prices, and “secret” menu. You can really truly get a burger your way, and I think that is pretty righteous. When it boils down to it though, it still is only a fast food place.
#3 The Counter
My mind was blown. Build your own burger…but really do it. The menu is a checklist and you tell them what you want. My last creation had black bean salsa, gruyere cheese, ranch dressing, and grilled pineapple! (Don’t judge me, it was delicious!). This is my go to place for a burger, but it isn’t number one because they can’t really take credit for how awesome I am with checklist menus.
#2 Golden State
I love this restaurant. The people that work there were wonderful, nice, and didn’t make us feel like we were inconveniencing them. (That happens A LOT in LA, sometimes people are too cool to do their job 😦 lame). Our dining experience was calm, quiet, and the food came out really quickly. The burger itself was simple, perfectly cooked, and juicy. I could write miles about this burger joint, but I’ll just say for now that you NEED to go here.
#1 Umami Burger
They should call it black magic burger. It was incredible. They make their own ketchup, and its delicious, the cheese is only a crisp of cheese, and it is perfection. The overall flavor was subtle, and well blended. They say that you’ll crave it, and I agree. Why is it number one?! Because it may have changed my life. Downfalls: Depending on the one you visit, the wait time may be excessive. They charge $3 for Mexican coke! Outrageous!! When you go, order the smushed potatoes, you won’t regret it!
Dishonorable mention: Father’s Office
I heard so many good things, but the burger was terrible. I had to peel away about three layers of caked on cheese just to find the meat of the burger, which was decent at best. The lettuce was bitter and did nothing for the overall flavor of the burger, and I felt like the most enjoyable part was the coke I was drinking to wash it down. I was surprised a bar wasn’t better at bar food. Go for the alcohol, not for the burger.