May is National Burger Month, and from the classic to the gourmet, Los Angeles is home to some of the best burgers in the world. No doubt they face some serious competition, but here are my picks for the best burgers in the city.
1) Plan Check Kitchen & Bar- Thank the former corporate executive chef of Umami Burger for this one. After the huge success of that restaurant, Chef Ernesto Uchimura left to co-found Plan Check Kitchen & Bar. With his innovatively mouthwatering burgers, extensive beer and wine selections, and skilled bartenders, it’s no wonder this trendy neighborhood bar is expanding FAST. Already there are locations in Downtown LA, Santa Monica, and Sawtelle, (but you can find me at the Fairfax location!). They are constantly experimenting with an ever-changing menu, but some favorites are always available- like the PCB, featuring house-made americanized dashi cheese, Ketchup Leather™ (yes, you read that right), schmaltz onions, and mixed pickles, on a crunch bun. And for the vegetarians, they also have one of the best veggie burgers in existence (Beware though- it does contain nuts). LOVE this atmosphere!
2) Stout Burgers & Beer (my personal favorite)- You’ve gotta respect a burger joint that cooks their burgers to medium rare and ONLY medium rare. If you want yours cooked anything beyond that, you will have to send it back to the kitchen to be thrown on the grill again. As the name might suggest, Stout is known for their premium house-ground burgers and their endless selection of beers from around the world (Pairing suggestions are listed along with each burger on the menu). I have tried most of their burgers, and they truly are all delicious, but I repeatedly find myself coming back to the Stout Burger- topped with bleu cheese, emi gruyere, rosemary bacon, caramelized onion, horseradish cream, and roasted tomatoes. With locations in Hollywood, Studio City, Santa Monica, and…Kentucky? (Hey, I guess you can’t live off of fried chicken alone). Oh, and you can get all of their burgers half-off during happy hour! I pair it with arugula salad and sweet potato fries.
3) The Federal Bar– This upscale bar and music venue/nightclub in NoHo is housed in one of the oldest buildings in the city—a former bank building constructed back in 1926—and it still retains its historic elegance. There is also a Long Beach location housed in an even older bank building. The food here is simply amazing, and my burger of choice is not for the faint of heart. The OMH (“Oh My Habanero”) burger consists of a spicy beef patty topped with charred habanero, pepperjack cheese, tomato, avocado, & crispy onion strings on an everything bun.
4) The Larchmont- That’s right! One of the best burgers in the city can be found right here in Larchmont Village! Even with a new executive chef at the helm, The Larchmont’s sole burger offering (appropriately called “The Burger”) is still a culinary masterpiece topped with tomato, cucumber, cheddar, epoisses, gruyere, harissa, cilantro, pickle and onion. It’s worth the $18 price tag.
Hope you get out and enjoy a burger in our great city! Let me know what you think!