SiliconBeachClearly: National Burger Day
May 28 is National Burger Day, which celebrates the quintessential American comfort food. While burgers have long been a fast food staple, in more recent years, they have gotten some pretty fancy makeovers. At this point, it’s rare to find even an upscale restaurant without one on its menu. Here are six hot spots in L.A. to dine out for National Burger Day.
Del Frisco’s Grille
This pier-adjecent eatery has introduced the Silicon Beach Burger to Santa Monica, and it combines Golden State goodies under one bun (or without one if you order it “Cali-style”). Toppings include pineapple, bacon, lettuce, tomato, red onions, American cheese, eel sauce, and spicy mayo. It’s served with fries and normally sells for $16 (available through the end of May only) — unless you show up on National Burger Day and your initials happen to be DFG. Then it’s free. For the record, FGD, GFD, or any variation of the three will also work, but be sure to bring ID.
1551 Ocean Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
The Fat Dog
The Fat Dog is one of the best upscale-casual joints in the city, but remains sort of a neighborhood secret. It’s mostly regulars that roll in early in the evening. The late-night crowd is more of a scene, but still a friendly one. The burger here is such a huge hit — frankly, we’re surprised at the lack of press it gets. Since the restaurant is located in the same complex as hipster butchers, Lindy & Grundy. Spend the extra $5 to upgrade to L&G’s grass-fed beef. The kitchen seasons the burger perfectly, and tops with it caramelized onions, shaved Manchego, and fresh arugula, which all rest neatly between a brioche bun that manages to be both sturdy enough to support the thick, juicy patty, but lacks nothing in the fluffy, buttery department. Add a fried egg for $2.
801 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
When Sang Yoon took over ownership of the original Father’s Office in 2000, he hadn’t planned on banning ketchup from his restaurant; it just sort of happened that way thanks to the complaint from a surly customer on opening night. Whether that man should be thanked or flogged depends on how you feel about the legendary no-substitutions Office Burger or if you require the kitschy condiment for the basket of fries that usually accompany it. The former comes with caramelized onions, applewood-smoked bacon, Gruyère and Maytag blue cheese, and arugula. The latter with aioli, which is much better than ketchup.*
*Highly debated within SBC.
1018 Montana Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90403
In one of our first interviews in the “Beyond-the” series interviews, we learned more about MessHall Bar Manager, Ben Scott, the master mixologist behind the stick at the cozy Los Feliz eatery. In the course of our research, we found ourselves face to face with the massive Mess Burger. This is a burger for barbecue lovers who don’t feel like ribs (also on the menu). It’s a “mess”-y mix of smokey sauce, slow-cooked onions, Vermont cheddar, and pickles. It’s also a great spot to fuel up before a show at the Greek Theatre, located right up the hill.
4500 Los Feliz Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Run by Wolfgang Zwiener, a longtime headwaiter at the renown Peter Luger Steakhouse in New York City, you’d expect to find a great porterhouse here (indeed, there is), but the hamburger, served on the lunch and bar menus only, is an unexpected treat. Like the steak cuts, the sirloin is aged in-house. To preserve its natural beef taste, very little seasoning is used. There’s also no sauce. Instead, it’s just a meaty patty served open face on a warm, crispy bun. The other half is topped with fresh Iceberg, tomato and onion. Plus, it comes with both thick-cut steak fries and perfectly fried onion rings.
445 N. Canon Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Not only does 25 Degrees have great burgers, they serve them 24/7, which is a big bonus in our book. Especially since they are situated in the heart of Hollywood, aka party central. Located adjacent to the Roosevelt Hotel, on the premises alone are A-list club Teddy’s, bowling and gaming at the Spare Room, cocktail lounge the Library Bar, the poolside Tropicana Bar, and the main restaurant Public Kitchen and Bar. At 25 Degrees, which is named after the exact temperature difference between a rare and well-done patty, you can either build your own burger or choose from several listed on the menu. We’re partial to the No. 3, which has a bit of a Southwestern kick, topped with Mezzo Secco jack, green chiles, chipotle, and avocado.
7000 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028