In this city of unending sprawl, a simple drive to your next meal could sometimes take an hour or more. But what if, in just about the same amount of time, you could feed a small army with burgers from more than half a dozen different fast food spots in town?Eight stops, eight burgers, 80 minutes or less.
It’s the sort of once-in-a-lifetime, cholesterol-fueled run only an insane person with a bunch of different death wishes would even attempt. And yet, the playbook is there for anyone who’s wiling to embrace the impossible.
So Danny Meyer has finally listened to public outcry and decided to drop a West Hollywood Shake Shack on Los Angeles? Wonderful. Now listen up.
Despite being one of the most popular burger chains yet to hit L.A., this new location may not immediately be the slam dunk it seems, thanks to what could be some traffic / pedestrian access woes along that stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard. Add in some serious in-state burger loyalty and the city’s penchant for going gluten-free, and all of a sudden Shake Shack seems like it might need an assist before scoring with the locals.
Like any good meal in Los Angeles, sometimes the best require a bit of a drive. That’s certainly true of the fantastic burgers found spread across the wide swath of South L.A., from West Adams to Hyde Park to Bellflower. They’re almost always a trek ideally suited for the weekend, but if you’re willing to drive there are few better burgers found anywhere in the city. Here are ten of the best burger joints in South L.A.
Capitol Burgers may well be the exception that proves the rule. High quality Southern California-style burger stands like this one aren’t supposed to stay so hidden for so long, let alone right in the heart of the city. Yet this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Mid-City icon, and there’s a better than average chance that you’ve still never eaten there.
Despite what you may think of this slice of town, where West Hollywood bleeds into Beverly Hills and the rich folks crawl along Robertson, there’s no denying the impact of Cecconi’s. An international success by every measure, this globe-trotting upscale Italian stronghold is at once leafy and refined, relaxed and upkept. Even when you couldn’t spot a notable face inside, there’s likely to be paparazzi out front — mostly just wishing they could sneak inside for a bite.
Not that it’s hard, actually. All it takes to gain entry to the marble-flecked front patio is a wallet. But during Cecconi’s five-night-a-week happy hour, you might not even need that; just grab a couple of bucks off the side table on your way out the door, and be prepared to dine surprisingly well.
Forget lengthy soft-opens or under-the-radar early service: Plan Check, that bastion of meat and smoke that currently exists only on Sawtelle, is open for some full-on business at their new Fairfax location, beginning tomorrow.
It takes a lot to turn heads with a burger in this town. Los Angeles is home to Hawkins House of Burgers, where ground beef and grease overload is part of the charm. We’ve got fried-egg burgers, our own Juicy Lucy cheese-filled burger, the exquisite beef at Comme Ca and every scale of beef and bun in between. We don’t flinch when it comes to burgers.
So it’s hard to quantify the upturned faces you’ll see if you happen to order the Pancho Burger from Bouzy Gastropub in Redondo Beach. Listed in the ‘knife and fork’ category, this is a burger that needs every bit of silverware you can throw at it. First, there’s the beef patty, a hefty round of well-seared meat that arrives juicy and glistening. Below that, a cross section of bacon strips, blackened at the edges from a serious crisping under high heat. The bun is just as deeply crusted, with lots of browning from a slap of butter and warm griddle. So far, pretty straightforward.
Everyone loves the rooster. Emblazoned on the front of those iconic plastic squirt bottles with the bright green cap, the Sriracha rooster is as emblematic of a specific flavor as the Lucky Charms leprechaun.
On Sunday, Josh Lurie of Food GPS and Randy Clemens, author of The Sriracha Cookbook, joined forces with LOT 613 downtown to merge that vinegary Thai-inspired hot sauce with a few of the best chefs in Los Angeles. The event, dubbed simply the L.A. Sriracha Festival, brought together Wes Avila from Guerrilla Tacos; Neal Fraser from BLD, Vibiana, Fritzi Dog and elsewhere; Eric Greenspan (of grilled cheese and Foundry fame); and Ernesto Uchimura of Plan Check, who paired up with L.A.’s most celebrated cocktail hound Matt Biancaniello for drinks as well.
Each chef outpost offered a taste of their signature dish, with a touch of Sriracha to liven things up. Greenspan, of course, opted for a straightforward grilled cheese, and the Guerrilla Tacos crew slung signature tacos with a thick and fiery Sriracha-laced salsa. Fraser, working under the Fritzi Dog moniker, pushed out hundreds of mini hot dogs with the rooster sauce as a condiment. That is, until he ran out of buns.