12 Burgers in LA to Fit Your Mood

May 15, 2015

If New York has pizza, and Texas has BBQ, then Los Angeles has the burger! To the outside world there is a perception that Los Angeles is solely made up of vegetarians eating kale and drinking almond milk, but that's not the LA I know. This is burger town. From the boom of fast food burgers in the 1940's (In-N-Out), to the fancy gourmet burgers found in today's gastropubs (Father's Office), Los Angeles has always been at the forefront of the burger movement. We love our burgers!

Yes, I believe LA has the best burgers and below is a list of 12 to fulfill any burger craving you may have. In the mood for a veggie burger? I know just the place! Want to grab a burger without getting out of your car, or eat a no-fuss burger without frou frou ingredients? I have a recommendation for you. Any burger, any mood, any scenario, I've got you covered. These burgers are all approved by Hungry in LA. 


3600 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020

After being closed for a couple years, Cassell’s opened up shop under new ownership at the newly restored Hotel Normandie, a few blocks away from its original 1948 location. Christian Page, who lead the kitchen at Short Order, is heading up the revamped Cassell’s. Page is still using the original equipment, grinding Colorado Angus whole chuck and brisket daily and operating the original famous crossfire broiler to cook each burger to perfection. The burgers are served with a side of lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, and thousand island. You assemble it yourself, like in the old days. To celebrate National Burger month, Cassell's is offering its burger for $.99 on Friday, May 8th only. 


Malibu Farm
23000 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265

From her beginnings as a private chef who also hosted dinner parties in her Malibu backyard farm, Helene Henderson has taken those delicious meals and has invited us all to enjoy them at Malibu Farm CafeThe burger is seasoned with just salt and pepper, the way it was intended to be. Havarti cheese, pepperoncini aioli, tomato, and arugula, all elevate the burger. Normally you would think a burger would come with fries, but not at “the Farm,” Helene serves it with her popular broccoli mashed potatoes, a great way to sneak in those greens. 

Hole In The Wall

The Standing Room
144 N Catalina Ave, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

It used to be under the radar, but not anymore. Inside a liquor store, in the back, past the beer and Lotto tickets, is the Standing Room - a very tiny counter where some of the best burgers in LA are served. These burgers rival your best fancy gastropub burger. The truffle parmesan fries are a must order and the burgers have a fusion thing going on with an Asian influence. Pictured is the "Cash Burger" served with shishito pepper, bacon, cheddar, american cheese, onion ring, Korean aioli, and hoisin bbq sauce.

Old School

The Apple Pan
10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

The Apple Pan is Old School in every sense of the word, and it's the real deal. Opening its doors in 1947, not much has changed. In 2015, it's still cash only, the servers still wear paper hats and serve your soda in a paper cone. The U-shaped counter and red barstools are iconic, and possibly the inspiration for most 50's style diners (Johnny Rockets). It's not just the ambience, but the burgers are iconic as well. The hickory burger served with a tangy red sauce is always on several "Best of" lists. Don't let the burgers overshadow the dessert. The banana cream pie is one of the best, anywhere. 


The Tripel
333 Culver Blvd, Playa Del Rey, CA 90293

Sometimes you want something more than a bowl of oatmeal and a glass of kale juice. Lucky for us, the Tripel, headed up by Chef Brooke Williamson (Top Chef) and Nick Roberts, serves The Cure Burger for brunch. Aged beef rib eye with caramelized onion, poppy seed slaw, aged cheddar, avocado, and a fried egg, all on a pretzel bun. This burger is the perfect cure on your weekend morning.


Pono Burger
829 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Organic, fresh, and so good. Pono Burger makes incredibly tasty burgers using organic, grass-fed beef and organic ingredients from local farmer's markets. Each burger is cooked over an open flame. The Kuawa Crunch burger is the most popular, dressed with cheddar, house made potato chips, green leaf lettuce, cole slaw, and a spicy guava rum sauce.  


Hawkins House of Burgers
11603 S Slater St, Los Angeles, CA 90059

Two large beef patties, cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pastrami, and a hot link. That's the Whipper Burger at Hawkins House of Burgers in Watts. Although the burger sounds over-the-top, Hawkins also makes no-fuss, unpretentious, and incredibly delicious burgers. The beef is fresh Angus, that's never frozen and is coarsely ground and formed by hand. The flavor of the beef patty alone, is delicious. The burgers are made to order and can take about 20 minutes to make, but it's worth it. 

Veggie Burger

1800 Sawtelle Blvd. in West LA; 351 N Fairfax Ave. in Beverly Grove; 1111 Wilshire Blvd. in Downtown LA

The veggie burger at Plan Check is delicious enough to convince a proud carnivore, such as myself, to order one. Plan Check is known for their beef burgers and unique experimentations (ketchup leather anyone?) The burger is not pretending to be beef. In fact it's creamy, and soft in texture. If I ever have a Veggie Burger again, it's going to be this one made with two homemade patties, two kinds of cheese (American & Swiss), battered onion straws, butter lettuce and tomato mayo. 

Turkey Burger

Tart Restaurant
115 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Like most Veggie Burgers, my problem with finding a good Turkey Burger is that it's trying to pass for beef. This isn't the case with the Holiday turkey burger served at Tart, next to the Farmers Daughter HotelServed with cranberry aioli, cabbage apple slaw and sweet potato, this burger embraces everything great about a holiday turkey dinner and puts it on a bun. Unfortunately, it's only available around Fall/Winter, but it's worth mentioning as one of the better versions of a turkey burger in LA. 

Bison Burger

3441 East Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90803

Bison burgers are becoming more popular. Maybe it's the lean fat and high protein content, or the fact that when prepared the way the Attic does it, it's amazing! The bison burger you have to try is My Boy Bleu Burger, a ½ lb Cajun seasoned Bison Patty served with bleu cheese, fried shallots, candied cayenne bacon, & BBQ sauce on an onion brioche bun. The cajun fries on the side are just as bold. Also while you're there, try the Mac & Cheetos (mac and cheese with flaming hot Cheetos).

New and Noteworthy

Ashland Hill
2807 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405

Ashland Hill just opened a few months ago and not many people know this yet, but they make a great burger. The patty is ground a bit coarse, so it crumbles with every bite. The burger is cooked to a perfect medium/rare. The red onion bacon jam and the sharp white cheddar with the upgraded greens of watercress on a perfectly soft toasted bun, make every bite taste so good. 


In-n-Out Burger

You're in the mood for a burger and you don't want to go inside a restaurant, so drive-thru it is! The only "fast food" drive -thru restaurant I order a burger from is In-N-Out. What other drive-thru restaurant makes their burgers to order with fresh beef? They still cut potatoes and make their fries in the store. They have fresh produce, and real milk shakes, and possibly the best Thousand Island sauce also known as "spread." Did I mention a double-double costs less than $4? Pro tip: Order your Double-Double with Whole grilled onions and add chopped chilies - it's a game changer!

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