5 The Counter
The Counter is a build your own burger place and they have a ton of choices. You want a chicken breast instead? No problem. A vegan veggie burger because you’re a hippie weirdo?Fine. Horseradish cheddar on that, as well as applewood smoked bacon, hard-boiled egg, sprouts, hot wing sauce, and spicy sour cream? Done. Don’t forget the sides, which range from the must-have sweet potato fries to fried dill pickle chips. I hope you’re thirsty, too, because they have beer. The restaurant itself is nice, the servers are attentive, and the food is awesome. Go in hungry, because they are generous with those toppings. You’re going to end up with a burger as big as your face.
Umami burger has spread like wildfire through the Los Angeles area. Started as a small craft burger joint, Umami has gained a reputation for being one of the finest burgers in all of Los Angeles. The go-to burger for a rookie is the Truffle Burger. Yes, using truffle is cheating but it’s really, really good. Also, unless you absolutely cannot stomach it, get it medium rare, which is perfectly cooked. They also have a secret menu that you probably don’t know about. That’s why it’s a SECRET menu. Here’s your hint – you want the spicy beef burger and the cheesy tots. Oh, those tots. They aren’t tater tots with cheese on them, they are large tater tots with cheese IN them. They tend to run out of these (which means the menu isn’t that secret, I guess) so get there early.
3 Father’s Office
Father’s Office is an interesting burger joint in the fact that you are allowed no substitutions, additions, or subtractions. They have the nads to tell you straight up that their burgers are so finely tuned that you want them the way they want you to have them. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Just eat it. We’re actually surprised someone hasn’t gotten decked by a cook after asking for a substitution. The cooks aren’t that mean, however, and there are laws to consider. In any case, Father’s Office serves up some delicious grub and craft beers. If you want to sit at the counter (and you do) you’ll need to get there early. Sorry, kids, this one is 21 and up only, so get your college pals to grab you something to go.
2 Apple Pan
One of our favorite joints, Apple Pan harkens back to an old 1950s hole in the wall burger counter. In fact, it seems that most of the staff have been working there since it opened. They’re fun and quirky, serving you your delightfully greasy burger with a flair not seen many other places. The burgers here are very, very good. Again, they are the kind of greasy spoon burgers you’d expect from a place like this. They serve their beverages in paper cone cups (with holders) for crying out loud, and it’s a U-shaped counter with red vinyl stools. The one catch is that it’s cash only, so hit an ATM before you arrive.
Dude, In-N-Out. You know it. We know it. It belongs to us. Los Angeles is synonymous with In-N-Out burger and there are few things Angelinos pride themselves on more than this exquisite burger joint. In fact, there was a story the other day about how they opened one in London for four hours just to test the waters. You could almost smell the disdain in the city, wondering why our precious joint had gone across the pond. They are, indeed, starting to pop up further and further away from us but it’s really okay. They do everything right. It’s another place with a secret menu but this one isn’t all that secret anymore. If you’ve never been, you are ordering a double-double animal style. Don’t argue. Just do it.
That’s our list. Did we miss something? Think you know this town better than we do? Have at it, chuckles. What’s your top five burgers?