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8 New Burgers Destined to Be Classics in LA

By Lesley Balla  |  April 18, 2016
Credit: Animal

There are gazillions of great burgers around Los Angeles. OK, millions. The must-have In-N-Out Double Double sets the standard for most burger lovers in this town, but there are some newcomers reaching iconic status of "classic LA burger" too. Here's where to go to find the best new burgers in LA.

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  • Credit: Shake Shack

    The Roadside Double at Shake Shack
    Most people waiting in that insane line at the new West Hollywood outpost of the popular NYC burger chain are probably going to get the ShackBurger. And they should; it's very good. But when Shake Shack decided to infiltrate our already bustling burger scene, they brought along the Roadside Double, an exclusive to LA, which is loosely based on one of the city's most iconic sandwiches, the French dip. The Swiss-topped double burger with Dijon mustard and onions simmered in bacon and beer is a tasty homage.

    8520 Santa Monica Blvd.; 323-488-3010

  • Credit: Lesley Balla

    The Burger at Everson Royce Bar
    Mozza vet Matt Molina was inspired by the burger at famed Au Cheval in Chicago and wanted to keep it simple at this Arts District bar. The patty is made with prime chuck and topped with Tillamook cheddar and aïoli on a super-soft bun (from Puritan Bakery, the same bakery that makes In-N-Out's buns). No lettuce, no tomato, nothing too gloopy; just a straightforward, very tasty burger. The Kennebec fries are extra. Tip: A burger and fry combo is only $10 during happy hour, from 5 to 7 PM, Monday through Friday.

    1936 E. 7th St.; 213-335-6166

  • Wagyu Burger at Wally's Beverly Hills
    This burger is the perfect example of what chef David Féau can do with access to the wine and gourmet store's massive inventory, and it pulls from the chef's French background and training in California kitchens. Made with a Wagyu beef blend — half top round, half short rib — it's rich and caramelizes easily on the open-flame grill. Féau tops it with Old Amsterdam cheese, an aged gouda that adds just the right amount of saltiness, a slice of heirloom tomato, caramelized onion and watercress. The sauce? A classic choron, which is béarnaise mixed with tomato paste and pickled shallots.

    447 N. Canon Dr.; 310-475-3540

  • Credit: Animal

    Boner Burger at Animal
    For years, the Foie Gras Loco Moco, which starts with a delicious ground beef patty, was as close as chef/owners Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo got to a burger at their original Fairfax baby. But, the dudes changed their tune last year and added one to the menu. It's called a Boner Burger — cheeky, sure — but so named for the bone marrow mixed with the house-ground chuck and short-rib meat. The patty is rich and beefy, topped with Monterey Jack cheese, caramelized onion, poblano chile and secret "420 sauce." They won't tell us what's in the tangy sauce, just that it was inspired by Arizona and is "good on anything." The burger is served on toasted marble rye bread, which serves as the bun, from neighboring Diamond Bakery. It's only available at brunch and by request at dinner.

    435 N. Fairfax Ave.; 323-782-9225

  • Prime Burger at Redbird
    Now that Redbird is open for lunch and brunch, chef Neal Fraser has a reason to put a really great burger on the menu. Made with a special blend of prime beef, with enough fat to make it juicy, aged cheddar cheese and rémoulade, this burger is a decadent specimen. In this case, the key to greatness isn't just the meat and burger-to-bun ratio — it's the pickles. "Burgers are fatty, so a pickle or pickle mayo really makes it pop," says Fraser. "We make a Korean-style pickle and put some pickle in the aïoli as well." It's served on a slightly toasted bun and sided by a pile of crisp, well-seasoned fries. Given the space's beautiful patio, it's not surprising the burger is an elevated experience too.

    114 E. 2nd St.; 213-788-1191

  • Credit: Petit Trois

    Big Mec at Petit Trois
    When chef Ludovic Lefebvre was at the James Beard Awards in Chicago last year, he tried the famed burger at Au Cheval. "It was the best burger I ate in my life," he says. He brought that inspiration back to LA and created his own masterpiece: a four-ounce prime beef patty topped with caramelized onions, American cheese and rich bordelaise sauce, which may have a little foie gras in it. It's so rich and oozy, it now has a following all its own.

    718 N. Highland Ave.

  • Butcher Burger at Baltaire
    With all those amazing cuts of beef that steakhouse chefs have at their disposal, making a great burger is a no-brainer. At this swank Brentwood chophouse, chef Travis Strickland makes his patties with prime short rib, chuck and brisket, which results in a light and airy texture. He uses Hook's cheddar, along with diced red onions, shredded organic lettuce and ripe tomatoes for toppings, along with a gribiche sauce Strickland says he'd "bathe in." The cheeseburger with hand-cut fries is a regular offering on the restaurant's lunch and brunch menus.

    11647 San Vicente Blvd.; 424-273-1660

  • Credit: Salt's Cure

    Bacon Cheeseburger at Salt's Cure
    When Chris Phelps and Zak Walters moved their popular meat-driven eatery from West Hollywood to splashier digs in Hollywood, they didn't leave their popular bacon cheeseburger behind. Why is it so good? First, the patty is made with dry-aged cuts from steer they butcher in-house. Then, all the toppings are from California: Cowgirl Creamery's Wagon Wheel cheese, house-cured bacon, locally grown lettuce and tomato, and a bun from Gjusta. The best time to get it is during the Anti-Gridlock Hour (Monday through Friday, 3-6 PM), when it's only $6 at the bar. 

    1155 N. Highland Ave.; 323-465-7258