[Missed an installment? Catch up with 30 Burgers in 30 Days in our meaty archive.]
The surrounding 7th + Fig shopping center is in the middle of a major revamp but its flagship steakhouse, Morton's, remains as traditional as ever. This is the kind of place where starry-eyed creatives don't just dream about midday three-martini benders, this is the kind of place where businessmen actually have them.
What's perfect for soaking up those liquid lunches? A burger, naturally.
Meat & Bun: Not in the mood for a $49 double-cut filet mignon? Rather spend your per diem on Ketel One? At $17, Morton's burger, served only at lunch, is one of the cheapest entrees on a menu of heavy steaks and salads anchored by iceberg lettuce.
Morton seems to define "medium-rare" as "medium," but the large, heavy burger, served on a lovely, oversized sesame seed bun, had a bit of char and a hint of smokey flavor. Greasier than we prefer, the bottom bun was moist with grease before the first bite. Both tall and broad, this is a fatty, dense burger that's rich and satisfying but weighs heavily on the stomach.
Toppings: It's served open-faced with a slice of tomato, raw red onions and way too much iceberg lettuce. A little goes a long way. It adds a pleasant crunch, but too much makes this burger impossible to eat by hand. Thank goodness it comes with Morton's primordial steak knife, because this is another one of those burgers you probably shouldn't pick up.
You get your choice of cheese (American, blue, cheddar or some horseradish-tinged thing), bacon and grilled onions or mushrooms. The bacon is thin and not particularly impressive, a ghost of the thick slabs we've seen at Oaks Market or Mom's Burgers, but good and smokey.
Sides: Surprisingly, this is first time we've come across steak fries on this burger quest. These seemed so popular once upon a time. Are they merely an antiquated throwback or just waiting to be gentrified like every other American comfort food? Here, they steak fries are done well. Their nothing like the hideous cafeteria versions that haunt our memories. They are golden orange on the outside, abundantly seasoned with some combination of salt, garlic salt and other indefinable spices, and impeccably soft on the inside.
Dessert: Morton's is famous for their hot chocolate cake ($14.50), which must be ordered with your entree. It's apparently that elaborate and that special.
The Upshot: As one of the most affordable "big meat" dishes on Morton's menu, this is a good deal. Split one burger between two people, and get your own martini.
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- Day 23: Rustic Canyon Wine Bar in Santa Monica
- Day 22: Bar Bouchon in Beverly Hills
- Day 21: Stout in Hollywood
- Day 20: Mom's Burgers in Compton
- Day 19: Bill & Hiroko's in Van Nuys
- Day 18: Pacific Dining Car in Koreatown
- Day 17: Pie 'n Burger in Pasadena
- Day 16: Blue Dog Beer Tavern in Sherman Oaks
- Day 15: Exotic Meats at Billy's Burgers
- Day 14: Ground & Pound at The Bucket
- Day 13: Bacon Heaven at The Oaks Gourmet Market
- Day 12: Lazy Ox Canteen
- Day 11: Cassell's in Koreatown
- Day 10: Burgers & Beer at The Bottle Room
- Day 9: Pretzel Buns at Hole In The Wall Burger Joint
- Day 8: Late Night Burgers at Eveleigh
- Day 7: Apple Pan Keeps on Truckin'
- Day 6: Perfection at Comme Ça
- Day 5: The Fix Is In
- Day 4: Fun with Buns at Rounds Premium Burgers
- Day 3: Whipped Cream & Other Delights at The Counter
- Day 2: Kimchi & Cultural Fusion at Kalbi Burger
- Day 1: Alcohol & Excess at GO Burger