10 Best Burgers in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a burger town. The cheeseburger was arguably invented here (on the Pasadena/Eagle Rock border), and we've spent the last 90 years perfecting the form. Now, there are some perfect burgers out there that aren't on the list. Because to know L.A. is to know about In-N-Out. And maybe your non-chain favorite isn't here, either. Take a deep breath: Everything's going to be OK. Heck, maybe you'll even discover a new favorite! Happy eating.  

Cassell's burger is a thing of simple beauty.
Cassell's burger is a thing of simple beauty.
Anne Fishbein

Cassell's

Brought back to life in the Normandie Hotel after closing in 2012, Cassell's pays homage to original owner Al Cassell and his legendary burger. It's a thing of simple beauty, served on a Parker House bun, with lettuce, tomato, pickles and onion on the plate for you to utilize at will. You can add bacon or a fried egg or even avocado if you'd like, but it really doesn't need any of that. Cheese is also optional, and I'm not going to tell you whether a cheeseburger or a plain burger is for you. What I will tell you is that it's the burger itself, its tangy, meaty juiciness, that's going to make this a great few minutes of eating. The kitchen grinds Colorado Angus chuck and brisket daily for the patties, using the original Cassell's grinder. Maybe it's the meat, maybe it's the grinder, maybe it's the magic of that grill. Whatever — it's a damn fine burger. Besha Rodell

3600 W. Sixth St., Koreatown; (213) 387-5502, cassellshamburgers.com.

The Big Mec at Petit Trois
The Big Mec at Petit Trois
Anne Fishbein

Petit Trois

Though the idea of putting the visceral experience of eating a steak dinner between two buns has been tried before, nothing we've had in the past succeeds the way the Big Mec at Petit Trois does. The burger is a mashup of cultures, taking inspiration from the classic American cheeseburger as well as chef Ludo Lefebvre's homeland, in the form of bordelaise sauce with a smidge of foie gras and piles of caramelized onions. There is more than a hint of French onion soup but, with its American cheese and rare beef, this is also undeniably a cheeseburger. It's a monstrosity of a thing, which won't hold together after a couple of bites, but you find yourself unable to slow down long enough to figure out a decorous way to eat it. You look up, stunned, 10 minutes later, covered in sauce and meat juice and having eaten the entire thing, which is far too big for any one meal. It's a glorious experience. —B.R.

718 Highland Ave., Hancock Park; (323) 468-8916, petittrois.com.

Everson Royce burger
Everson Royce burger
Anne Fishbein

Everson Royce Bar

ERB's cheeseburger contains the merest of toppings: a lashing of Dijonnaise and mild, melted Tillamook cheddar cheese. That's it. The 4-ounce beef patty is sourced from Harris Ranch, courtesy of Huntington Meats' Nancy Silverton Burger Blend (80% prime chuck to 20% fat), which goes on a buttered egg bun. Chef Matt Molina describes the cheeseburger as "something approachable for all guests, uncomplicated and straightforward." It's served with homemade dill pickle spears, and that's it. The less than aesthetically pleasing appearance of the burger — compared with other gourmet burgers around town — is apparently by design. "It shows the restraint within it." —Kayvan Gabbay

1936 E. Seventh St., downtown; (213) 335-6166, erbla.com.

Belcampo Meat Co.'s FastburgerEXPAND
Belcampo Meat Co.'s Fastburger
T. Nguyen

Belcampo

This expensive butcher shop offers two burgers, each delightful in its own way. There's the Fastburger, a 3-ounce patty made from grassfed beef trimmings, cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion. It's only $5. Then there's the Cheeseburger, at 5.5 ounces, with cheddar, onions, lettuce and an aioli-ketchup mix. Plus, the cooks try not to lose any of the fat when cooking the burger. Pair that with the tallow-fried fries, and it's straight to bed after eating this bad boy. —Katherine Spiers

Multiple locations; belcampo.com.



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