Taylor's: Burger + Fries

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Click here for the map of 30 Burgers in 30 Days.

Taylor's Prime Steak isn't some hip, young whippersnapper's idea of an old person's restaurant. Taylor's is a genuinely old restaurant. Established in 1953, it probably hasn't seen a crack of daylight since. A haven of polished dark wood and impeccable red leather booths, this is the kind of place we can imagine Sean Connery sipping a Scotch and slicing into a thick steak.

Then there's the meat. The steaks at Taylor's are as good as — or better — than at many of L.A.'s brand-name steakhouses, where people spend $50 on a steak just to prove they can spend $50 on a steak. At Taylor's, it isn't about the hot Hollywood flesh prancing around from table to table, it's all about the meat that's on the plate.

Taylor's: Caesar Salad

Meat & Bun: Served on a standard white-bread bun with the cut side grilled, what's really interesting about Taylor's burger ($14.95 at dinner) is the meat. It's ground in-house (and not as coarsely as one might expect) from the restaurant's various steak trimmings. The menu boasts of how lean the meat is. They're not kidding. The result is a burger that's simultaneously dry on the inside with a bottom bun that's soaked through with juice and grease before the first bite. Honestly, we'd prefer a slightly more fatty combo of meat.

Toppings: You get your choice of grilled onions or jumbo mushroom(s). The menu says “mushrooms,” but our burger came with one massive grilled mushroom cap completely blanketed by cheddar cheese. It works. Here, the umami is on top of the burger.

The rest of the toppings are standard: lettuce, tomato, raw red onions, prefab pickles and a small gravy boat, but a gravy boat nonetheless, of Thousand Island dressing.

Taylor's: Onion Rings

Sides: The burger comes with a side of thick, stolid fries, but one of the great things about Taylor's is its wide array of affordable side dishes. (One of our pet peeves about steakhouses is dropping $30 for a hunk of meat only to be told a baked potato or scoop of creamed spinach will cost an extra $12. Really?!)

A basket of mighty cornmeal onion rings, a little dry for our taste but still satisfying, is only $3.95. (They're inexplicably listed under Starters rather than Sides.) Garlic bread is $4.50. Half a head of broccoli with a gravy boat of Hollandaise is $4.95.

Dessert: Taylor's offers a standard assortment of what they say are house-made desserts: chocolate cake, carrot cake, cheesecake, apple pie and a few others. This being Day 27 of our Quest to Develop Gout and Hasten our Dependence on Blood Thinners, we don't bite at dessert unless it looks spectacular. Taylor's dessert tray looked nice.

Taylor's: Interior

The Upshot: Taylor's is our favorite steakhouse in Los Angeles, and the burger, while good, won't tempt us away from the steak. Splurge on sides and linger over a stiff drink as you soak in the ambiance.

Taylor's: Exterior + Sign

Exercise: None.


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