2016 has arrived, and we welcome this new year with the reinvention and reintroduction of traditional world events. While the world will welcome the Summer Olympics and the United States will welcome a new president, the notion of bringing back something familiar spreads to other subjects as well. When something goes away for a while and returns much later, we refer to those things as classic. Some people say that the classics never go out of style, but eventually, all good things must come to an end, and classics do too. For that purpose, millennials must continually search for ways to improve or adapt methods in all aspects of life. Today’s culture revolves around two types of people: the safe, and the risk-takers. Safe people will find something they recognize and stick with it, preferring not to deviate away from the norm. Risk-takers feel adventurous and love to try new things. In general, safe people live a bland, boring life, while risk-takers live an exciting spontaneous life. Excitement gets your adrenaline pumping, so add some spontaneity to your life by seeking out these five burgers in the greater Los Angeles area this season.
5. Grinderz‘s Double Cheeseburger
When coming up with a winning product, two routes exist: you can invent, or you can reinvent. On one hand, creating something brand new comes with great risk that nobody will want said new item. On the other hand, you can only redesign something so many times. If attempting to redesign something poses a roadblock, why not just go back to basics and make the base item significantly better? Enter Grinderz, where they take a classic approach with an old timey burger shop and bring some modern flair into it. The bare bones menu at Grinderz resembles another overhyped Californian burger institution, with simply burgers, fries, and drinks. Grinderz does their own thing by doing food right with high quality ingredients and customization for your order. To taste the true flavor of Grinderz, go towards their Double Cheeseburger. This double meat & double cheese monster comes with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, pickles, and your choice of thousand island or chipotlé mayo dressing. You can snag this cheeseburger for $5.50, or for $3 more, you can combo it with beer-battered fries and a medium fountain drink.
4. Smoqued BBQ‘s Hangover Burger
Many people have faced this problem before: they wake up on a Sunday morning with a massive headache, no appetite, lack of energy, and the need to vomit… maybe. Nearly every adult has experienced the dreaded hangover that results from overindulging on alcohol without other nutrients or hydration. Unfortunately, only time can cure a hangover, but a person hung over can take steps to alleviate some of the symptoms, such as eating greasy foods. Oily or fried foods absorb some of the alcohol that remains in our stomachs, so a hearty breakfast will generally hit the spot, such as that at Smoqued BBQ in Orange. Many locals regard Smoqued BBQ for their namesake barbecue meats, yet Smoqued BBQ carries many other items as well, such as their Hangover Burger. In this burger, Smoqued BBQ uses a patty made with ground beef brisket, which they then top with roasted red peppers, arugula, cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, and a fried egg between two slices of Texas toast. Just for the heck of it, you can order this burger with a side of more bacon. Relieve your hangover for just $12.99, or just come on in any time and enjoy this burger, hangover or not.
3. City Tavern Culver City‘s Brew Burger
When visiting any pub, one can expect to see familiar items present. As far as the drinks go, expect to see the typical beers on tap, house wine bottles, lines of whisky and bourbon, and the usual mixers. When looking at pub grub, one can usually expect snacks like pretzels, finger foods like nachos, or handheld foods like burgers. Why not combine some of these with a burger that features a pretzel bun? Make your way over to City Tavern in Culver City to find one of these. Although City Tavern has a second location in Downtown Los Angeles, this post refers specifically to the Culver City location because they have different menus. Although themed like a whisky bar, City Tavern represents your usual neighborhood gastropub with their craft beer selection and fancy menu items. However, one does not need to go extraordinarily fancy in order to enjoy a great meal here. For example, take their Brew Burger. For this burger, City Tavern uses a blend of beef and chorizo as the patty, which they then top with pub cheese, mustard aioli, and watercress in a pretzel bun, which they top with a fried onion ring on top. This savory burger can tickle your taste buds for $13.
2. Apollo Burgers’ Bulgogi Burger
Never neglect the hole-in-the-wall businesses. Small mom & pop shops exist all over the place, and most people simply drive right by them never noticing them. Some mom & pop shops can hold the greatest hidden gems ever, but it takes word-of-mouth to get the news out there, especially if that mom & pop shop has no website, no social media, or no internet presence at all. With no marketing power, mom & pop shops have to deliver something so good that the constituents will do the marketing for them, such as with Apollo Burgers in Garden Grove. Representing the typical neighborhood burger diner, Apollo Burgers appears to have the most basic menu and appearance of any mom & pop fast food restaurant. If you look at any typical menu item, nothing would immediately stand out. You have to know what to order here, such as their Bulgogi Burger, a regular cheeseburger with beef bulgogi in it. While it may not ever win awards for beauty, it has won awards for taste, especially with how tantalizing the bulgogi tastes. After a bite of this burger, you will want endless bulgogi from Apollo Burgers.
1. The Riders Club Cafe‘s DIY Burger
A corporate fast food chain business has a slogan to “have it your way.” Human nature dictates that people desire control over any situation, and want to control as much as possible without allowing others to do the controlling. When it comes to food, customization appeals to all customers. This explains why businesses that allow you to build an entrée from the plate up have gained a huge following, such as Riders Club Cafe. This local Orange County institution has faith in the customers’ decision, the decision to craft the burger just perfect for them. This has led to the Riders Club Cafe creating a menu revolved around their DIY Burger. Starting at $8.65, the base burger comes with lettuce, pickles, grilled or raw onions, and house spread on a Challah bun. Each burger comes with kettle chips, and house pickled beets upon request. Customers can choose the base patty between beef, veggie, chicken, or portabello mushroom. Cheeses cost $1 each, which includes cheddar, muenster, swiss, goat cheese spread, blue, or havarti. Additional toppings cost $1.25 each, which includes bacon, grilled mushrooms, roasted chili peppers, avocado, or a fried egg. Despite customization, each burger tastes incredible, as if the chef had to cook the best meal of his life.