Posts Tagged ‘Beef’

Perception never falls into the simple categorization of black versus white. Perception falls anywhere within a boundless spectrum of antipodes. The problem lies with people’s ability to conceive perceptions beyond their scope. You can ask a person what type of music they love the most, while the next person may loathe that type of music. Most people claim to not like country music, yet the truth reveals that they simply have no preference for it; however, few people actually get adamant about the music. Going beyond preferences commonly exists in food and beverages. Where one person may call something “the best,” another will claim something else as better. For example, my father swears by the $2 wine from Trader Joe’s, unable to accept that pricier fine wines taste better. Some people say that no other burger can top a common burger from corporate fast food or corporate restaurants. People truly get attached to their fast food burgers and refuse to believe that better burgers exist out there. Whether or not you claim to know about the best burger in the world, I encourage you to seek out these five burgers in the greater Los Angeles area this season and give them a try. Who knows – maybe you will alter your opinions after one bite!

5. Eat Chow‘s Chow BBQ Burger

Portion size means a lot to the typical person who goes out to eat. Fine-dining restaurants focus on quality over quantity, so while fine-dining entrées appear small, it makes up for it with outstanding flavor. Generally, people want that happy medium between fine-dining and fast food, a restaurant that serves high-quality yet affordable food, something that Eat Chow specializes in. Now with three locations in Orange County, Eat Chow does not boast too much, perhaps because their foods speaks for itself. Eat Chow takes common foods and makes them well, from their burgers to the sandwiches to the entrées and more. Clearly a lot of care has gone into the dishes, evident by how much of the food’s natural flavor one can taste. In addition to the heightened food quality, Eat Chow doles up generous portion sizes too, such as in their Chow BBQ Burger. This grass-fed chuck patty comes topped with housemade barbecue sauce, smoked gouda cheese, crispy onion strings, bacon, mayonnaise, shredded lettuce, and tomatoes on a brioche bun. You can take on this huge burger for just $13.

4. Ocean Diner‘s Kiss Me Kate Burger

Different ingredients yield different flavors to the palate. Some ingredients have mild flavors, while some ingredients have extreme flavors. Some of the extreme-flavored ingredients may come with inauspicious side effects, such as spicy foods attacking the taste buds or foods invoking halitosis, or bad breath. Some of the latter ingredients taste so good that people often endure the side effects, such as garlic. For a calamity of ingredients that can cause bad breath, Ocean Diner has found just the combination. From the outside, Ocean Diner looks like your typical small-town American diner. However, Ocean Diner truly has some amazing things going on in here, such as their Kiss Me Kate Burger. This specialty burger comes with bacon-roasted garlic puree, grilled onions, and goat cheese. This $11.95 comes served with French fries, mashed potatoes, brown rice, coleslaw, or cottage cheese. As a special menu item, it will not last forever, so head over to Ocean Diner fast before this burger leaves their menu!

3. green2Go‘s Grass-Fed Bison Burger

A simple human truth states that people desire control in their lives. When someone lacks control over a situation, they may start to feel stress or panic. Give someone control, and they feel a lot more comfortable over their situation. This applies to all walks of life, including food, and green2Go gives you that control over your food. green2Go uses only the freshest all-natural ingredients to ensure pure flavor and nutrition. While you may certainly order any of their items as the menu describes, green2Go proudly offers a Build-Your-Own section where you get to dress up your favorite menu items, such as their Grass-Fed Bison Burger. This bison patty comes on your choice of brioche or squaw bread, or a lettuce-wrap, organic lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and a dill pickle. From there, you can select up to four add-ons to accompany your plate, which you can pick by walking up to the BYO bar to the left of the front counter. For $16, this burger comes to you with your choice of a side salad or roasted mini potatoes.

2. Abricott‘s Lemongrass Chicken Burger

Who says that a burger must contain a ground beef patty? Not all burgers must contain beef.  We have seen multiple different types of burgers, such as turkey burgers, salmon burgers, and even vegetarian patty burgers. We rarely ever see a chicken burger, much less a chicken burger done right. Abricott would like to turn that perception around. Known for their French-Asian cuisine, Abricott remains a staple in local Pasadena food, and has attracted the attention of locals and travelers alike. Pasadena brings in huge amounts of travelers between the convention center and the Rose Bowl, and travelers often want to savor the local flavor. Abricott’s menu covers multiple forms of food, including their Lemongrass Chicken Burger. Not just any old burger, this burger contains a ground chicken patty seasoned with lemongrass, topped with tomato, onions, lettuce, and mayonnaise served on a bun with coconut tamarind sauce. At $10.95, you can taste this unique burger that few other places can match in flavor.

1. Gus’s Barbecue‘s Brisket Burnt End Burger

When one orders a burger, one can typically expect a ground beef patty supported by various toppings, correct? The beef patty usually stars as the protagonist in the story known as the burger, but once in a while a burger may feature more than one co-protagonist. For a story featuring more than one star, we turn to Gus’s Barbecue in South Pasadena. A local barbecue legend, Gus’s Barbecue has done barbecue right for such a long time that they know exactly how to apply their prized meats to other forms of food. For example, take their Brisket Burnt End Burger. This beef burger comes topped with beef brisket burnt ends, cheese sauce, pickled jalapeños, and mustard on a toasted pretzel bun. All burgers come with your choice of French fries, sweet potato fries, potato salad, cole slaw, or BBQ baked beans. You can pound this mound of meat at Gus’s Barbecue for $13.95.

How does one discover the best of local food spots? They ask the locals, of course. When one travels, they still need to eat. What will they choose to eat at their new destination? Will they stick to corporate chains that they have familiarity with? Or will they explore the local places to savor the local flavor? How would they find these local places? Will they search their smartphones for them? Not all places will appear in searches, however. Some hole-in-the-wall places do not have an internet presence, so digitally searching for some of the better places may not work out. It takes word-of-mouth from the locals to spread the information of such places, such as a little food stand simply called Melt.

When it comes to Melt, word-of-mouth has never applied so much before. Tiny does not describe Melt, as they simply exist as a food counter in a supermarket, kind of like a mall’s food court. In Diamond Bar, a local H Mart houses its own food court with a plethora of unique food counters, ranging from unique desserts to traditional Korean food to all the fusion, which leads us to Melt. From a distance, glancing over at the Melt counter makes them appear like some ordinary burger counter, with hamburgers and fries shown on their menu. However, upon closer inspection, you will discover that Melt does the fusion thing here, and they do it well. They cross Korean cuisine over to the world of burgers and fries, such as with their Bulgogi Cheese Fries. Though it appears small, this makes for the perfect side dish portioned perfectly, as Melt tops a side order of fries with melted cheddar cheese, marinated ribeye beef, bulgogi aioli sauce, chopped green onions, jalapeños, and housemade Melt sauce. Although you cannot share this due to its size, it costs so little that anyone can enjoy their own order of Bulgogi Cheese Fries for $4.75 each.

Interested in tasting this creative creation of fusion? Head on over to the H Mart in Diamond Bar, and locate the food court within to discover Melt. Melt has no method of marketing other than word-of-mouth, not even a website or social media. If you like what you encounter, help them out by telling friends and family about Melt!

The hot summer days lends perfectly to grilling weather. As an American tradition, citizens officially start the grilling season on Memorial Day weekend, as that signifies many things. First off, on that weekend, Americans celebrate an important federal holiday to celebrate and honor the lives of those lost while serving for the United States Armed Forces. The weather starts to significantly heat up by this weekend, following the inconsistent weather of April and much of May. As a result of the warmer weather, Americans take advantage of a holiday weekend off of work until the next federal holiday, Independence Day, to gather some friends & family for a party involving grilling. When thinking about grilling for a group of people, what food exactly comes to mind? I guarantee that hot dogs and hamburgers top the list. The notion to purchase these items in bulk contributes to the misconception that these foods do not taste good. The phrase “You get what you pay for” has never applied as much as it does now, as most who purchase in bulk tend to pay low per individual unit. If you seek quality, you will have to drop extra money for it. Hot dogs tend to bear questionable ingredients, but true hamburgers still exist in this world. If you happen to find yourself in Southern California this summer, check out these five places to grab some of the best burgers you will ever have. One bite into these will change the way you look at hamburgers forever.

5. Holsteins Shakes & Buns‘ The Rising Sun

When you think about Las Vegas, what comes to mind? Gambling? Partying? The entertainment capital of the world? Sure enough, everyone who visits Las Vegas must always visit a buffet. Las Vegas houses some of the world’s top chefs, and everyone who travels to Las Vegas can recommend the food there. The popularity extends beyond Las Vegas, as many of the restaurants eventually open outside locations, such as Holsteins Shakes & Buns. Holsteins originated in the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, and has since then opened in Costa Mesa, and will soon open a third location in Portland, OR. The name of this restaurant refers to their fun burgers and adult shakes. While I have not decided how to review their adult shakes, I can attest to their burgers, especially the one they call The Rising Sun. This Asian-inspired Kobe beef burger comes with teriyaki glaze, nori furikake, crisp yam strings, spicy mayo, and a tempura-fried avocado half. You can get all of the glory of an Asian dish in your hands with The Rising Sun, and you can tantalize your taste buds with this burger for $15.50.

4. Great Maple‘s Montreal Spiced Grass Fed Beef Burger

When you start throwing a bunch of things together, you eventually end up with so much clutter that it defeats the original purpose of the base object. When you have something great, it may help to keep things simple as to allow others to enjoy something for its natural traits. Sure you can throw a bunch of ingredients at a burger, but once you flood it with ingredients, you may find yourself asking about where to find the beef inside the pile. For a great burger with minimal ingredients that allow you to appreciate the true burger patty, head to Great Maple. With multiple locations such as Torrance and Newport Beach, Great Maple delivers fine dining with familiar foods wherever they go. Great Maple does not try to show off new foods or things that people may not have heard of. Great Maple cooks foods that people have heard of, and they do a great job at that. Take, for example, their Montreal Spiced Grass Fed Beef Burger. For $15.95, this burger simply comes on a fresh bakery bun with lettuce tomato, onions, pickles, and aioli. However, this minimalist approach allows you to truly savor the nature of the beef. You can add other items on such as avocado or cheese for an additional cost, but do not overwhelm this burger – you want to savor this meat for as long as you can.

3. Seoul Sausage Downtown‘s The Only Kalbi Burger

Today’s society truly loves the idea of fusions. The old days of traditional things that stick to one culture have long passed, and while some people prefer the purist route of keeping things the way they have always remained, many like to see change. While we can always enjoy a carne asada burrito, some may prefer to try a short rib burrito. Many may like a pepperoni pizza, while some may like a bánh mì pizza. Typically people want a ground beef burger, but the folks over at Seoul Sausage have done something different. Seoul Sausage boasts two locations, but this post will focus on their second location in Downtown LA. Each location has a slightly different menu, and the downtown location exclusively carries The Only Kalbi Burger. While this burger still uses a beef patty, they marinate the beef in Korean marinade to give it a sweet, juicy flavor. To accompany this marinated burger, it comes with garlic jalapeño aioli, pickled onions, and a fried egg. This burger comes a la carte for $12. If you have yet to try a fusion burger, make sure you make your way over to Seoul Sausage in Downtown LA to try this.

2. GD Bro Burger‘s Juan & Only

When opening a business, every entrepreneur has an eventual dream or goal. However, no one can immediately jump straight to the top without some stroke of amazing luck. It takes effort to climb up the ladder of success to arrive at the destination. For aspiring restaurateurs with a low starting budget, it makes sense to start with a food truck to gauge success. Those gourmet food trucks that gain great popularity can make the jump to a brick & mortar restaurant, something that many have already done such as GD Bro Burger. I never knew what this name stood for, so I always colloquially called them Goddamn Bro, because their burgers may make you exclaim that. They started out as a gourmet food truck churning out stuffed burgers, meaning something inside the burger patty, usually cheese or some sauce or spread. In their Juan & Only burger, GD Bro Burger stuffs a beef patty with jalapeño cream cheese, then tops it with pico de gallo, chipotlé mayo, and a sliced avocado. This comes on your choice of a regular hamburger bun or their special raspberry bun, the latter of which I highly recommend for a more unique experience. Spice up your day or night with this burger for just $8.95 at both their Santa Ana and Signal Hill locations.

1. West 4th & Jane‘s NY Burger

Some places have immense popularity due to famous people preferring that place. Media outlets such as the Food Network, Travel Channel, and Discovery Channel have all paved the way for local restaurants to gain notoriety with their television personalities visiting places and giving those places a huge exposure. However, while many of these places succeed well following the airing of the program, some may tank because they could not handle the pressure. Luckily with West 4th & Jane, we do not have the latter problem. Social media has made West 4th & Jane a legend, as many tech professionals love this place so much that checking in to this restaurant results in something unique compared to normally checking in at most other places. Aside from their top-shelf beverage selection, West 4th & Jane offers some food that you simply cannot find anywhere else. For example, while their NY Burger may resemble a typical restaurant burger, it certainly will not taste like any other burger. The NY Burger uses a half-pound meat patty consisting of a 50/50 blend of grass-fed bison and beef. This gets topped with smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, shredded kale & romaine blend, sliced tomatoes, and smokey barbecue sauce. At just $14, you can get a taste of how they do things in New York. Pair this with one of West 4th & Jane’s signature beverages or a nice cold craft beer, and you will understand why West 4th & Jane has the reputation it has.

Perception never falls into the simple categorization of black versus white. Perception falls anywhere within a boundless spectrum of antipodes. The problem lies with people’s ability to conceive perceptions beyond their scope. You can ask a person what type of music they love the most, while the next person may loathe that type of music. Most people claim to not like country music, yet the truth reveals that they simply have no preference for it; however, few people actually get adamant about the music. Going beyond preferences commonly exists in food and beverages. Where one person may call something “the best,” another will claim something else as better. For example, my father swears by the $2 wine from Trader Joe’s, unable to accept that pricier fine wines taste better. Some people say that no other burger can top a common burger from corporate fast food or corporate restaurants. People truly get attached to their fast food burgers and refuse to believe that better burgers exist out there. Whether or not you claim to know about the best burger in the world, I encourage you to seek out these five burgers in the greater Los Angeles area this season and give them a try. Who knows – maybe you will alter your opinions after one bite!

5. Village Idiot‘s Griddle Burger

With all these newfangled restaurants popping up everywhere, sometimes it helps to exhibit a little modesty. Young adults want to visit the trendiest, hippest restaurants and/or bars because of interaction and mingling with others of similar age and personality. With so many of these new places around, some restaurants or bars just want to resemble the go-to place away from all the hustle of noisy places. Enter the Village Idiot in West Hollywood as your go-to place to relax. The Village Idiot looks like your typical neighborhood restaurant with no frills or anything fancy inside. They have an old-fashioned bar with plenty of seating in the dining area, perfect for parties of all sizes. With a wide array of food and drink options, Village Idiot will have something for everyone. For something familiar yet scrumptious, go with their Griddle Burger. This simple yet effective $15 burger carries two patties along with dijon mustard and a heaping serving of caramelized onions, with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and fries on the side. Accessorize your burger with cheese or a fried egg at an additional cost. Available throughout the day, this burger will help you get away from the bustle of daily life momentarily while you savor this local flavor.

4. Brew Kitchen Ale House‘s Smokin’ Bacon Burger

When attributing food to a particular location, each region has its own designation on how people should perceive it. For example, we often hear about western, eastern, northern, and southern food. While in the United States this applies mainly to the contingent 48 states, the rest of the world sees things differently. The world does not have northern (New England) or southern (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, etc) cuisine. Instead, the world primarily splits up regions by either its exact name (Japanese, Italian, etc) or simply east versus west. We know that eastern tends to refer to Asian cuisine, while western refers to American barbecue. Why barbecue specifically, I do not have the precise answer, but I do know that Brew Kitchen Ale House has a killer western-influenced menu. Tucked away in a strip mall in Los Alamitos, Brew Kitchen Ale House aims to bring a craft beer presence to Los Alamitos, historically a conservative city. They employ a rotating tap system much like other prominent craft beer restaurants, which greatly accompanies their food menu. Brew Kitchen Ale House contains many gastropub staples, such as their Smokin’ Bacon Burger. This meaty burger comes with sharp cheddar cheese, cherry wood bacon, beer barrel onion strings, and Uncle Joe’s Memphis Brew-B-Que sauce, served with a side of bar fries. Why people associate this particular combination of ingredients with “western” I will never know. However, I do know that you can pound this burger for just $11 at Brew Kitchen Ale House in Los Alamitos.

3. Dory Deli‘s Dory Burger

How does a business generate buzz and hype? Marketing comes in many forms, and each method of marketing reaches out to a different audience. Does a business use word-of-mouth? Does a business use friends & family referrals? Does a business pay for ad space? Does a business rely on internet and social media? No matter how a business chooses to market, they still need to get their name out there, but how they get from point A to point B can differ based on the business owner’s preference. But what if you have products so good that the product markets itself? Enter Dory Deli, a local treat whose name speaks for itself. Located just a stone’s throw away from the sands of Newport Beach, Dory Deli opened their doors last year to the delight of many locals for their use of locally sourced ingredients prepared with fresh, unique flavors. Although they have “Deli” in their name, Dory Deli functions as more than just a deli – they represent a full-service restaurant, along with fresh coffee and juices. Along the menu, you can find hot items such as their Dory Burger. This thick burger patty gets paired with pastrami, horseradish-beet sauce, sliced pickles, caramelized onions, and Swiss cheese on a brioche bun. This burger comes a la carte for $11. Parking nearby requires coins for meters, so if you want to park for free, expect to have to park further and walk quite a bit.

2. 25 Degrees Huntington Beach‘s Number 4

Cheese: you either love it or you hate it. Cheese has existed long before anyone even thought to record the discovery of it. Since the beginning, cheese has made its way all over the culinary world, and has seen countless variations. The texture, flavor, shape, aroma, and other factors all vary based on where it started, how it started, and who made it. Certain cheeses fit certain foods better; for example, mozzarella goes well with pizza, while cheddar goes well with hamburgers. In more recent times, creative chefs have mixed up cheese types to attempt to draw out new flavor combinations. Some have worked, others have not. But when a combination does work, the chef will hastily add it to the menu, just like at 25 Degrees. While 25 Degrees has multiple locations including one in Los Angeles, each one has its own menu, so this will focus on its Huntington Beach location. 25 Degrees represents your typical gastropub and whisky bar, with a lineup full of different beverages and a menu full of goodies. At night, most people go here for the drinks. Throughout the rest of the day, people go here for both the food and drinks, where they might order something such as the Number 4. Unique to the Huntington Beach location, the fourth burger on their menu has bacon, barbecue sauce, mezzo secco cheese, jack cheese, chipotlé aioli, and a fried onion ring. After a few bites, you may just want a side of the cheese by itself due to its savory nature that does not overwhelm the taste senses. To experience this cheesy bliss, check out 25 Degrees in Downtown Huntington Beach order the Number 4 for $11.

1. Rockfire Grill‘s Carnitas Burger

If something on the menu has the word (ham)burger in it, you can bet it will have ground beef in it. Traditional hamburgers have the ground beef patty inside a hamburger bun. However, the definition has expanded to allow more than just the bun to define the dish. For example, hamburger pasta means pasta that has ground beef in it, even if it contains just ground beef pieces instead of a solid patty. Because of this expansion of the definition of a hamburger, creative minds have come up with other ways to build upon the traditional dish. Aside from different toppings or different ways to build the patty, one can take a look at the bun. Everyone has surely seen lettuce-wrapped burgers know as “protein-style” burgers, but you can use more than just an ordinary bun to hold a burger, something that Rockfire Grill has grasped the concept of. Rockfire Grill’s primary draw revolves around their use of a wood-fire oven to bake and cook most of their ingredients. From pizzas to flatbreads to fresh focaccia bread, Rockfire Grill has a unique approach to fresh foods. They use this oven to cook not only their meats, but the breads they use for their menu items, including their burgers and sandwiches. Rockfire Grill wraps their burgers inside their fresh-baked focaccia bread, creating something similar to a pita wrap. Their Carnitas Burger contains two different meats stuffed inside a focaccia bread. After splitting open a fresh-baked focaccia bread, Rockfire Grill fills it with an angus beef patty, salsa verde, pulled pork, tender greens, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, grilled onions, and their house spread. You can taste this fresh-baked difference for $8.95 at the original Rockfire Grill in Mission Viejo, or check out their newer locations in Santa Ana and Newport Beach.

The hot summer days lend perfectly to grilling weather. As an American tradition, people officially start the grilling season on Memorial Day weekend, as that signifies many things. First off, on that weekend, Americans celebrate an important federal holiday to celebrate and honor the lives of those lost while serving for the United States Armed Forces. The weather starts to significantly heat up by this weekend, following the inconsistent weather of April and much of May. As a result of the warmer weather, Americans take advantage of a holiday weekend off of work until the next federal holiday, Independence Day, to gather some friends & family for a party involving grilling. When thinking about grilling for a group of people, what food exactly comes to mind? All sorts of foods can cook on a grill, from meat to vegetables and more. However, across all people who utilize their grill, barbecue meats rank as the top favorite food to cook on the grill. While beef burgers get consumed the most, other forms of beef also see grill time, such as ribs, tri-tip, and brisket. For enhanced flavor, use a fatty meat since much of the fat will drip out in the grill, so you will want meat higher in fat to preserve its moisture. For the perfect example of moist, juicy meat, look no further than Smoke City Market.

Out in the San Fernando Valley, the people love their BBQ meats. Plenty of BBQ restaurants exist in the San Fernando Valley, and it takes a while to visit them all to evaluate their meat. If you seek a great spot to start, check out Smoke City Market in Sherman Oaks. Smoke City Market serves up traditional Texas-style BBQ with full attention and care to highlighting the natural flavor of the meat. As a BBQ restaurant, they carry a typical lineup of meat types: ribs, brisket, chicken, pulled pork, sausages, plus a few extras such as pastrami and turkey. Sides include the typical coleslaw, beans, chili, mac & cheese, and more. Their care to the natural quality of the meat comes out the best in their Beef Brisket (Moist). Unlike their Brisket (Lean) that removes the fat, the moist brisket uses the meat’s natural fat for flavoring. This preserves the texture of the meat so that each bite carries a rigid bite, where every nook & cranny holds a pocket of… fat, for lack of better words. Also if you arrive at Smoke City Market early enough, you may receive the end cuts of the brisket that holds the most flavor. If you manage to acquire the brisket ends, you may never want brisket from another restaurant ever again.

Got a hankering for delicious beef brisket? Make an appointment to visit Smoke City Market to savor it, and consider bringing friends & family along too. For more media on Smoke City Market, like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter for news about menu items and upcoming events. Additionally, download their mobile app, available for Apple and Android devices, to preview their menu on the go and make preorders.

Fame: a status that people all over the world desire to attain. In one degree or another, people desire some level of fame that they themselves define. Everybody defines fame differently to a different scope, so one person’s idea of fame can exist on an entirely different plane than another person’s. Local fame can exist when the local community looks up to a person, group, or business. Wider scopes of fame can exist when brought to the attention of all those other people, such as through marketing, advertising, radio, television, and more. Of course, landing a spot on an outlet that reaches many people faces tough competition, and not everyone can attain that. Local fame helps in that regard, and can bolster the spread of that fame. Getting on television usually represents one of the greatest forms of broad advertising, so opportunities to get on television have high competition. Luckily, Grill ‘Em All had what it took to get on television, and since then, everything has gone up for them.

Back in 2010, the Great Food Truck Race debuted on Food Network, which featured a handful of gourmet food trucks that included Grill ‘Em All as a contestant. The Grill ‘Em All crew emerged victorious, claiming the coveted $50,000 grand prize, which went towards a restaurant that they would eventually open in Alhambra in early 2013. Now two years in business, Grill ‘Em All has cemented a solid foundation. Locals cannot stop talking about them, and travelers from across the world anticipate visiting this legendary heavy metal restaurant. In fact, many influential figures in music, metal or not, have appeared at Grill ‘Em All for meet & greets, or just to dine in. Grill ‘Em All has more than just the music theme going for them – their food deserves to sit on the top shelf, a testament to the high caliber set by all the other trendy hip restaurants in Southern California. The transition from food truck to restaurant allowed them to increase the menu items offered, but they still kept the fan favorites on the menu, including the legendary Behemoth. If you could choose one menu item to represent the flagship of Grill ‘Em All, everyone would choose this mammoth grilled cheese burger. When I say grilled cheese burger, I do not refer to a patty melt – I mean a burger placed between two grilled cheese sandwiches used as the “buns” of the burger. Basically, you have four slices of bread with this burger, bacon, BBQ sauce, grilled onions, pickles, and three layers of cheddar cheese: one on the all-beef patty, and a layer in each of the grilled cheese sandwiches. This basically represents a western-style cheeseburger with the BBQ sauce, onions, and cheese, except that instead of hamburger buns, you hold onto two grilled cheese sandwiches to devour this burger. I hope you have a monstrous appetite to down this – all that bread will make this burger a tough foe to thwart.

If you still have yet to visit Grill ‘Em All, why not start with their flagship burger? You can challenge this monster for just $12. Come glimpse at the beast that gave rise to the legacy known as Grill ‘Em All.

Perception never falls into the simple categorization of black versus white. Perception falls anywhere within a boundless spectrum of antipodes. The problem lies with people’s ability to conceive perceptions beyond their scope. You can ask a person what type of music they love the most, while the next person may loathe that type of music. Most people claim to not like country music, yet the truth reveals that they simply have no preference for it; however, few people actually get adamant about the music. Going beyond preferences commonly exists in food and beverages. Where one person may call something “the best,” another will claim something else as better. For example, my father swears by the $2 wine from Trader Joe’s, unable to accept that pricier fine wines taste better. Some people say that no other burger can top a common burger from corporate fast food or corporate restaurants. People truly get attached to their fast food burgers and refuse to believe that better burgers exist out there. Whether or not you claim to know about the best burger in the world, I encourage you to seek out these five burgers in the greater Los Angeles area this season and give them a try. Who knows – maybe you will alter your opinions after one bite!

5. Grill ‘Em All‘s Dimmu-Burger A.K.A. Necrobutcher

I simply could not have constructed this list without mentioning Grill ‘Em All. These guys work wonders up in their restaurant in Alhambra, and continuously churn out new ridiculous burgers every month. Take their burger of the month for April 2015, the Dimmu-Burger A.K.A. Necrobutcher. With an intended pun to resemble black metal band Dimmu Borgir (Necrobutcher could either refer to the black metal bassist or the wrestler; great work with the double meaning), this messy burger’s highlight comes in the form of a Spam patty coated in corn dog batter and deep fried. This all comes with a supporting cast of white truffle cheese wiz, mustard, and pickles. The fried spam appears to get lost with all the yellow stuff around – the cheese and the mustard will likely overpower anything else going on in this burger. The $12 Dimmu-Burger clocks in at number five on this list because you can only obtain it through the end of April 2015. Once April ends, you may not see this burger again!

4. Peter’s Gourmade Grill‘s Bubba Burger

Some hole-in-the-wall places can hide worthy gems. Without the help of local word, one may never discover something awesome right under our noses. For as long as I can remember, I have always zoomed past Peter’s Gourmade Grill in Tustin without giving a second thought to what this corner store can hold. When informed about the unbelievable food waiting behind its counters, one day I finally decided to make the stop here, a decision I have no regrets over. While the food looks simple from the outside, as momma always said, the inside counts. Customers love everything on the menu, but when one recommended the Bubba Burger, I knew I had to commit to it. The Bubba Burger comes with applewood-smoked bacon, cheddar, fried onion strings, BBQ sauce, and lettuce, all with an Angus beef patty on a toasted potato bun. This classic yet filling burger comes to your hands for just $7.25 at Peter’s Gourmade Grill. Check out the rest of their menu too – they have a handful of other great gems, some of which I will cover in the future.

3. Bosscat Kitchen & Libations‘s Bosscat Burger

Thanks to a few of last decade‘s television shows, the stereotype of South Orange County’s denizens typically involves rich white people. As someone who used to work in South Orange County, I can attest that, like all stereotypes, exceptions to the rule exist. Nevertheless, South Orange County has its fair share of fancy upscale places, something that I as a punk usually feel out-of-place in. A former coworker told me about how he frequented Bosscat Kitchen & Libations in Newport Beach, and raved about the food and drinks there. I know where to find the drinks I like, especially in Orange County, so I opted instead to test out Bosscat Kitchen’s food menu. Among all of the pricey menu items, the Bosscat Burger stood out as the true winner in my book. This $15 burger comes with a sizable Midwest beef patty, bacon, cheese, black garlic sauce, and LTO. Customization options include adding a second patty for $8 and/or adding avocado for $2, of which I recommend adding both for a monstrous meal. With add-ons, you have a $25 plate in front of you, but the upgrade to add more beef and avocado more than earns its price.

2. The Salted Pig‘s The Pig 2.2

I wanted to insert a profound introduction, but this audio clip does it perfectly for me. The Inland Empire has grown substantially from a residential region to a bustling metropolitan area that has recently shattered much of the old stereotypes about the counties out there. On a completely unrelated note, the Inland Empire has a lot of drought-tolerant trees and plants, and not a lot of grass, meaning that folks who live out there have a leg up on the new California water conservation laws. But anyways, I digress, back to talking about delicious burgers! While out at shows in Riverside, I recently stumbled upon The Salted Pig, a swanky gastropub in Downtown Riverside. This place has quite a legacy among locals, and attracts tons of out-of-town visitors as well. From the succulent food to the drink selection, The Salted Pig has it going on. Their menu changes seasonally, and many items tend to go under a revision to adapt to changing times, such as The Pig 2.2. I have no idea how many versions lived before this one, but version 2.2 of this meaty burger carries double-smoked bacon marmalade, popcorn shoots (the greens, not literally popcorn), and citrus for zing. The minimal ingredients does the burger justice for bringing out the true savoriness of the beef patty. The $14 price tag truly represents the quality of the ingredients in this burger.

1. The Standing Room‘s The Napoleon

Of course I would include perhaps the most bizarre entry as number one in this list. One day, you go to the beach, then happen upon the liquor store on the corner just across the street from said beach. But you did not just stumble into any old liquor store – you entered a liquor store with a gourmet food counter attached to it. Yes I said food counter, because The Standing Room in Redondo Beach does not technically fall under the category of restaurants. On the opposite side of Catalina Liquor Store’s cashier stands a counter where guests can order restaurant-quality burgers and sides. The liquor store itself has no seating, hence the name The Standing Room; however, they graciously placed about six tables in the corner of the parking lot for customers to dine on the premises. Customers walk into the liquor store, walk towards the counter across from the liquor store cashier, and find the shiniest of hidden gems ever. If you did not know about this place, you would easily drive by it. Once you order, you pick up your food from the window OUTSIDE the liquor store (you will see it before you enter the liquor store). Sure they pack it to-go, but once you unravel your treasure, you may opt to have a seat nearby and chow down. First-timers may feel daunted by The Napoleon‘s $17.50 price tag, but the sheer size of it merits every penny. This colossal burger uses a half-pound beef patty, which comes with all of bacon, smoked gouda, cheddar, caramelized onions, greens, braised short rib, a fried egg, and truffle Parmesan fries. All of this comes INSIDE the burger. At first glance, you may not spot the bottom bun, but believe me, once you dig through this pile of gold, you will discover it, only to realize that you may not have room left in your stomach to hold that last bun. The Standing Room includes a plastic fork & knife with this order, which you will likely need to carve your way through this. I suggest bringing along a friend to attempt to conquer this beast, and try to get every ingredient in each bite to savor what a little food counter inside a liquor store can deliver to your lips.