When the going gets tough, the tough get burgers. And, boy, has the going been tough lately. Which is why we’ve been seeking out the Best New Burgers In LA - we might not be all that tough (Brett did run a marathon, though), but we definitely know a great burger when we bite into one. Here are three we’ve been obsessed with lately.
OK, so by now, you are probably aware that Adrift is a “burger bar” on Abbot Kinney from a famous chef who is often photographed like this. But if any of that is keeping you from checking out David Myers’ new Venice spot, it’s time to leave those preconceived notions in the past. (New Year, new you.) Because the burgers here are fantastic. There are only three on the menu, and each is worth your time, but our favorite is the Adrift - perfectly seared beef resting on a spread of savory, slightly funky tomato-and-Indian-ajowan jam, topped with tangy pickled jalapeños, peppery arugula, and Gruyère cheese, and served on a griddled brioche bun. If you’re looking for one of the most complex burgers in town, this is it. So get over yourself, and get to Abbot Kinney ASAP.
The latest burger pop-up to make waves in LA is Yellow Paper Burger, named for the packaging wrapped around takeaway burgers across town. They make patties that fall somewhere between a smashburger and what you’d get at a Venice beach bar - and it’s a mash-up we approve of entirely. The beautiful ground sirloin has a deep and crispy sear, but the patty is still thick enough that it’s pink inside, which adds some fatty goodness to the burger. It’s topped with chopped chilies (not unlike the ones you can order at In-N-Out), shredded lettuce, white onion, pickles, and tomato, and some American cheese to balance it all out. Yellow Paper frequently pops up at Sara’s Market and Glendale Tap, a beer bar (and one of Staff Writer Brett Keating’s favorite spots) with an excellent tap list.
Fellow Traveler is a new natural wine bar on La Cienega in West Hollywood with a very well-kept secret - a burger that goes toe-to-toe with the best in town. The patty itself is good, but what makes Fellow Traveler’s version so special is the soft, pillowy potato bun and the smoked paprika aioli they slather on top. It’s sweet, smoky, and, while we’re not saying they should go on Shark Tank with it, if they did, they’d definitely walk out with a distribution deal. Bonus: The curly fries that come with it are also excellent.