ONION OR NO ONION? WELL DONE OR MEDIUM? CHEESE, PICKLES, KETCHUP, MAYO — OR NOT? BURGER AFICIONADOS GENERALLY HAVE VERY DEFINITE IDEAS OF WHAT THEIR TASTE BUDS CRAVE. IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, WE HAVE A GREAT RANGE OF BURGER FARE EVERYWHERE. SOME OF OUR TOP FAVES INCLUDE:
Their signature, medium cooked Angus and Wagyu beef patty served on a potato bun with a toothpick anchored pickle on top comes with endless options. Add double bacon, original Melt or BBQ sauce, fresh or grilled onions, avocado, jalapeno, cheddar, blue cheese, spinach, and a side of naked or well-dressed fries. Gluten-free, wheat and no bun lettuce wraps are also available as are chicken and grilled cheese melts, soups, salads, desserts, natural and regular sodas, beer and wine.
For connoisseurs who like burgers with Asian influences, Umami starts with fresh, hand-ground beef seared to medium rare on a hot flattop grill seasoned with Umami’s master sauce and Umami dust. One of their most popular is the Throwback $8 Burger with two seared beef patties, white cheddar, miso mustard, Umami house ketchup, soy pickles and minced onions. Other favorites include the Truffle and Ahi Tuna burgers. Umami’s signature flavoring comes from ketchup infused with truffle oil, brown sugar and soy sauce; house pickles thinly sliced and marinated in tamari; Umami dust, a blend of mushroom powder; anchovies and soy; and Umami’s master sauce of undisclosed ingredients. Sides include thin cut or sweet potato fries, tempura onion rings and several salads. There are 15 locations throughout Southern California.
“You don’t fry an American Icon. You charcoal it over an open flame,” proclaims The Habit. The Habit sticks pretty much to basics. The Double Charburger with Cheese, a top favorite, comes with mayo, pickle, fresh tomato, lettuce and caramelized onions on a toasted bun. Variations include the Teriyaki Char which adds grilled pineapple, and the Santa Barbara-style Double Char with cheese and avocado on grilled sourdough. There is also a veggie burger, turkey patty with crushed avocado, green cheese and sprouts, plus sandwiches, salads, kids’ meals, shakes and malts.
It’s simple basics. There are no freezers. Everything is handcrafted and fresh. Start with your hamburger, cheeseburger, bacon burger, or bacon cheeseburger which is cooked to order. Then select the toppings and seasonings you want from a totally traditional list of mayo, mustard, ketchup, relish, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapenos, grilled onions and mushrooms as well as steak, BBQ or hot sauce. If not everyone is burger-minded, there are Kosher hot dogs, assorted veggie and other sandwiches, and of course, Five Guys and Cajun-style fries cooked in cholesterol-free peanut oil. You can also munch on bulk peanuts while you wait.
You can’t talk about burgers in Southern California without In-N-Out popping up. They do not freeze, pre-package, have microwaves or freezers. Everything is hand-prepared starting with 100% American beef patties, free of additives and made in their own facilities, to fresh, hand-leafed lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cheese. They even bake their own buns. Every burger is custom made to order. In addition to the popular singles and doubles, you can order up to four patties, resulting in a triple or quadruple hamburger or cheeseburger. Also on their not-so-secret menu (items not listed but popular with patrons) are Animal Fries that come topped with melted cheese, grilled onions, and Thousand Island dressing. You can also get any burger “Animal Style.”