Status: Opened a week and a half ago
Hank Lee's first restaurant venture, Kalbi Burger on Wilshire and Wilton, is a classic case of strip mall magic. Here today, gone tomorrow is how it goes with so many of these joints scattered in the outskirts of downtown LA and its valleys. Some of them are fantastic, with food that critics rave over. And others just don't make it past their first birthday. So, here now we have a new hopeful, Kalbi Burger. "The reviews have been just great, really fantastic!" says Lee, with a big smile. Kalbi opened a week and a half ago, hot on the heels of some other notable mentions in the burger department.
As the name suggests, this is Korean fusion from the burgers to the sides. The signature Kalbi Burger starts off with their organic Angus patty, American cheese and romaine, but spices it up with a Korean vinaigrette and their signature aioli. The LuLu Burger has pineapple, the Seoul Burger has kimchee and Thousand Island dressing. There are salads and a build-your-own-burger section. Hot Dogs make an appearance as well, with kimchee, chili, "5 alarm" sauce, and American stand-bys like mustard and relish. Tired of the old pickle on the side? Get some kimchee. Think the average onion ring is boring? Try their tempura version. And why not just follow one of the Korean-fusion trucks that serve burgers on Twitter? Because sitting on the curb to eat is getting old. And Kalbi spent some time on their interior design, making it modern and comfortable at once. Black and white photos of cooking equipment line the red hall, mirrors expand the space, and black cushioned stools make for comfy eating. You can get fries with your order, or even chili-cheese fries, but the truck exhaust is not included. Kalbi Burger is open Monday through Saturday from 11AM until 9PM.
Additional Reading: Midtown Lunch, 6/30
Additional Photos: Eater LA Flickr Page