With Burger Week in full swing, Eater asked chefs around town to share their favorite local burgers. The picks skew to the classics, with several naming the Father's Office and Hinano burgers as their favorites. From the dry-aged burger at République to the classic In-N-Out standby, here are the selections:
The Chef: Mei Lin
Who: Top Chef Season 12 Winner
The Burger: "The République Burger. There's nothing I love more than a good burger. I love the fact that the poppyseed brioche bun is made in house. But the most underutilized ingredient to me is iceburg lettuce. That plus the thousand island dressing with the dry aged patty, makes this burger super delicious."
The Chef: Alvin Cailan
Who: Chef at Ramen Champ, Eggslut
The Burger: "Lately I've been loving the burger at Cassell's. The beef is top notch, always cooked to desired doneness (medium rare for me) and the bun is phenomenal when hot. It doesn't crack or fall apart. Also I hate when burgers have a bunch of stuff in it, closest to a purest burger but on a craft casual level."
The Chef: Tin Vuong
Who: Chef at Steak & Whiskey, Little Sister, Dia de Campo, Abigaile, Wildcraft
The Burger: "[The Napoleon at The Standing Room in Redondo Beach] is legit. They serve up some crazy delicious meat in between buns with a lot of love and keep it real."
The Chef: Suzanne Goin
Who: Chef at a.o.c., Lucques, Tavern, The Larders at Maple Drive and Burton Way
The Burger: "I have to disqualify myself from mentioning my own at Tavern, a.o.c. and Lucques so it would have to be David [Lentz]'s Pug Burger at The Hungry Cat. With egg, of course."
The Chef: Bruce Kalman
Who: Chef at Union
The Burger: "The Patty Melt at Laurel Tavern is pure nostalgia — it takes me back home to Jersey and all the diners I used to frequent as a kid. It's simple perfection...crispy bread, gooey cheese, and juicy meat. Basically everything you want in a patty melt."
The Chef: Brooke Williamson
Who: Chef at Playa Provisions, Hudson House, The Tripel
The Burger: "The Hickory Burger from Apple Pan has been my favorite since I was a little kid. The sauce has the right amount of tang, and the Tillamook cheddar is always melted to perfection - this burger is a classic. And you can't go wrong with the plate of ketchup served with their fries!"
The Chef: Zach Pollack
Who: Chef at Alimento
The Burger: "L.A. has many great burgers, but only one that impresses time after time, with no letup in execution, ever. The Office Burger at Father's Office is and will always be my #1."
The Chef: Quinn Hatfield
Who: Chef at Odys + Penelope, The Sycamore Kitchen
The Burger: "These days I've been going to Oinkster for their 1/3 pound classic burger with cheddar and bacon on lettuce, no bun. I like it because it is a good quantity of higher quality meat available with a bun substitute. I also like that it's classic in its flavor profile."
The Chef: David LeFevre
Who: Chef at Manhattan Beach Post, Fishing with Dynamite
The Burger: "I love the burger at Simmzy's in Manhattan Beach. It is grilled over white oak so the burger patty has great meaty-smoky flavor. It has just the right amount of meat for the brioche bun so it's manageable. It also doesn't hurt that it is right around the corner from M.B. Post!"
The Chef: Rebecca Merhej
Who: Chef de cuisine/pastry chef at Love & Salt
The Burger: "I have to say the Lamb Burger at Gjelina. I love love love lamb so making it into a burger just gilds the lily for me. They prepare it super simple with a harissa aioli, roasted tomatoes and wild arugula. It's just delicious!"
The Chef: Kris Tominaga
Who: Chef at Cadet
The Burger: "My go to burger in LA is the cheeseburger at Hinano in Venice beach at the end of Washington. It's a simple cheeseburger, big and messy and is best with the hot link added to it, alongside a frosty pitcher of beer."
The Chef: Jeff Mahin
Who: Chef at Stella Barra Pizzeria, M Street Kitchen
The Burger: "I rarely eat hamburgers but there's something nostalgic at In-N-Out. It's not only delicious but it takes me back to my childhood."
The Chef: Josiah Citrin
Who: Chef at Mélisse
The Burger: "I've been going to Hinano for years. Growing up in Venice, it's one of the places I'd go to after surfing. It's a great place to get a nice tasty burger and cold pint of beer."
The Chef: Mette Williams
Who: Chef at Culina
The Burger: "I've always enjoyed the Father's Office burger - from the bun to the dry aged beef to the shallot marmalade to the blue cheese to the arugula...they get it right. It all fits together so well."