The foodie scene on the Westside is b l o w i n g U P and over the past few weeks I’ve made a point to check out a number of local spots (some new, some new-ish) I’d not yet had the pleasure of dining with. The goal was to order the best of what each destination had to offer, per usual, but it was just a mere happenstance that a good portion (if not all) of the westside restaurants I’d visited truly excelled in the art of burger making. It’s my belief that if you can master a burger, you can master just about anything in your kitchen – I know, I realize my standards for culinary excellence are a bit high but I stand by my markers. Out of the 10+ westside restaurants whom I’ve recently dined with, these are 5 spots cranking out some excellent and well crafted burgers. I’m well aware that there are perhaps other delicious “west of the 405” burgers missing on this list, but cut a girl some slack – I’m a one-woman machine who still wants to be able to button her jeans. SO, allow me to present you with 5 burgers to consider getting your hands on whilst you are west:
The Joint: “modern American dining” // locally sourced goods // casual // cozy // beer + wine + beer/wine cocktails // local favorite
The Burger: “The Tripel Burger” – Duck Confit, Pork & Aged Beef with Truffle Sottocenere Al Tartufo, Arugula & House Made Apricot Jam on a Onion Brioche Bun
What Else to Order: the Squid Ink Spaghetti (TO DIE FOR!) + the Sweet Potato Tots
Pro Tip: Make sure you walk through the back of the restaurant to check out the most adorable little culinary focused shop, the Tripli-Kit. You can peruse an assortment of locally made goods and cool kitchen essentials as well as thumb through a variety of wonderful cookbooks.
Info: The Tripel | 333 Culver Blvd. Playa Del Rey, CA 90293 | M – F 11 am – close, Sat – Sun 10:30 am – close
The Joint: “coastal new American” // industrial // casual // California-chic // open air dining (covered or patio) // (popular) new kid on the block
The Burger: The “Hinterland Grass-fed Cheeseburger” – aged cheddar, bacon, caramelized onions, pickles, and comes with skinny fries
What Else to Order: the Octopus Greek Salad + the California Blueberry Panna Cotta Short Bread Crumble. No joke, that panna cotta was one of the best desserts I’ve had in a while so don’t leave without it!
Pro Tip: Hinterland is now open for lunch Monday – Friday and you can order this damn fine burger during both their lunch and brunch service. Also, after a little investigating it was brought to my attention that Joe Jonas is only one investor in the restaurant, not sole like many of us may have confused.
Info: Hinterland | 2917 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405 | LUNCH: M – F 11:30 am – 2:30 pm / DINNER: daily 6 pm – 11 pm / BRUNCH: Sat – Sun 11 am – 3 pm
DEL FRISCO’S GRILLE SANTA MONICA
The Joint: upscale yet casual // classic yet creative // prime Santa Monica location // diverse and delicious menu // great lunch deals // epic wine list // great patio and bar for dining
The Burger: “Green Chili Cheeseburger” – double patties, jalapeño jack cheese, lettuce, red onion, tomato, pickle
What Else to Order: their famed Ahi Tacos (seriously the best ahi appetizer situation on the planet) + the butterscotch pudding for dessert. So light and heavenly.
Pro Tip: If you go to Del Frisco’s for lunch you can now “grab a pair” for just $13 and includes a combination of a personalized flatbread, half sandwich or two fish tacos and a side salad or soup. Who doesn’t love a good lunch deal.
Info: Del Frisco’s Grille Santa Monica | 1551 Ocean Ave. Santa Monica, CA 90401 | LUNCH: M – F 11 am – 3 pm / DINNER: M – F 4 pm – 11 pm, Sat 3 pm – 11 pm, Sun 3 pm – 10 pm / BRUNCH(+lunch): Sat – Sun 11 am – 3 pm
HOPDODDY BURGER BAR
The Joint: casual // fun // upbeat // organic and environmentally conscious // worth the wait // craft burgers + beer // something different than the usual
The Burger: “K-Town Belly Burger” – grass-fed CA beef, braised pork belly, kimchi, house made gochujang, Korean rice crispies, mayo, basil leaves
What Else to Order: the Truffle Fries, a beer, + a salted caramel shake with Oreo mixed in! This particular milkshake concoction isn’t exactly on the menu, but they can make it!
Pro Tip: The way the line works is something you’ll just have to accept and deal with. People in Austin wait HOURS to have Hopdoddy, so we Californians can hardly complain! But if you’d prefer not to wait, do the obvious thing and go at an off time.
Info: Hopdoddy | El Segundo Location at The Point: 830 S Sepulveda Blvd #116, El Segundo, CA | Playa Vista Location at The Runway: 12746 Jefferson Blvd #1120, Playa Vista, CA | Open Sun – Thurs 11 am – 10 pm, Fri – Sat 11 am – 11 pm
PLAN CHECK KITCHEN + BAR
The Joint: “modern American comfort food” // a neighborhood favorite // casual // industrial // great for game watching // open air dining // relaxed bar scene
The Burger: “The Bleuprint Burger” – smoked blue cheese, pig candy, fried onions, roasted garlic steak sauce, peppercress
What Else to Order: the Sweet Potato Waffle Fries + their famous Cruller Donuts – aka one of my favorite desserts in all of Los Angeles.
Pro Tip: Plan Check has a great Happy Hour from 4 – 7 M – F where they offer $2 off draft beers, 2 $6 cocktails, $4 glasses of house wine (red or white), $2 off well spirits, as well as a few select small bites.
Info: Plan Check Kitchen + Bar | Westside Location: 1800 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025 | Sun – W, 11:30 am – 1o pm / Thurs 11:30 am – 11 pm / Fri – Sat, 11:30 am – 12 am