The Burger Kitchen – Los Angeles, CA

by Josh on May 25, 2010

The Burger KitchenWalking into the Burger Kitchen mid-afternoon, there were only seven people in the front of the house and three of them were working. The restaurant could probably accommodate 100 patrons between the booths, tables, bar stools, and sidewalk seating, and yet there was just one couple eating and one couple waiting for their lunch. When traveling abroad, I choose where to eat by how crowded a restaurant is – the more, the merrier. If a restaurant is filled with locals, it must be worthwhile, but if the locals avoid it, there is usually a reason for that. Parking is definitely difficult in the area around the Burger Kitchen and suddenly I was left hoping it was only the inconvenient parking that was keeping people away.

A friendly waitress provided a menu offering 26 burgers ranging in price from $9 to $50, and pointed out a daily special written on a chalkboard. Most of the burgers fall under the “From the Ranch” and “Burgers Around the World” headings, with a small number “On the Lighter Side”. While I was debating between the Godfather (beef patty, mozzarella, arugula, tomato, and Italian spread), the Mountain Burger (beef patty, Applewood smoked bacon, jalapeños, lettuce, tomato, and BBQ sauce), and the Cowboy Burger (24 oz. of pounded short rib and prime sirloin chuck), Alan, one of the owners of the restaurant, stopped by the table. Through an accent that was part Australian and part New York City, he said he and his son Daniel had just opened the Burger Kitchen and that the menu was a work in progress.

The Burger KitchenHaving trouble deciding between the 27 burgers on offer? Alan stated that the menu is being expanded to 34 burgers with most of the new additions falling under the “Burgers Around the World” theme, including a $75 caviar burger named From Russia with Love and a $300 Dom Pérignon burger. I stayed grounded and ordered the $11 Mountain Burger, medium rare.

Without anyone else in the restaurant, the burger arrived quickly standing tall on its plate. And tall it was. At least seven inches. The top segment of the brioche bun caused the burger to look like it had a fivehead (you know, an extra tall forehead). The bun itself was baked beautifully and had a dark, golden crust but was so large that I was concerned that it would be too bready for the patty. Fortunately, it crushed down nicely and didn’t overwhelm the burger. Shredded lettuce is nearly always a disappointment to me and this case was no different as much of it jettisoned from the burger while eating, some of it before I had even picked it up for the first time.

The Mountain BurgerThe hamburger itself was remarkably unevenly cooked for being a uniform thickness. I had ordered medium rare and part of the patty came as requested while a large part of it had no pink whatsoever. The seasoning and flavor of the charbroil were good but the texture of the beef was inconsistent due to the varied doneness. The grilled jalapeños however, were fantastic.

If you’re concerned about parking, a valet service is available for a $3.50 fee and may be unavoidable unless you don’t mind parking a fair distance away. If you’re concerned about the burger, well….

RATING: 3.5

The Burger Kitchen
8048 West Third Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 944-0503
Hours: Monday – Friday 11AM – 11PM
Saturday – Sunday 8AM – 11PM

{ 3 comments }

Not-So-Deep-Throat May 25, 2010 at 4:01 pm

I am so glad that I am not the only one who hates shredded lettuce on their burger. It makes even a great burger look cheap. Leaves of lettuce, guys; leaves of lettuce.

Alan Saffron July 10, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Thank you for your review, but so much has changed in the last two months.
New Chefs.
Smaller bun.
Consistent cooking, on time and at the right temperature.
36 choices now.
Australian meat pies.
Meat comes from Huntington Meat at farmers Market with great new blends.
Also the first in California to exclusively carry Pat LaFrieda meat from New York, including the highly sought after Black label blend.
Give us a try you will be pleasently surprised.
Alan Saffron

genevieve saffron September 5, 2010 at 10:52 am

Your pictures are great, but that was the first week we opened , our staff is amazing and we have a new sign etc…. Ck out the pictures on in la weekly and the j Gold review, compares our burger to Malloll, all the best

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