Inner Burger Quest: Haikus

Empty out your mind
Desire cannot control us
Burger destiny.

Watch your burger man
See him slam the patty down
the legacy born.

Taste is rarely truth
The impossibility
brief exotic fact

Burger Tao complete
Empirical meatiness
Ronald McDonald?

*written by the boy.... 


Lucky Duck

Lucky Duck in Silverlake Burger Quest
Lucky Duck opened fairly recently on a corner of Silver Lake that was crying out for a good restaurant. When we moved to Silver Lake in May it was high on our list of things-to-do-within-walking-distance but, as is so often the case, we didn't know it would join the Burger Quest until we stepped inside, took a gander at the menu and saw the word BURGER written on it. Oh well.

Lucky's Duck's Grassfed Burger comes with smoked gouda (which we requested to be removed), harissa aioli, tomato, lettuce and grilled onion. And it's a pretty outstanding burger, mostly for the flavor that it packs into each bite. Eating it was one of those thrilling experience where you could quite tell where the taste was coming from - the aioli? the onion? the meat itself? the charred bun? There's a definite smoke to the burger that makes it stand out.

There are plenty of other reasons to visit Lucky Duck, it has delicious cocktails and choice oysters, but the burger seems almost absurdly good for this type of joint - normally a burger at a place that also serves sea bass, scallops and lamb ribs as entrees, would be an afterthought. Here it's a standout dish.

The burger isn't currently on the menu, but Lucky Duck keep things seasonal, so we predict (and hope) for a return in the fall. It's one of the best we've had in quite awhile.

Meatiness - 4
Succulentiousness - 4
Bun - 4
Flavor - 5
Stay Togetherness - 4
Joint - 3 Follow my blog with Bloglovin



In a rather fancy neck of the West Hollywood woods sits the decidedly unfancy original Norms Restaurant, as exceptional an example of Googie architecture as you are likely to find citywide. Ed Ruscha painted it once and it looked like this.

We had very low hopes for Norms' burger. It's an old-fashioned diner. It just didn't seem likely that they would be able to pull off anything more than an incredibly mediocre burger. But we love to have our expectations flipped.

Norm's burger is shockingly good. It's the sort of straightforward, fresh-tasting burger that fancy restaurants try to concoct and inevitably fail by reaching for mushrooms or truffles or excessive sauce. The bun is close to perfect - a nice, glazed brioche. The burger and bun together seem to melt away in your mouth and fill it with delicious juiciness, like some expertly crafted french cuisine.

We fear that we spent our entire eating experience with a fixed look of incredulity on our faces, so previously certain were we that Norms was incapable of such a feat of burger engineering.

Bravo Norm's! What a corker!

Meatiness - 5
Succulentiousness - 5
Bun - 4
Flavor - 3
Stay togetherness - 4
Joint - 5



Roy Choi certainly knows what he's doing when it comes to burgers. We love his Two-Fisted Sunny Spot burger - one of the top performing burgers in our list at present - for its sweetness and juiciness.

At Chego, in Chinatown, things are a little different. Chego is basically a rice bowl joint, so you might feel a bit sheepish when you wander in and order the Exhibit A Burger. It's like ordering pizza at an Indian joint.

The great thing about the Exhibit A burger is that you can watch Roy Choi making it in this here now video:

Yeah, it's got a ton of stuff on it, including a slice of pineapple. But oh holy moses does it work well as a unit. It's juicy, drippy and glorious and the herbs he smooshes on top give you this great, fresh aftertaste.

There's no doubting the thing's a sloppy mess. It's a good job they serve it in a bowl because the thing very quickly filled with juicy and sauce. But in this case, that is a very good thing. We'll be back to Chego in the later rounds.

Meatiness - 5
Succulentiousness - 5
Bun - 4
Flavor - 5
Stay Togetherness - 3
Joint - 3


Little Fork

The Boy and I are still plugging away at the Burger Quest (which began in 2011!)  But it seems that every time we check another burger off our list, a new burger joint opens claiming to have "the best burgers in Los Angeles."  Thus is our siren song.  Faced with such a bold statement, we have no choice but to add the burger to our conquest list.  It's a tough job, but someone has to do it, right?

The latest in the Burger Quest saga is Hollywood's Little Fork.  A really cool joint over on Wilcox, Little Fork has an east-coast style menu, with delicious fish dishes, fresh ingredients and creative cocktails, all lovingly presented in a casual, laid-back atmosphere that was perfect for a late Sunday brunch.  
Little Fork

The burger is actually a part of their brunch menu, and I don't actually know that it's fair to rate this against our other burgers, because this was altogether different.  Aptly named the Good Morning Burger, it's served on a bun of flapjacks, with linguiƧa sausage, a runny egg, and maple syrup.  So the sausage doubles as the meat patty, and with the flapjacks and maple syrup, this burger seemed more McMuffin than Big Mac.  And that's not a bad thing.  

The Good Morning Burger at Little Fork is delicious.  Hands down one of the best breakfast combinations I've ever tasted.  But it's not, for our quest purposes, a traditional burger.  What I do like about it most is that it challenges the definition of a burger...It takes the concept to new, innovative heights and that in itself is worth congratulating.  But because it's in a league of it's own, it's very difficult to score this particular burger.  (We did any how, because the Boy insists we score everything!)  
Good Morning Burger at Little Fork

Because of it's particular qualities, this was not the best traditional burger in LA, but it is a burger I want to have again.  Feel like brunch?  Go to Little Fork and try it!  

The Scores:

Meatiness - 2
Succulentiousness - 3
Bun - 4
Flavor - 5
Stay togetherness - 4
Joint - 5


Connie & Teds

It's been a while since the boy and I sampled a burger that truly kicked our socks off, but the Hook Burger from this newly opened seafood restaurant renewed my faith in the Burger Quest.  Connie and Ted's just opened in West Hollywood, and while the house specialties are certainly more on the oysters and clam side, they aren't too shabby when it comes to cooking a choice burger.  

Connie and Ted's Hook Burger

The flavor was sweet, and delicious with a perfect blend of pickles, thousand island and a perfectly cooked piece of meat.  While it was a bit messy, the burger stayed together nicely, and despite being a bit hard to bite, given the size, the overall experience was one that stands out in the quest as among the best.

We also indulged in the onion rings and the asparagus salad - both just as delicious in their own right.  The boy also sampled some oysters and was rather impressed with those too.

Connie and Ted's
Connie and Ted's Hook Burger

Bottom line?  Connie and Ted's was a fun, easy going, and delicious dining experience with one of the best burgers we've tasted in the LA Burger Quest.  It's in the top 20, and we'll definitely be going back for a second taste!

The Scores: 

Meatiness - 5
Succulentiousness - 4
Bun - 4
Flavor - 5
Stay togetherness - 3
Joint - 4