Wednesday, May 9, 2012

National Burger Month in LA

I spent the first 3 days of this holiest of burger months gorging myself on 4 old favorites in Los Angeles last week. Right off the airplane, I headed straight to the Apple Pan, took my customary stool (the one by the pie window), and inhaled a Hickory Burger. It was still the same damn burger I ate there 20 years ago, one of the crazy constants in this world.

The following day I took a bunch of locals to a place that (amazingly) none had been to before - the one-and-only Irv's Burgers in West Hollywood. Sonia greeted us with open arms and would not let us pay. When I tried to sneak a 20 into the tip box Mama came running out of the kitchen and pinched me HARD in the side to scare me off. I love this burger, the place, and of course Sonia's family. What was even more rewarding this time however was watching the look that came over the newbie's faces upon first bite. I had clearly created a few new disciples.

On day three I headed over to Cassell's in Koreatown and just made it before they closed (at 4pm). Not a soul in the place and a stellar burger as usual. The grinder in the window once again reminds all that this is freshly ground for sure. And a bonus to getting this burger is the free dollop of Cassell's signature horseradish potato salad, easily one of the greatest things I've ever eaten. Unfortunately for most Los Angelinos a detour to Koreatown (though not really far from anything) is like a New Yorker hitting up a burger joint in, say, Battery Park City. Most just won't do it.

After Cassell's I had to head back to the airport to catch a redeye but couldn't resist the gravitational pull of In-N-Out on the way there. I used my handy Burger GPS and easily located one near the runway. No fries for me this time, just a Neapolitan shake and a dbl dbl Animal Style. With all that glorious beef and cheese I was set for an all-night flight..