Anger Burger

The Finest Burger In Los Angeles

Posted by Sunday on Apr 24, 2009 at 9:00 am

I generally disregard those “Top 10 Sushi Restaurants!” lists without so much as a glance; in Seattle, for many years running, the “best” sushi was a highly Americanized, overpriced restaurant that no one we knew went to.  Of course, then word about our sushi joint got out and forever after there was at least an hour wait — even on weekdays — we were infuriated.

On the other fork, my all-time favorite Seattle restaurant came recommended by way of an article interviewing a local chef who was asked, “Where do you look forward to eating out at?” and his answer was a then-unknown¹ little strip-mall Vietnamese restaurant on the edge of the International District.

And then we have the Great Debates.  What makes a perfect pizza²?  Well, depends on where you are from, what kind of budget you’re working with and whether or not you’re a moron.  What makes the perfect sushi?  Well, that’s a little easier, but just as open to argument; fresh fish is inarguable, but once you start to get into the $100+ a person type shit, well, it can only taste so good and then you’re paying for performance.

And then we come to the humble hamburger.

Any native Californian will give a range of “best” hamburgers around Los Angeles, including but not limited to In-n-Out, Apple Pan, Pie ‘n Burger, Tommy’s, and Fatburger.  Almost never listed is Astroburger.

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The avocado burger of my dreams.

While I can only vouch for the West Hollywood location, it’s the heartiest vouch I’m capable of making.  The week before I first went, there was a late-night stabbing in front of a restaurant full of people, and I said to Mike, “Mike, we gotta go to that Astroburger place.”

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I like how I’m closing my eyes to bite, like a python.

And fuck whatever the place looks like, the burger is lord here.  With a charbroil grill behind the counter and a menu suspiciously long menu (pastrami burger?  breakfast burrito?), Astroburger cranks out the most consistently excellent burger and fries I’ve ever had.  I can’t even bring myself to try anything else on the menu, I’m just so happy to have a good burger.

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And when they add the extra dollar for the avocado?  You get the avocado.  I mean, I hope you really like avocado.  Oh, and I lied when I said I never ordered anything else: I gave the onion rings a shot and found them lacking, though locals seem to love them.  I just can’t get behind a breaded ring, you know what I mean?  I’m a battered girl, through and through.

¹It has since become outrageously popular, raised prices (several times) has expanded and renovated within 3 years of first opening and the owners have started a second restaurant.  A somewhat off-putting state of affairs, but as long as they keep making their own weird, addictive version of bánh khọt then I will continue to eat them, no matter what the cost.

²For the record: Angelenos have no fucking idea what makes the perfect pizza.

April 24th, 2009 | Eatin' Fancy

8 Responses to The Finest Burger In Los Angeles

  1. halcyon says:

    Russians call it Cosmoburger.

  2. alicia says:

    hello! my friend heidi sent me a link to your blog and i’ve been sitting here laughing my ass off and irritating my husband by reading funny shit to him out loud. nice blog!

  3. Sunday says:

    Hello, yay! You know what’s funny? Is that when I wrote the post about the Betty Crocker bread I googled it to fact-check a few things and saw your blog and was like, “Hey, that’s a good-looking blog!” and then immediately got distracted and forgot. And here you are! So, I’m glad that Heidi gave you the link, but mostly because it reminded me to read your own site.

  4. Zombie Jesus says:

    What does make a perfect pizza? I don’t really like pizza that much, but I’m suspicious that I’ve never actually had good pizza. Sort of like those women who have had sex, but never an orgasm.

  5. Zombie Jesus says:

    So I checked out the link to the Vietnamese place, and being vegetarian had to click on “7 courses of beef”, where I saw an item that I misread as “Beef-a-Lot”. It made me laugh.

  6. Sunday says:

    For me perfect pizza is thin-but-NOT-crispy crust cooked all the way through, a nice char (little tiny spots of near-burning), a mild, fresh-tasting tomato sauce and depending on my mood, either stringy, classic dry mozzarella or giant pats of moist, sweet fresh mozzarella. From there it’s all mood: basil almost always, a little fresh garlic under the sauce almost always; I used to DREAM about a pizza with a lot of fresh chopped garlic and fresh tomatoes added right when the pizza came out of the oven so that they got warm and fragrant but never cooked – this is what happens when your roommate works at Old School.

    Its almost more skill than recipe … in fact, yes, I’d say that is the case. It’s almost that it needs to just be hot out of the oven and prepared correctly (good ratios, cooked at a high heat but not so high that it chars before its cooked through, etc).

    I can see I’m going to have to write something more formal on this.

    But also: yeah, maybe you’re not a big pizza fan. I actually think Old School is a pleasant slice and by far my Olympia preference, so if you’re not an Old School fan than we probably have different tastes.

    –It’s Beef-LA-Lot! La-lot are betel leaves, if I’m not mistaken. They’re kind of like peppery grape leaves, they wrap little bits of beef in them and grill them. Oh my god I’m so hungry.

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