Best of LA Food
BY ERIC ROSEN
Angelenos are some of the world’s healthiest eaters, but sometimes we just want a juicy hamburger, and we know they’re well done—even when they’re rare—at these burger joints. For control freaks who like to build their burgers from scratch—including selecting the type of meat, cheese, toppings, condiments and sides—there’s the choose-your-own-adventure stylings at the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel’s 25 Degrees Hollywood (7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; 25degreesrestaurant.com) and at 8 oz. Burger Bar (7661 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; 8ozburgerbar.com) on Melrose, where the grass-fed beef Estancia burger has us dreaming of the Argentine pampas. Father’s Office (1018 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; fathersoffice.com) is a hit amongst the young professional set despite the fact ketchup isn’t allowed anywhere on the premises and there’s always an hour wait at its Santa Monica location. On the Eastside, harissa aioli spices up the The York’s (5018 York Blvd., Los Angeles; theyorkonyork.com) juicy burger, but the real star of the burger bunch is Umami Burger (850 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles; umamiburger.com), where the array of flavorful burgers and sides includes the Hatch Burger—a cheeseburger with four types of green chilis—and malt liquor tempura onion rings.
As spring turns to summer, romance is in the air—especially at these establishments. Though Cliffs Edge Restaurant in Silver Lake (3626 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles; cliffsedgecafe.com) is routinely chosen as one of the best date spots in town thanks to an enchanting courtyard, Cafe Stella’s (3932 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles; cafestella.com) dark corners are perfect for clandestine canoodling. The Little Door (8164 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles; thelittledoor.com) is nobody’s secret, and down the block at Tasca (8108 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles; tascawinebar.com), the lights are set to sexy and the wine is poured liberally. The lounge at Chateau Marmont Hotel and Bungalows (8221 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; chateaumarmont.com) will make any starlet accept a role, but head further into the hills for some doting discourse at Pace (2100 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Los Angeles; peaceinthecanyon.com). Strung with twinkly lights, Pasadena’s Firefly Bistro (1009 El Centro St., South Pasadena; eatatfirefly.com) is perfect for Valley lovers, and when we find ourselves west and not stopping for a creekside meal at Topanga’s Inn of the Seventh Ray (128 Old Topanga Canyon Road, Topanga; innoftheseventhray.com), we’re trekking into the mountains for a leisurely repast at the charmingly rustic Saddle Peak Lodge (RIGHT) (419 Cold Canyon Road, Calabasas; saddlepeaklodge.com). After all, nothing says “I love you” like a huge, smoking hunk of elk tenderloin.