Burger Taste-Off

Grab a beer and a napkin! Here, our carnivore-lovin’ judges put four Valley burgers to the test, rating each on a scale of 1 to 10.

The Firestarter

Blue Dog Beer Tavern, Sherman Oaks
At this friendly neighborhood joint, some come for the standout selection of craft beer. Others flock to the signature burgers like the Firestarter. This bad boy boasts pepper jack cheese, deep-fried jalapeno slices and grilled onion strings, and it’s topped with honey-chipotle sauce. At $12, it also comes with a pipin’ hot side of fries.
Ramit: Wow! The onion and spicy jalapeno make a great counterpoint to the tasty, sweet sauce. Love that!
Renee: The perfect spicy burger. For me, jalapenos plus onion rings equals happy!
Stan: I love spicy food, and the fried jalapenos hit the spot. Pairing fried onions and barbecue sauce lends itself perfectly to overall taste. Wish the patty were a bit thicker, though.

Score: 8.5

 

The Chimmy

The Stand, Encino
The Stand was the surprise of the night. Judges expressed that they never had thought of the popular eatery (which has quite an extensive menu) as a “burger joint.” They were blown away by the creative, flavor-packed (no mayo) chimichurri slaw on the Chimmy, which also features cilantro lime aioli, pickled peppers and onions. Price: a bargain $7.75.
Ramit: The chimichurri slaw had a great, fresh-herb flavor, just a touch of vinegar and the perfect crunch. Needs a bit bigger patty to counter balance though.
Renee: Really surprised me—never would have ordered this. It literally ignites your mouth with the perfect amount of heat and crunch. Delicious!
Stan: Enjoyed the slaw. It had a nice balance—it did not take over the beefiness of the meat.

Score: 8.0

 

The Bistro Burger

Laurel Tavern, Studio City
The uber-hotspot packs the crowds every night—and the Bistro Burger is surely partly responsible. Cited as the “softest, chewiest bun of the night” by our panel, it features handmade grass-fed beef patties, arugula, Worcestershire onions, Port Salut and aioli. Price: $13.
Ramit: Love the fact that the juiciness makes it messy. Perfectly cooked. Beautiful presentation with pretty green arugula peeking out.
Renee: Top-notch bun and love the punch of the arugula. Meat could use some more seasoning.
Stan: Right off the bat, I wanted to eat this. It was cooked a perfect medium-rare and really juicy. Gourmet bun and you can taste the high-quality beef.

Score: 8.0

 

The Six Burger

The Six Restaurant, Studio City
This hefty, brioche bun-wrapped baby is typically served with Maytag blue cheese, but we substituted cheddar at the judges’ request. It also features fried onion rings, butter lettuce and Thousand Island dressing. At $16, it comes with a generous side of fries.
Ramit: Loved the addition of onion rings on this otherwise traditional burger. Meat was tasty. This burger was the largest of the night.
Renee: Definitely enough for two. A fresh taste, and I liked the brioche bun. Wish the meat had more seasoning.  
Stan: A solid burger. Enjoyed the onion rings and cheddar cheese combination. The lettuce was too soft. I like crunchy lettuce.

Score: 7.5

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