A2‘s final rating: √ MARK YOUR CALENDAR √
When LA Mag decided to have a Burgers, Bourbon + Beer bash this year we jumped on it. Bourbon- ok, not a fav. Beer- also not a fav, but growing on us. Burgers- Hell-to-the-YES!!! “Burger” in the title is a major selling point; and by major we mean THE selling point because we didn’t need to hear anymore. And then when we found out that not only was it all-you-can-eat burger bites but a culinary competition to crown the People’s Choice Best Burger 2016 our excitement went through the roof because 1) this is a reason to eat all the burgers (it wouldn’t be fair to vote without trying them all- right?) and 2) we love judging things.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: The BBB bash was held at The Victorian in Santa Monica on Main Street and it had to be one of the BEST locations of any “happening” we’ve been to thus far. It was pretty and intimate and we didn’t ever want to leave. Most nights at this spot have been spent wasted and in the basement until they kick us out; so we were unaware of the serious potential here.
THAT SCENE THOUGH: The burgers were in the twinkle-lit courtyard (with the sexy men man-handling those grills). The bourbon tastings were inside with the appropriate mood lighting. And the beers mixed all around to quench that thirst. They had a live band playing modern hits with an old-school sound. And plenty of seats to chill once you grab that bite and drank of the moment.
- Simmzy’s- Maybe because it was the last burger we tried or maybe it was just that unmemorable.
- Everson Royce Bar (E.R.B.) – We call this basic burger a FAV in the whole city. It is worth a trip downtown just for it ($10 during happy hour FYI). We thought it was going to take home the vote, but it wasn’t a basic night.
- Jitlada- The off-menu, protein style, Jazz burger never disappoints and always brings the heat. Make sure to order it up next time you’re in house.
- Malibu Café- This take had foie gras and Asian pears and too damn much going on for our liking.
- The Cannibal- With a name all about the meats, we expected it to be better. But we also expected the restaurant to be better when we dined in.
- Fig Restaurant- Whipped feta was all we needed to make this our 2nd fav. But they also switched it up with lamb and we were into it.
- The Tuck Room Tavern- Freshly ground brisket with short rib & chuck + roasted bone marrow, Applewood smoked cheddar, bourbon bacon jam, bone marrow aioli, crisp butter lettuce, fresno chili hot sauce on a sweet onion butter bun… all in one glorious bite. Sounds like too much, but surprisingly it was perfect. And then it took home my vote!
- Boa Steakhouse- Boring. Sticking to the steaks here. Next…
- Basement Tavern- This patty with arugula, chipotle aioli and bourbon glazed bacon was a serious contender. How have we never munched on this on our late nights in the basement here?
SPOTTED: Serious foodies. Only the true Burger, Bourbon or Beer fans will fork up the $65 GA ticket price. But that’s what we liked about it though; it wasn’t a ton of people rushing in for that all-you-can-eat, but people with mad respect for the food and drinks at hand.
WARDROBE: Because it’s Santa Monica you can dress down, but because of the location and time of day you could dress it up a notch. We’ll take any reason for cocktail attire though.
AND THE ‘CRITICS CHOICE 2016 – BEST BURGER’ WAS – The Cannibal- wah, wah. Although we may not agree (sowwy), congrats to them because the competition was fierce.
We’re just going to go ahead and say that now that we consider ourselves “Professional Eaters” in this LA foodie world and we’ve gone to numerous “happenings” over the past 2 years, LA MAG knows how to throw down. Their events have continued to be top-notch, well worth the ticket price AND our personal favs. Pencil in their next one which is held in The Bu (Malibu that is) and it’s their biggest event of the year: http://media.lamag.com/thefoodevent/. See you homies there!
How about a Burger and Rose battle next year?