The LA Weekly’s second annual Burgers & Beer event was another rousing success! This past Saturday the air around the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was filled with BBQ smoke carrying the promise of delicious burgers. Once again, the check-in was smooth and there was just enough people to make it a party without causing long lines. The Coliseum is a great event space with lots of shade and benches for lounging.
L.A. Weekly’s food writer, Garrett Snyder, did an excellent job curating the hamburgers. Some of our favorite places were featured there, and there was a wide variety of styles. Belcampo Meat Co. served a mutton burger, and Kris Morningstar of Terrine got fancy with a tartare burger with capers, dijon and cornichons. Mrs. Fish had a crab and scallop cake slider on a Hawaiian sweet roll with a cabbage slaw and chipotle remoulade, while Gardein served vegan “chicken” burgers.
Our favorite burger this year had to be the “Molly Hatchett” from Grill ’em All – an 8-ounce burger with sausage gravy, maple syrup and bacon. It is served in the restaurant only on Mondays. Barrel & Ashes had a similar burger with a ground beef sausage atop their addictive corn cake. Button Mash was in a dead heat with Cassell’s for the best all-around classic American burger. Another favorite was Macheen, who came in strong with cotija and chile verde on their burger.
We also loved the bacon burger from Fritzi DTLA. Lock & Key served a delicious giant slider with melted cheese and grilled onions. Chef Phillip Frankland Lee of Scratch Bar went protein-style with a double patty, house-made pickles, sauce, and cheese on butter lettuce. They have a special refrigerator in their kitchen set at the perfect temperature to ripen cheddar. Longtime favorite Preaux and Proper thrilled us with a burger topped with homemade remoulade sauce.
Toppings varied from basil, roasted red pepper tapenade and goat cheese at Hache LA, to trademark ketchup leather at Plan Check, to pimento cheese and onion marmalade at The Counter, to a pickled ramp aioli, onion jam and a fried green tomato at Baltaire.
“Beer guru” and writer Sarah Bennett did a fantastic job with the craft beer selection. We always like our South Bay locals King Harbor Brewing Company and El Segundo Brewing. Then we are drawn to the ones with dramatic names and inventive brews. State Brewing Co was pulling an exciting Passionfruit Blonde Ale while Delicious Science offered a mild Pacific Peach. Horror Brewing Co. brought Smashenstein and a blend called Dr. Acula’s Blood Red IPA.
There was also a vendor village. We were entranced by the sparkling jewelry of London Manori, tickled by the inventive Loteria-style shirts from My Loteria Ts, intrigued by the wide variety of jerky flavors offered by Krave and tempted by Amoretti’s Cookie Spreads. Windmill Cookie Spread? Seriously? We enjoyed the Nitro coffee from Counter Culture and a vanilla lemonade popsicle from Teebsie’s. We also dug the music of High Life Cajun Band.