Accompanied by a serious bar and craft beer program, Hopdoddy is a serious burger joint that landed in Tustin last year. Among very good burgers on house-made buns you’ll find the chile-boosted flavors of the great Southwest, as well as non-beef alternatives; the ahi we tried was exemplary.
Once family-owned but now privately operated by Viva Laguna Inc., the drive-in style eatery—still in its original Coast Highway location since it opened in 1951—offers a variety of grilled burgers made in-house.
At Irvine’s The Stand, it nearly took me half a beer just to decide what to eat. With a menu as big as a Stephen King novel, my crew of first-timers look glazed-over in a pre-food coma for a solid five minutes.
Fresh sirloin ground fresh several times per day, hand-formed patties, custom-made buns, and an array of house-made condiments and choice of cheeses all add up to one remarkable burger. Your choice of burger, thick, golden, crisp frites, and the justifiably famous strawberry basil lemonade are always satisfying.
The bevy of burgers ranges from the proprietary, house-ground beef blend to fish and fowl, all with individual (and house-made) seasonings and toppings—the Truffle, bestselling Manly, seared ahi, Hatch chile, turkey Greenbird, Cali, two-thinner-patties Throwback, plus the started-it-all Umami.
Chefs are revolutionizing these hand-held treats by experimenting with new flavors to make them stand apart from—rather than mimic—traditional hamburgers. If you’re still wary, here are some don’t-miss places to start your quest. Go ahead, veg out!
The so-called “secret menu” is such a familiar part of In-N-Out’s identity that the company publishes its own version with items such as the animal-style burger, which features mustard cooked into the patty. But here are a few even more offbeat secrets, gleaned from fan websites.
And why shouldn’t a museum café have an excellent burger? Tangata’s teriyaki burger is a nicely crumbly Angus patty with grilled pineapple and red onion, cooked to a perfect medium as requested, skinny sesame fries on the side ($17).
Dads. We like our burgers. We like our beers. On Father’s Day, we don’t want gimmicks, and surely not anything made from ground turkey. When it comes down to it, we want the option of bacon, and the promise of an undisturbed nap. We really are that simple. Here’s three solid choices your dad will totally love: