This year I was fortunate to attend the Los Angeles Magazine’s Burgers Bourbon and Beer event in Santa Monica at The Victorian in Santa Monica.
With no expectations of the event, I did know I would be eating/voting on the best hamburgers from the local area and maybe have a drink of bourbon or beer. What I didn’t know was the hamburgers would be gourmet yet simple, here is a sampling from Boa Steakhouse Santa Monica, the French Onion Burger (40 day aged beef, gruyere cheese, caramelized onion, and a French onion spread)
to my favorite burger from Cassell’s Hamburgers, the Cassell Burger was simple yet had all the flavors I enjoy in a burger from ground chuck and short ribs, wheat bun, aged cheddar and a house mayo, I also loved that they made fries!
The event had “boutique bourbon” tastings, allowing you to visit the various vendors and sample the bourbons, side-by-side, to determine which bourbon is your favorite (similar to wine tastings). In the front of The Vermont house, a bar was set up with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, they served two mixed drinks, Old Fashion and a Gentleman’s Buck. The Gentleman’s Buck was my drink of choice and was made with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, ginger syrup, citrus, angostrua, I was not disappointed.
There was an area dedicated to beer tasting, with a wealth of craft beers and close to 40 purveyors. I did not partake in this area as I was so full from the hamburgers and I really enjoyed the Gentleman’s Buck so I decided to stick with that.
I did, however, try the Salt & Strass vanilla shake…OMG this was to die for! The shake was made using barrel-aged maple syrup from Noble and I kid you not, it was the best tasting maple syrup I have ever had! I’d love to get my hands on a bottle to create some memorable recipes.
The Los Angeles Magazine really knew how to put this event together with live music and quaint sitting areas
and for fun a green screen.
Here are a few photos of the burgers from the event with MY opinions of favorites:
From Ewen the Ewen Burger – burger patty, chao cheese, pickles, caramelized onions, smoked 1000 Island on a pretzel bread
For me, the best-looking burger was from Malibu Cafe, the Malibu Cafe Burger – grass fed beef New York and Ribeye, 72 hour short ribs, Fontina, Pickled Red Onion
My favorite sauce burger was from Citizen Beverly Hills, Citizen Burger – all beef burger with pimento cheese, chili and pickled cabbage on a brioche bun (that chili was a family recipe handed down from generations to the chef)
My favorite chef and runner up for my favorite burger are from Grill ’em All – the burger they offered was a Mini Burger with red onion confit, smoked gouda, arugula, garlic aioli and southern slaw (think I love anything Southern).
A huge thank you to the Los Angeles Magazine for creating a successful, fun and delicious night for everyone. I loved attending this event, I loved all the vendors, the food was superb, the choice in alcohol was a good choice (even though I am not typically a bourbon or beer drinker), the ambiance was casual. Most importantly, I LOVED that my girlfriend came with me, she’s a vegan and was excited to break her eating habits to attend!
Look out for the event next year as you will not be dissappointed!