By Laura Medina
There are celebrities who are foodies in real life then there are foodies who become celebrities their knowledge and love for food.
Seth Rogan and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen fall under the first group then there's Travel Channel's "Man vs. Food" Adam Richman.
Regardless how they got there, they all love food and cooking and they converge on Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival's Epic Burger Throwdown to judge the best of the best of LA's burger.
Despite the stereotypical cliche image of LA and California, LA and the Golden State are burger proud. Proud of the agriculture breeding grass-fed cattle, real Angelenos live on burgers. From farmers to surfers to stakeboarders to snowboarders, a damn good burger patty, juicy inside, seared and crunchy on the outside, well-seasoned, nestled in a fluffy bun, is the ideal protein, packed and ready to go and available everywhere. The perfect grab and go. Thanks to the car, real deal LA meal went national to be American then went globally as the ultimate American meal.
In short, Angelenos and Californians take their burgers seriously.
At Los Angeles Food & Wine's Epic Burger Throwdown celebrates it, by spotlighting all sorts of flavors and varieties of burgers then honors it. Some went nuts on creativity, like pineapple chunks and slices for the sake of keeping the burger patty moist and juicy. Others used unexpected pork and lamb as alternatives to keeping the burger patty moist. Of course, there's a vegan Impossible Burger for the vegans and the hip and trendy. But, the majority reinforce the heritage of the burger and the beef. In other words, Angelenos and Californians like their burgers to be classic.
As someone who complains that over-spiced and heavy vinegar Filipino cuisine gives this scribe and the scribe's family intestinal flip-flopping stomachache, this Filipino did the most Californian, therefore the most American, thing to the burger, LASA turned the burger into the Angeleno classic Beef Au Jus. Instead of dipping roasted beef slices, literally sandwiched in-between two bread slices, into leftover pure gravy of beef juice or broth, LASA's Chef Chase Valencia turned the classic beef burger into a Beef Au Jus, the burger version. The Toyomansi Jus Dip boost the unami flavor to the beef broth. Cheddar has been replaced by Edam/Gouda Cheese for extra moisture and flavor and gooey texture. Basically, LASA's Bistek Smash Burger is made for dipping.
The celebrity judges of Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Seth Rogan, and Adam Richman came prepared. Starving swaddled in stretchy outfits, they bravely bite and tasted and savor each and all 25 burgers at the Epic Burger Throwdown.
Seth Rogan deadpannedly joked about how physically tough it was to judge a burger contest. He called it an endurance race, eating each and every best 25 burgers in the City of Angels. All it takes is one bite, out of each and every 25 burgers, is enough for them to judge and vote which one is the best burger.
After 25 bites of all sorts of burgers and with help from the guests, they all voted that roaming mom and pop burger pop-up, Goldburger LA is the best burger in LA.
This scribe shouldn't be telling this but does...earlier in the evening, this scribe put in a ballot just for this Double Cheeseburger smothered in grilled onions, pickles and garlic mustard aioli, cradled in a plush white bun.
Truth be told, this scribe has a thing for crunchy textured beef burger patties, that have seasonings and juicy fat seared inside and having fluffy buns serve as a carrier. As much as this scribe grew up on "Special Sauce," this scribe is just as satisfied with thick slices of cheese as the glue between patty and bun, okay with special Thousand Island sauce.
This is why the runner-ups follow in Goldburger's juicy footsteps. Everson Royce Bar's Single Burger of prime beef chuck, Tillamook cheddar, dill pickle, egg brioche bun is a second favorite. See simply classic.
The third runner-up, in this scribe's opinion is Chef Javier Ramos' El Vy Cheeseburger.
That's the thing about LA Food & Wine's Epic Burger Throwdown. Not only does it showcases true LA food and all its forms but it's an entry for the consumer to try out new chefs and their businesses while it gives these chefs much needed awareness towards their businesses.
The truth is that Chef Javier Ramos took over defunct Trois Familia's Mexican/French bistro into his own bistro and he needs the foot traffic for his pop-up dinners, https://www.instagram.com/bon__javier/
As for Goldburger, they're today's mom & pop. They're roaming nomads of burger, doing various pop-ups at any food market that would have them. The fact they beat professional chefs with fully equipped restaurants, investors-backed. They're the little mouse that roared, winning the Best Burger at LA Food & Wine's Epic Burger Throwdown. If you all want to support that little mouse that roared, you need to literally follow them on https://www.instagram.com/goldburgerla/ if you need your Best Burger in LA fix.