Hard-core Chowhound exilekiss went on an eating frenzy through all of Los Angeles’s famed burger joints. There was a three-way tie for first among the dozen contenders. Two of those top placers are well-known: Father’s Office and the Golden State. But the last is the obscure Rustic Canyon.

This is a $16 burger, with Meyer Ranch beef, sharp cheddar, onion fondue, and herb rémoulade. “A deep, beefy savoriness comes shining through! Wow. I can’t resist the urge to inhale the rest of my burger,” says exilekiss. “It has such a beautiful bovine essence.” It isn’t, says exilekiss, the “piercing funk” of Father’s Office’s dry-aged burger; this is a mellower magic.

They also use a Rockenwagner brioche bun, which is soft but holds up pretty well against the burger. The add-ons are tasty but never take center stage away from the burger.

Also excellent: burrata panzanella appetizer.

Father’s Office [Westside – Beaches]
1018 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica

The Golden State [Fairfax Village]
426 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles

Rustic Canyon [Westside – Beaches]
1119 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica

Discuss: Total Carnage! Gourmet Burger Battle — 26 Beach vs. Umami vs. Father’s Office vs. Golden State vs. Morton’s vs. Anisette vs. Lucky Devils vs. 25 Degrees vs. 8 oz vs. Rustic Canyon! [Review] w/ Pics!

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