I'm sad to be leaving the warmth of southern california for the real world that awaits me in NYC. As a way to wrap up my stay in my home away from home, I've indulged in a few binges on some more of the flavors of LA and my youth. Finally got a chance to sample the burgers at Jay's and All American Thai. Jays is the prototypical LA greasy spoon, and though it doesn't serve up the best burgers (IMHO), it does typify what LA burgers are about in 15 square feet. While displaced NYers feel a connection to the overcheesed slices of St. Marks or the "original" Ray's pizza, Jays packs all the flavors of an LA burger in its Jayburgers and (forgive the cliche) kicks it up a notch with a little more care. For me, it was a visceral experience, sitting on that stool and having a burger with just about all of LA between those buns.
As opposed to the burgers that are typically LA at Jay's, the burgers at All American Thai are about "only in LA." Where else would you find tasty hamburgers in the middle of a thai menu? I don't think you could. I'm beginning to think that the owners of All American Thai are thinking about ditching the thai part of the menu and concentrating on the burgers cuz while I was there, the people in the three occupied tables were all enjoying the burgers. Where else would you get a thai/chinese soup or salad with your burger platter? The wonton soup is very competent, and the salad very refreshing. The hamburger platter comes with the works -- fried onions, avocado, mushrooms, mayo, and the garnishes; the patties are made to order. And the fries are freshly cut and crispy. These are the best burgers I've had in LA.