On Friday night, The L.A. Times and Food & Wine kicked off their joint food event The Taste with “Burgers and Beer,” a night at the Beverly Hills Hilton featuring over 30 restaurants with their takes on everyone’s favorite edible icon of comfort. Amid a spread that included sliders-on-a stick from Delphine, Spice Table’s burgers with sambal, and plenty of simple, but perfect, classics, Rustic Canyon not-so-surprisingly took the day, with Evan Funke’s ideal Angus burger with onion fondue winning both the majority of the crowd’s affections and the event’s official first place prize. Despite its dominance, most of the assembled chefs presented incredible burgers of their very own, forcing the hordes to try just one more, despite stress signals coming from their stuffed stomachs. Take a look at some of the highlights of Friday nights “Burgers and Beer” party in our slideshow.
Kicked off on Friday evening at The Beverly Hilton.
Sascha Lyon assembled towers of mini-burgers on sticks.
Meatball sliders on sesame buns.
A favorite of the night, this burger had Nueske’s bacon with crispy hatch chilis covered in tomme dolce.
It wouldn’t be a party without her.
Kobe beef brisket on a Hawaiian bun.
We were excited to find Nyesha Arrington, formerly of Cache, is now the restaurant’s chef. We’ll soon be seeing her on Top Chef, too.
And we loved Arrington’s pulled pork slider with apple chutney and dijon aioli.
Lamb burger with feta.
Ilan Hall strikes a sexy pose in between serving an awesome onion six ways burger with grilled onion, pickled red onion, caramelized onions, onion marmalade, crispy shallots, and green onion mayonnaise.
Also had a lamb burger on offer.
The burger champion manned the booth for his LA Market.
Simon’s classic burger.
Hangar steak and short rib, with sambal, curried pickled cucumbers, fried shallots, and Kraft cheese.
Rather than cut the burgers into halves or fourths like a lot of restaurants, Jason Neroni brought just 200 burgers and was out within the first hour, though we heard good things.
The “premium” cheeseburger.
Chef Evan Funke
Though affections were high for Tasting Kitchen and Westside Tavern’s burgers, Evan Funke’s burger seemed to generate the most accolades.
The restaurant’s grass-fed Paso prime beef burger with edmond fallot dijon on toasted bread.
When chef Brendan Collins doesn’t want to make burgers, he doesn’t have to, instead settling for a great chicken liver pate.
It was actually quite refreshing to not eat a burger for a change and gave us the chance to tell Collins how obsessed we are with his barbecue eel and foie gras terrine at Larry’s and Waterloo.
The beer bar brought along a few friends, in addition to a nice Kobe burger fried in duck fat. How’s that magnum of Fin du Monde?
Warren Schwartz’s classic cheeseburger was another great bite that made all the weight-gain worth it.