Los Angeles means a lot of things to me – cool style, sunny (albeit smog-filled) skies, close proximity to both ocean and mountains, and high intensity energy - but mostly it represents an opportunity to score burgers from In-N-Out. In-N-Out burgers have a cultlike following, and for good reason: they are made to order from incredibly fresh ingredients.
I never thought I’d ever eat another burger that would make me to want to travel thousands of miles and brave multiple lanes of jam-packed traffic, but the other day, the Martini Burger at Hi Hat (1701 N. Arlington Place) changed my mind.
Doused with a splash of vodka parmesan sauce and vermouth, then layered with a green olive tapenade, the Martini Burger may have come too late to feed the likes of martini-swilling members of the infamous “Rat Pack,” but it is hands-down one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten. The minute I saw it on the menu, I knew I had to try it.
Sure, other things, like the Sesame Ahi Tuna, caught my eye. But once I spotted the Martini Burger, I was sold.
Most people don’t realize that Hi Hat has such fantastic food offerings. They automatically head downstairs, past the large red neon “MUSIC” sign to the bar or over to the Garage.
But trust me, it’s worth checking out.
Just a few days ago, Scott and I stopped in. We slid behind one of the mod green, retro-inspired tables and looked down on the increasingly-crowded sidewalk tables below just in time to spot the arrival of a couple sporting a cool, rockabilly-inspired look that I wished I could pull off. They quickly snagged a table and ordered some drinks.
We turned our attention back to our own drinks and talk of upcoming Memorial Day plans. When our plates finally arrived I’d like to tell you that I had the inclination to snap a photo of that amazing burger for you, but I didn’t. By then, I was just too hungry.
Without even thinking I bit down through the layers of vodka and vermouth infused beef and turned to my husband.
“You have to try this,” I said. “It’s right up there with In-N-Out!”
He took a bite and agreed. Then he tried to give me his Steak Frites in exchange for the Martini Burger. The slices of steak mounded on sourdough bread and topped with a tasteful caper sauce looked good, but I stood strong.
That Martini Burger was M-I-N-E.
Dean Martin, eat your heart out.