Where to Find 9 Secret, Bar-Only Sandwiches and Burgers in LA
Here in LA, we all love burgers. And we love sandwiches. And we love secrets. And we love bars. Which means we'd probably love a round-up of secret, bar-only burgers and sandwiches. Right? Right. Here are nine you can find all over LA.
What you’re getting: Takuma’s Special Burger
If you haven’t noticed him, Takuma is the burger wizard that posts up outside the Thirsty Crow. He’s got portobello burgers, sweet corn nuggets, and even takoyaki. The real treat, though, is his Special Burger, with basil & Gorgonzola, arugula w/ balsamic glaze & fresh tomato. And the final touch? He blasts only the finest of tunes, which means you'll be singing along to "The Power of Love" while your face is totally stuffed.
What you’re getting: Grilled cheese
So you found the photo booth and now you think you know all the secrets that No Vacancy has to offer. Well you don’t, because you probably didn’t notice the sandwich & burger pop-up right by the exit of the bar. Sure, he’s got pork belly and fried chicken, but the gooey, perfectly-cooked grilled cheese is the move. (And also only $5.)
What you’re getting: A Cole’s French dip
There’s only one outside thing this secret speakeasy in the back of Cole’s allows you to eat at its bar: a Cole’s French dip. True, you can also get them next door at Cole's, but this one is wayyyy secret-y, and you'll miss out on '20s-era jazz and insanely great mixologist-chosen cocktails if you get it next door. You don't want to do that, do you???
What you’re getting: The Beaudry
An old-school sandwich counter tucked behind the bar here has tons of delectable sammiches, but the go-to is the Beaudry -- roasted turkey, mortadella, fresh mozzarella, giardiniera, and arugula, which goes great with a $5 Anchor Steam. And also a second $5 Anchor Steam.
What you’re getting: The pork belly sandwich
There's food there, too? Yep: head over to the back bar to party with some of the sandwiches, especially the pork belly w/ ponzu glaze, tropical salad, and spicy aioli.
What you’re getting: Hot link sandwich
If you’ve been to 4100 Bar on a weekend, you’ve seen Rich working his magic on the grill outside the door. You’re welcome to eat inside the bar, which, really, you should do, since the picklebacks are in there. His hot link sandwich will only run you $4, and his BBQ sauce is something to write home (or a Thrillist story) about.
What you’re getting: A gyro
Surprise: Downtown’s coolest old-school bar arcade wants to keep you fed -- there's a spot behind the back patio where local food carts roll through, and the Gyro guys are doing special things back there. Bring it inside for the perfect recharge before you figure out how to get those big heads in NBA Jam.
What you’re getting: Burgers at the Bar
Chef Trevor Rocco has laid out plans to prepare new burgers every single Wednesday at Cooks County, and they’ll be served exclusively at the bar. Be prepared for treats like the BLT Burger w/ pickled green tomato, butter lettuce, bacon, and aioli, and the Ham & Cheese burger w/ house-cured ham, gruyere, whole grain mustard, and cornichons.
What you’re getting: The Original Ramen Burger
The Original Ramen Burger stand is directly next to Lock & Key -- it’s literally a hole in the wall. The buns are made out of griddled ramen noodles and topped with shoyu glaze and arugula. Gimmicky? Kind of. Delicious? YUP. And for heaven’s sakes, add bacon and a fried egg.
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Wilder Shaw is a writer and comedian who doesn’t think it’s too much to ask for there to be a pork belly sando pop-up in his bedroom. Help him achieve that goal on Twitter at @WilderShaw_ and Instagram at WilderShaw.