As one of the few people in the sync world living in San Francisco, I’m naturally inclined to brag about my hometown’s superb burger scene. My tiny little hometown may not have much of a music industry left these days, but we’ve got tons of good places to eat if your waistline is looking a bit slim. Even a staunchly loyal, Giants-jersey-wearing, our-burritos-beat-your-tacos San Franciscan such as myself has to admit, though, that as strong as our burger game may be in the City by the Bay, LA has us beat.
Unfortunately, it gives me no pleasure to report that the burger at Winsome, while certainly respectable, is not indicative of the best LA has to offer. The place certainly gives a good impression at first: it’s stylish and well-designed, with a comfortable outdoor patio tucked away in Echo Park. They have some tasty beers on tap and a non-burger menu that appears pretty respectable. I wasn’t there for the non-burgers, though!
As for the burger: I have mixed opinions. The patty itself isn’t bad – the beef is of high quality and it is seasoned reasonably well, although I wouldn’t describe it as bursting with flavor. My particular patty came heaped high with mustard greens, which would make my parents happy (oh good! Our son is eating his greens!) but which overwhelmed the flavor of the burger a bit. It also came without any mustard/ketchup/secret sauce – this is, of course, an easily fixable problem (“hello, waiter? May I please have some ketchup?” – ta da, fixed!) but the burger, as presented, is a little dry. The bun – a nice, fluffy brioche – was great, and the aged cheddar was flavorful and sharp, but overall the burger didn’t blow me away. One thing that *did* blow me away was the house-made potato chips; I’m normally more of a french-fry guy, but these chips were perfectly thick and crisp and amongst the best homemade chips I’ve had. Definitely better than eating weak-ass Ruffles at a 4th of July BBQ.
So is Winsome good? Well, it’s not bad. The ingredients are good quality, there’s a hip vibe, and the burger is nothing to be ashamed of. But I’m grading on a curve, and I know there are better places to be found in LA. For now, my quest to find the best burger in LA continues. Here’s a good sign, though: at the airport on my way back to San Francisco, I found an unused $15 gift card for In ’N’ Out. That’s a burger all Californians can agree upon, right?
Oh, and this is perhaps a good place for me to announce that I’m moving to Los Angeles in 2018. Is it because of the burgers? I’ll let you decide.
Out of 62 people in attendance, here’s how Winsome fared:
Val Gettler: Dat cheese tho…
Ryan M. Carroll: The best burger of the year (minus the chicken sandwich @ Humble Potato)
Taylor Iamb: Zesty!
Julie Hodges: Great seasoning!
Paul Rocha: Ok, this has been THE best burger I’ve had this year. As the kids say, it’s AMAZEBALLS! Seriously amazing!! Well done my friends.
Sarah Scarlata: The bartender accidentally gave me Hamm’s beer…I was bummed until the tasty burger washed the flavor of college away! A+++
Kayla Masnek: This is my fave BEU burger so far! I give it all the thumbs up.
Shannon Murphy: Amazing.
Mike Caroleo: Very much forgetting this was tonight and eating a giant burrito immediately beforehand.
Andrew Scarborough: Dan said it.
Koichi: WTF is this shit on my fry chips?
Brayden: Yeah, the chips were a little weird, but honestly got better with every bite. And the aioli was STUPID good on these burgers. The patio added a nice ambiance too. For the win. some.
Nicole Prutch: The tofu is almost inedible. The chips that come with the burger are ace. Thanks to everyone who shared their chips with me.
Casey Newlin: Burger was too dry…pass that aioli!
Katrina Balcius: Bun to meat ratio is not ok! More cheese plz!
binks: The housemade aioli was a very important addition that completely changed the flavor profile of the burger. Also: why do this many people care about Foster The People?
Allegra Rosenberg: Lettuce-burg (no bun) was mildly burnt and tasted more medium than medium rare…
Aaron Monty: BEU (Nashville) represent!
Ryan Ealum: Didn’t love the chips
Sherwood: The patty was well-seasoned, and the ingredients were quality, but the patty was overcooked, and the bun was dry and too large.
Tiff Su: So satisfying.
Patrick Clancy: Delish – but $17, seriously?!
Lexie Deeb: Talkin’ bout shrooms!
Jess Martin: T’was great!
Russell Nygaard: I love lise
Vitaly Shenderovsky: Patty was great. Toppings were alright. Winsome/lose some I guess.