If you're a fan of excellent burgers, then this is perhaps your favorite time of year in Los Angeles, when Andre Guerrero devotes an entire week to the dish at Oinkster, his meat-centric restaurant in Eagle Rock. For every day of Burger Week, there is a new burger, epic creations loaded with cheese, bacon, aioli — even pork rind dust.
This year's Burger Week, which begins June 1, is the fifth such annual celebration. Each day's burger is available only for that day, and, as you might expect, people lineup not only for the burgers but for the distinction of eating every one of the seven new burgers. This is called the Burger Challenge, and the people who rise to it are dubbed Burgerlords. Of course they are. Each burger is also inspired by movies or TV shows. Why? Why not. We live in Los Angeles and, despite the traffic, we love it.
Also, for the first time, the folks at Oinkster have collaborated with their neighbors at Highland Park Brewing to create a Burger Week beer. Red Tick ale is a sessionable red ale, the name for which is an obscure "Simpsons" reference (one episode from the eighth season).
As for Guerrero's favorite burger, the Oinkster chef-owner says that this year it's probably the Red Castle. "I'm old school," says Guerrero.
Available: Monday, June 1
Inspiration: "The Simpsons"
What it is: Two Nebraska Angus beef patties, housemade cheese, applewood-smoked bacon, bourbon-bacon jam, bacon dressing and onion on a seedless sun. Served with pork rind dust.
Atomic hot pepper burger
What it is: Nebraska angus beef patty with a cheddar-filled jalapeño popper, marinated red peppers, housemade chorizo nacho cheese, chipotle-garlic aioli, shredded lettuce, chopped onion and tomato on a Kaiser bun.
Bet it all on Black Garlic
What it is: Nebraska angus beef patty with black garlic cream cheese, black garlic aioli, onion and mixed baby greens on a black garlic butter-toasted black burger bun.
Inspiration: "Regular Show"
What it is: Nebraska angus beef patty with Oinkster pastrami, pulled pork, Swiss cheese, blue cheese cole slaw and Himalayan ketchup on a pan de sal bun.
Red Castle Sliders
What it is: Their version of the White Castle burger, an onion-cooked Nebraska angus beef patty with American cheese, pickles and mayo on a steamed slammer bun.
The Big Kahuna
What it is: Nebraska angus beef patty with charred pineapple, kalbi-marinated Spam, kimchi pickles, green curry mayo and housemade teriyaki sauce on a pan de sal bun.
What it is: Fried shrimp and crab patty, housemade cocktail and tartar sauce, butter lettuce and tomato on a sesame seed bun.
Oinkster: 2005 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock, (323) 255-6465, theoinkster.com.