Name: Burgerim, which translates to "many burgers" in Hebrew. The restaurant is in its soft-open stage with a grand opening scheduled in about two weeks.
Concept: This burger chain sells mini burgers, not sliders. The mini burgers are made with 2.8 oz. patties (larger than a typical slider) and have custom sesame-seed, brioche-like buns. There are 10 types of patties including beef, Wagyu, merguez, lamb and a vegetarian option. Optional toppings range from American cheese and avocado to pineapple.
The core idea here is variety, and the minimum order is a two-pack of burgers. You can order a flight of two, three, or 16 different burgers.
Chef/Owner: Burgerim's founder is a woman named Donna Tuchner. An Israeli native, she attended culinary school in New York, then returned to Israel to open the first Burgerim in Tel Aviv, which is still there today. Burgerim's current owner and president Oren Loni noticed the restaurant's unique approach, saw huge potential, then purchased Burgerim's name and rights and began to decisively scale the business by franchising all over Israel and beyond. There are currently 168 operating locations worldwide with 30 additional locations slated to open by the end of 2016 in the U.S.
In March of 2013, a Burgerim opened in West Hollywood, but shuttered soon after because it was an unauthorized branch. Burgerim has since set up a headquarters in the U.S. and properly launched an official L.A. Burgerim location, the first in the country.
What dish represents the restaurant, and why? The lamb burger. The meat is tightly-packed and juicy, and the lamb flavor not too gamy. In fact, most of the meat patties have a unique tightly-packed quality that you may experience in hamburgers in some parts of Asia. Burgerim's distinct patties are well-seasoned and flavorful.
Runner-up: The veggie patty isn't just an afterthought for the meatless set. It's made with green lentils, carrots, onion, tofu and breadcrumbs for binding.
Uh oh...: Basic, free toppings available for each mini burger include lettuce, onion, tomato and house sauce. Any additional toppings are $.50 extra. And the fries are more like discs of potato, and can be on the mushy side.
What are you drinking? Beverages include a multitude of carbonated options from a tricked-out Coca-Cola Freestyle dispenser. Beer and wine will be available about a month after the grand opening.
Info: 5001 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, (323) 848-4848, burgerim.com