By now, some may have already heard of Kalbi Burger. And why not? since it's opening on June 14th Kalbi Burger has been creating a buzz around town specially in the area it's located in - Korea Town.
As soon as I heard of the joint I had to head on over there and try their burgers. I met up with my boy, the none other King of Bling - Ben Baller. And both of us being K-Town natives and glad there was a burger joint in K-Town, had to scope it out.
It is on Wilshire Blvd and Wilton Place...inside the little plaza. As I walked in, I was greeted immediately, I nodded my head and smiled in acknowledgment and looked around first to get a feel of the place. The walls are painted a nice rich red that I liked very much, there were some mirrors on a wall, a large built in wall clock and a few cool looking tables. I was glad to find no TV either to distract me from enjoying my meal.
Okay, time to order, albeit I knew what I wanted, their signature Kalbi Burger, I kept wanting to change my mind because I was tempted to try their other burgers. But I stuck to my guns and ordered the Kalbi Burger Combo. I'll have to save the other for my next visits...if the burger was good that is.
While ordering, Hawk (the owner), walked over really quick, welcomed us and immediately went back to hustling on the grill. I was impressed to see the owner behind the kitchen. Now-a-days, you hardly ever witness that any more. I also liked the kitchen being in plain view and open. One can watch their burger being prepared fresh.
Hawk hustling in the kitchen
Some customers tearing it up.
Their Seoul Burger...soooo good looking I couldn't wait for my order
Okay - my order arrives.
My Kalbi Burger
I was immediately impressed with the appearance of the burger. Looked hella fresh. Rushing and my hands shaking while trying to take a good photo and nearly drooling on my camera, I couldn't wait to take my first bite. My first bite?...I could immediately taste the freshness. The meat was juicy and almost melted in my mouth. The Kalbi Aoili Sauce, a secret sauce, was lightly sweet, adding to the a nice balance to the great mixture of romaine lettuce, Korean vinaigrette, American cheese, red onions and the Angus Beef making the burger burst with flavors.
The french fries sold me also. They were nice crispy, golden brown and not overly salty, although I always eat all my fries very salty but found no need to add salt to them.
Fries - Photo off Kalbi Burger site. Photo by: Love and Lemonade
Let me mention they have garlic fries too. Which I had with my Seoul Burger on my next visit. Let me tell you about the Seoul Burger - same thing...large, fresh, soft bread but this burger had sauteed kimchi - whaaaaaa...kimchi on a burger? oh man, being a kimchi fan, I couldn't wait for this one too. The kimchi totally added a distinct and unique flavor to the burger. I enjoyed the burger very much and nearly inhaled it in minutes. The garlic fries had the right amount of garlic on it and still were crispy and golden brown.
About to take a bite of my Seoul Burger - melting cheese, fresh meat, kimchi...nom nom nom
About the joint: Hawk was inspired to open up a "good burger joint" in Korea Town after getting tired of having to drive far either west, south, north or east for a decent burger. His vision? To open a place that served fusion style burgers and represented his Korean/Asian background and culture in his hometown of Korea Town. Let me mention, Hawk refuses to call the place a "Korean Burger Joint" but prefers it be considered an "Asian and American Fusion Burger Joint". That is why he was also inspired to naming his burgers differently and not solely Korean. Hence, The Seoul Burger, Tokyo Burger, The Saigon Burger and so on.
Hawk says all his meat come from naturally grass fed cows...no hormones and are antibiotic free. As noted on his website:
"Our meat is 100% Natural Angus Beef, hormonal and antibiotic free, and humanely raised and handled. That means happy cows, happy meat, and happy food!"
He says his ultimate goal is to raise the bar on quality and flavor to the all American Burger. He also said that him and his sister-in-law, who you'll also find behind the grill, or working the register, are the only two who know the secret sauce's recipe. I asked him if that secret ever leaked out, would we somehow end up finding her missing.
Here are a couple of photos from their website.
The Lulu Burger... Photo by: Love and Lemonade
The Saigon Burger... Photo by: Love and Lemonade
The always smiling Hawk wishes everyone come by and visit his joint. At least try it once. He promises to make your visit a pleasant one and hopes to make you one of the tastiest and most flavorful burger you'll ever have.
Hawk (the owner)
Once I make my way through the menu and almost try all the burgers, I can't wait to build my own burger. I found that to be pretty cool. I'm pretty anxious to do that. And Hmmmm...maybe if the burger I build on my own is good enough - he will be inspired to name it after me. *hint hint*
I must add also - you can't beat the prices either. The combos are all under $10.00. Nice deal for a quality burger. They also serve hot dogs, salads, chili, sweet potato fries and salt and vinegar fries. You can view their menu by visiting their site. Hopefully, when you go, you may just find me there...maybe even behind the kitchen. Oh and MAKE SURE you mention you read about it here on Galo Eating.
4001 Wilshire Blvd Unit E
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Website: Kalbi Burger
Click here for driving directions