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Summer Grilling: The L.A. Burger Battle
We put the beef blends at four premier butcher shops to the Grill test. All resulted in tasty patties, but one was a cut above.
McCall’s Meat and Fish Co.
70/30 mix of Angus New York, rib eye, and chuck ($9.99/lb.)
This is the steak eater’s burger. Coarsely ground, the high-fat disks taste and chew remarkably like a premium aged rib eye. That can be a good thing, but we prefer a little softer bite. This pricey version’s texture was a tad crumbly for our taste. » 2117 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz, 323-667-0674
Lindy & Grundy
70/30 grass-fed beef ($7.99/lb.)
Humanely raised bovines tend to be leaner, so this grind’s pumped-up fat content is essential. Conscientious carnivores will like this patty’s pedigree, but the grass diet comes through in the flavor, which can have a slightly gamey, metallic finish—it’s not for everyone. » 801 N. Fairfax Ave., Beverly Grove, 323-951-0804.
Harvey’s Guss Meat (THE WINNER!)
80/20 blend ($3.50/lb.)
The Guss meat company has been in business since 1939. Harvey, who took over in the ’50s, maintains the brand’s standard of excellence with this supremely flavorful, super tender beef blend. It tasted the most, well, burgery. Note: Orders must be placed the night before. » 949 S. Ogden Dr., Mid Wilshire, 323-937-4622.
Taylor’s Ol’ Fashioned Meat Market
85/15 prime chuck ($4.89/lb.)
“It’s just prime chuck,” insist the staff, balking at the idea of anything fancier. But this classic blend held its own with the city’s showiest specimens. The superfine grind made for a buttery texture, and the chuck is loaded with beefy flavor. » 14 E. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, 626-355-8267.