Highland Park: Fusion Burgers Fills the Super-Delicious Burgers and Fries NicheMay 24 2012 · 7 comments · Burgers, Highland Park, Restaurant Reviews, Vegetarian
I know that two York Boulevard posts in a row is excessive. However, after trying Fusion Burgers, I couldn’t contain myself. It’s that good, and it fills a once-glaring void in the Highland Park food scene: a full-service, gourmet burger and fries joint.
Fusion Burgers sits unassumingly in a strip mall right across the street from Maximiliano, in the space that most recently housed Tacos El Michuacano. When I first noticed it, there was just a small tarp announcing the name of the new restaurant and some white paint covering that of the previous one. Intrigued, I did some research and found out the owners are Miguel Munoz Sr. and Jr., a father-and-son team who once worked in the kitchen at Umami Burger’s Santa Monica location.
That make sense because the menu is pretty similar to Umami. Some have even claimed that it’s a rip off. It might be, but for what Fusion Burgers lacks in originality, it makes up for in flavor, complete lack of pretension, and location, location, location. I’ve never been a huge fan of Umami, but I’ll probably be a regular at Fusion Burgers.
The interior lacks hyper-fashionable decor of many of the new restaurants popping up on York. The walls of the small space are pretty bare and very orange, and the only real design flair is a parrot mural left by the previous owners. The focus, instead, seems to be on the actual menu, which consists of 13 different burgers, a few salads, Mexican sodas and even ice cream sandwiches.
The burgers ($8-$10), served on soft and sweet Portuguese buns, are well executed and accessorized. The House Burger is a drippingly juicy patty topped with bacon lardons and beer cheddar, slathered in house-made thousand island and accented with oven-dried tomatoes (an undeniable Umami touch). The Very Cheese and Bacon is similar, with the exclusion of the dressing and addition of crunchy straw onions. Another standout is the Green Turkey, which, with its moist texture, perfect seasoning, sprouts and avocado spread, makes a serious play for “best in L.A.” status.
Yes, this is the kind of place where you have to order fries separately, but their sweet potato fries came with a whole plate of house-made dipping sauces, including a very spicy jalapeno sauce, garlic mayo, and relish. Their cheesy tots, crispy on the outside and creamy smooth on the inside, are also worth the price of admission. I recommend the Pickled Plate, which covers the sweet, sour and spicy pickle spectrum.
Though its pretty quiet right now, I’m guessing Fusion Burgers will catch on sooner than later. It fills a definite niche, and it does it very well. And vegetarians, take heart—there’s a veggie burger to be had and you can replace the patty on any of the other burgers with a portobello mushroom.
5933 York Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90042