Trio of cheeseburger sliders – Behold a tiny trio from POP Champagne and Dessert Bar. One has chorizo, provolone and guacamole. Another is decked with bacon, gorgonzola mayo and a port reduction. The last is a "Cubano" with Black Forest ham, cheddar cheese, "atomic" pickles and mustard.
Kobe, bacon, Port Salut and foie gras burger – POP Champagne & Dessert Bar's Chef Ray Vasquez is offering perhaps the most extravagant cheeseburger. He starts with six ounces of Kobe beef seasoned with roasted garlic and herbs, then adds Port Salut cheese, bacon and seared foie gras, frisee, garlic aioli and a port wine reduction sauce.
Cochnita pibil burger – El Portal Restaurant's chef Armando Ramirez offers a pulled pork Yucatan sandwich called the "Cochnita Pibil Burger." The pork is marinated in spices, garlic and sour orange and baked in a banana leaf for tenderness. Then it's placed on a traditional Mexican roll called a talera, along with black bean puree, shredded lettuce, tomato, pickled red onions and queso fresco.
Prime chuck, Emmental, green onions and remoulade burger – Chef Claud Beltran who co-owns Noir Food & Wine in Pasadena, CA calls his burger the "Farwell Burger" (named after one of the restaurant partners) and pairs it with Malbec. Chef Beltran says always start with good beef -- he infuses his prime chuck with tarragon and green onions, adds Emmental cheese and caramelized onions -- all on a fresh ciabatta bun slathered with remoulade.
28 day dry aged ground rib eye, duck fat onion and double cheese burger – Chef Rob Rice of Kings Row Gastropub prefers 28 day dry aged ground rib eye for his burger. He adds onions that have been carmelized in duck fat and uses two kinds of cheese; a little French double cream blue cheese in addition to an extra sharp white cheddar. He throws it in the oven for a bit to help melt the cheese. Then he puts his masterpiece atop a homemade foccacia bun that is topped with butter, garlic and parsley.
Veggie burger – The Counter makes a veggie burger with 12 different ingredients including brown rice, mushrooms, black beans, and corn, all bound together with panko bread crumbs. The patty sits atop a honey wheat bun, with mixed baby greens, herbed goat cheese spread, red onion, sprouts and roasted red peppers.
Classic cheeseburger with Thousand Island dressing – Michael Osborn has owned Pie 'N Burger for almost 40 years. It's a Pasadena landmark, serving about 250 old school burgers a day. It's said their secret is in their sauce, a homemade Thousand Island dressing.