“LA” stands for “Los Angeles,” or as close as you can get at a burger counter in a strip shopping center in Valley Ranch. And LA nearly ousted Dutch’s home-team burger in this round, delivering a Koreatown-style teriyaki cheeseburger with a fried egg, chopped jalapeños and spicy kimchee instead of pickles. It’s all served on a sweet Hawaiian bun similar to Dutch’s, so this was a head-on clash.
The egg-jalapeño combination is interesting — sort of like a Whataburger with a taquito on top — but when you peel back all the toppings, LA Burger’s flaw was the teriyaki ground beef. There just wasn’t enough of it under all that California flash. Dutch’s half-pound burger delivered more beef on a bigger bun. Even with bacon, grilled onions, cheddar, shredded bibb lettuce and deep red tomatoes, a single-meat version of Dutch’s Lineman burger tasted primarily of fresh, well-seasoned beef. The thick, half-pound patty crumbled at the touch of a fork. Somehow, this half-pound burger seemed much larger than LA Burger’s. And in the Burger Battle, meat matters.