When you’re trying to please the lunch or dinner cravings of everyone in your family or group of friends, a burger place might be the last choice on your list. Burger joint menus are often too limited to please a crowd or simply not healthy enough.
That’s why we’re excited about the arrival of New York-based Bareburger, which just opened its first West Coast location in Santa Monica. It’s upping L.A.’s healthy burger game with something for everyone—from vegans to Paleo adherents and picky to daring diners.
The customizable burger menu includes organic grass-fed beef, turkey, chicken and vegan patties alongside more exotic, pasture-raised elk, bison, duck and wild boar ones. As tasty as the more traditional burgers are, it’s these unusual game meats that we’re wildest about. Like Bareburger’s grass-fed beef patties, they’re nutrient-dense with a healthy ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats. But they’re also much leaner than the beef and make for more adventurous, earthier burgers.
Studying all the burger options can take awhile, so it’s good that this is a (casual) sit-down restaurant. Choose your patty and bun (for the wheat averse, gluten-free brioche and collard wraps are available) and then pile your burger with add-ons ranging from veggies to cheeses to bacon (definitely try the lean, smoky duck bacon), plus unique sauces and spreads (we loved the tomato-fig jam). You can also opt for one of the kitchen’s signature burger creations ($10 to $14).
And if someone in your party is not up for burgers at all, don’t worry: There’s a wide selection of salads and sandwiches as well. Just be aware that although the sourcing is impressive at Bareburger—with primarily organic vegetables and clean meats and dairy—it’s easy to overindulge here with treats like milkshakes, onion rings and fries. But there are plenty of healthy and delicious side options, too, like the crispy Brussels sprouts ($7) and collard Caesar salad with watermelon radishes, grape tomatoes and buckwheat groats (small, $4; large, $9).
To each his own!
2732 Main St., Santa Monica