Burger Quest :: Plan Check

Burger Quest :: Plan Check

If this post were titled like an episode of Friends, it would be called: The one where Diane ate beef.

I’m not a beef eater, though I’d be hard pressed to give a reasonable answer about why I’m cool with poultry but not with beef. I don’t eat pork either, but at least I remember why I gave up bacon and ribs – my baby-daddy (yeah, I said it; yeah, I have one). He was a member of the Nation of Islam when we were together some 20 years ago. I stopped eating it then and never* went back.

The decision to stop with the beef, I’m sure, was me being a follower. My friends were giving up beef back in college. Fatburger served turkey burgers. I tried one and I liked it so, okay – I guess I can give up beef as long as I’m still able to eat a burger since, really, that was the only time I ate beef. Oh yes, also in my homemade spaghetti and enchiladas and such. But Von’s and Ralphs and Lucky (that was my favorite back then) sold ground turkey, so I was set. Years later as a married woman when Mad Cow made news, my husband stopped being beefy as well – and we became a turkey-chicken-fish household. Turkey burgers for everyone [my kids roll their eyes].

But not everyone offers a turkey burger, even today. However, when I started my Burger Quest, I told myself that I would not let my little food quirks get in the way of finding my favorite burger in the world.

So Diane ate beef.


The Plan Check Burger (PCB) has been touted in the cyber universe as one of the best in LA. Its twist, something called ketchup leather – think of ketchup fruit roll-up style. It’s genius when you really think of it, the leather oozing luxuriously into the meat as does the cheese just after plating, all of it warm and ooey and delectable and bold. That was just what was on the inside. All that pithy, succulent goodness was held together by the PCB’s crunch bun, a pair of textured and lofty breads that brings this particular burger full circle. I was somewhat bummed because I split my burger with my co-diner, Kristina, so that I could also sample their Southern Fry sandwich; but on the reals, an entire PCB would have been optimal. It seemed very simple but the flavors, the textures there were ingeniously woven together. Dare I say brilliant burger?

Brilliant burger.


I’m so torn with this one and the Hawkins House burger. I’ll rank it today but ask me tomorrow, I could change my mind.

But here it goes:

Official Dianderthal Burger Quest Burger List:
1. Hawkins House of Burgers turkey burger with everything (mayo, mustard, pickles, tomato, red onion, lettuce), cheese added
2. PCB (Plan Check Burger) at Plan Check with americanized dashi cheese, ketchup leather, schmaltz onions, mixed pickles, crunch bun
3. Island’s California Flyer turkey burger (BBQ sauce, “Island Reds” – fried onion straws, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato & mayo)
4. Yeah! Burger (Make It Your Own – turkey patty, whole wheat bun, pepper jack cheese, sriracha mayo, ketchup, grilled onions, honey mustard)
5. The Habit (Veggie burger made like a Charburger, with mayo, pickle, tomato, lettuce, caramelized onions, cucumber, and sprouts)
6. The Counter (Build Your Own – turkey patty, grilled onions, cheddar cheese, chipotle aioli, ketchup)
7. Burger City Grill (The BCG, turkey patty, pickles, grilled onions)

Fry Factor
1. Island’s fries with ranch dressing
2. The Counter 50-50 fries (half regular, half sweet Ps)
3. The Habit french fries
4. Plan Check sweet potato waffle fries and regular fries
5. Burger City Grill fries
6. Yeah! Burger sweet potato fries
7. Hawkins House of Burgers fries

Plan Check Kitchen + Bar
351 N. Fairfax in LA
Another in West LA, and one on the way in Downtown

*Okay, so one time I ordered the Jamaican Jerk Chicken pizza at CPK (I don’t think they have it anymore) and didn’t realize until halfway through that there were tiny bits of bacon sprinkled throughout, glued into the melted cheese. And then when I ordered it again on one to three other occasions, I forgot to remember to tell them not to add the bacon. But that was years ago.

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