VaKA Burgers Express is not officially in DTLA, but it’s close enough and definitely worth the short trip east of the L.A. River. Finding it once you get there is a bit tricky because VaKA Burgers is tucked away in the back of a giant liquor store.
VaKA Burgers were first served out of a food truck, but VaKA Burgers Express has made a permanent home inside Ramirez Beverage Center on Olympic Boulevard in Boyle Heights. Don’t be intimidated by the security guard at the door of the liquor store, just go on in and head to the back corner of the store where you will find a mini restaurant. You can order your food to go, or if you are lucky you can grab one of the eight seats and eat at the counter.
VaKA Burgers is the creation of Boyle Heights native Chef Aaron J. Perez, winner of Cutthroat Kitchen on the Food Network. He only uses beef that is 100% grass-fed, hormone free. I ordered the OG ($11). It’s a beef patty topped with Romaine lettuce, Russian dressing, beef stock tomatoes, sharp cheddar cheese and ketchup served on a fresh baked brioche bun. I asked them to hold the red onion. This was a solid choice. It was a great burger.
My husband ordered the VaKA ($11.50). His beef patty was topped with beer batter tempura onion ring, Muenster cheese, bacon jam and the VaKA Signature Smoked BBQ Sauce. Don’t think I didn’t try it. It was awesome!
We also ordered a side of twice-fried thin Yukon Gold Potatoes fries ($3). Next time we need to splurge and order either the Dirty Fries, Truffle Fries or the Patote de Puerco. These specialty fries all look amazing compared to our regular fries.
If you are a burger connoisseur and have already tried Fritzi Burger, Burgerlords, Umami Burger, Smashburger and Five Guys, but haven’t tried VaKA Burgers, what are you waiting for? You will love it. It’s open seven days a week from 11:30am to 11pm… and you can pick up some liquor while you want.
VAKA BURGERS EXPRESS 2765 E. Olympic Blvd. in Boyle Heights 323.265.1111 vakaburgers.com