The Tripel's Pretzel Burger

If you live in Los Angeles, there's a good chance you've never been to Playa Del Rey. I live 10 minutes away and have never really had a reason to make the trip to this perfectly quaint beachside town. That is, until The Tripel moved in.

Not even a year old, this cozy (read: tiny) gastropub offers a huge selection of beers, Belgian and otherwise, to go with its high-end bar food. Sure you'll enjoy their respectable baked potato bites or the balsamic onion rings, but the real reason to hit The Tripel is their burgers. If you're into fancy things, the Tripel Burger with duck confit, pork and aged beef on onion brioche may be your thing. It's topped with truffle pecorino, arugula and housemade apricot jam and, truth be told, it's pretty good for a $15 burger.

If you're smart, though, you'll save yourself a Lincoln and order the $10 Pretzel Burger. It may not have all the highfalutin trappings of the Tripel, but it's not trying to be the prettiest girl at the prep school formal. It's just trying to be a good burger, and it succeeds beautifully on that account. The beef itself is very good, but it's the combination of ingredients that make this sandwich sing. The cheese: Hook's 2-year-old cheddar. The bun: pretzel bread from Rockenwagner – "the king of pretzel bread" according to chef Brooke Williamson. The onions are caramelized and the poppy seed slaw is made in-house. Put it all together and you've got a great burger for a not-too-fancy price. My only complaint is that the burger could have used a little more acid to offset all that delectable fat.

A good burger is more than just a patty of beef. It's a concert of ingredients that all complement each other. The Pretzel Burger at The Tripel is a concert that I want to listen to over and over again. I have a feeling I'm going to be heading down to Playa Del Rey a little more often in the future, and you should make sure you get down there, too. You won't be sorry.

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