Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Aug 17, 2007 12:14 PM

Tops Kobe Cheese Burger is Tops

The first time I had this burger, several days ago, I requested American cheese. When I saw how delicious this gourmet burger looked, I realized that I should not have second guessed the chef who clearly knew what is best. However, I still enjoyed every bite and therefore I returned last night and had my second one with everything as it should be.

Everything is – ½ lb. American Kobe Beef Burger (maybe bigger), Smoked Mozzarella Cheese, Caramelized onions, Tomato and Greens, and Herb Mayonnaise on a Ciabatta roll. The burger was very moist, tender and had a good beef flavor. I did add pepper, but I add pepper to everything except hot peppers. Most people probably would rather not add anything because this burger has so many combined flavors all working together already. The smoked mozzarella cheese and caramelized onions go together like wine and cheese. The greens are fresh and dark green and the tomato is fresh. The herb mayonnaise sends this burger way over the top. The Ciabatta roll was fresh and had a little tug and chew. This sandwich would be excellent even without the burger. My wife and I thought that it could be cut in half and shared with one of there “Small” orders of fries (half a shoe box).

American Kobe Burger – $6.45

NOTE: the “Tops” I am talking about is located on Colorado Blvd between Rosemead Blvd. And Michillinda.. This Tops is not owned by the people who own the other Tops on Walnut, the T-burgers in Monrovia or the Tops Jr. In Alhambra. The food at these other Tops, etc, is good but it is different than the Colorado location and I do not even know whether they offer a Kobe Burger.

Tops (Kobe cheese burger, fries, deep fried zucchini, pastrami, asada or chicken totasda)
3838 E Colorado Blvd (Between Rosemead Blvd. And Michillinda)
Pasadena, CA 91107-3940
(626) 449-4412

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. ugg, american cheese?

    good review though. Worth saving the info if I am in the area.

    1 Reply
    1. re: thesfv

      I can explain. The gyro post got me wanting one. I have had a good one at the Tops on Walnut and at T-Burgers. So I went to the Colorado location but was told they do not have one and that they are not related to the other Tops. I then noticed the Kobe sign and read the discription but really could not change gears from the want of a gyro to a burger woth smoked cheese. As a courtesy to the hurgry people standing in line behind me (as I already talked to the counter person about all the above) I quickly said the first cheese that came to mind -- American. I never even tasted th American on that first burger. The sweet caramelized onions and herb mayonnaise went very well with the meat.

      At this time I have had number 3 and I am still thinking of a number 4 soon.

    2. Great to know, thanks Jeet!

      1. Sounds good. I still need to check out their tostada, too, which is something that you recommended before. :)

        7 Replies
        1. re: katkoupai

          Hey Kat, you up too? The Kobe burger is good and I been thinking about it ever since. Maybe that is why I am awake at this hour. I will do it again this weekend.

          About that asada tostada at the Tops on Colorado Blvd. It is giant. The couple sitting behind me as I had that burger were sharing that tosada salad. They were sitting across from each other and the giant salad was in the middle of the table. Therefore they each had to lean over the table a little to reach it. It also made them appear to be in love leaning toward each other. Maybe they were just in love with the toatada?

          The Kobe burger and their pastrami are both large enough to share also, as long as a side like the fries, or better yet the deep fried zucchini, is part of the meal. They also have chili fries which many customars order, but although I do like their fries I do not like the chili -- just me.

          Tops (Kobe cheese burger, fries, deep fried zucchini, pastrami, asada or chicken totasda)
          3838 E Colorado Blvd (Between Rosemead Blvd. And Michillinda)
          Pasadena, CA 91107-3940
          (626) 449-4412

          1. re: JeetJet

            In love with the tostada? Yes, that sounds right to me. :) You are hilarious. :)

            1. re: JeetJet

              I have never tried the tostada with the asada - cannot get past the chicken one! I love their ranch dressing with it (not to mention with the zucchini!). Note: if you get the tostada to go: ask for the cheese on the side. That way, it does not get all melty. Also, I always make sure to ask for a side of their pickled carrots - so good!

              1. re: WildSwede

                Thanks for the tip. Cheese on the side to-go is a good idea for the tostada. I usually eat the tostada there because even leaving on the HOT-off-the-grill asada or chicken would wilt the greens a little. I guess I could ask for the meat on the side to-go as well.

                I think you would like the asada tostada. They use very good asada that has been in the same style marinade as the charbroiled asada made into tacos at so many places we all talk about.

                1. re: JeetJet

                  Will definitely need to try the asada then.

                  1. re: WildSwede

                    Hey wildman, what type of to-go package do they put that giant tostada in when you take it with you? Does it protect that big tortilla shell from being crushed?

                    1. re: JeetJet

                      They put it in a box and then a bag. I have never had the shell crack or crush on me. They do a good job!

          2. Thanks JeeJet. I surprised my hubby today and took him to Tops after some errands in Pas. He loves, loves, loves a good burger. I ordered each of us the Kobe burger as prepared and a small order of fried zuchini. Well, first off, I would hate to see what a large order of fried zuchini looks like as the small order was enough for at least 4 hungry people. Deeeeelicious. Then there is the burger. My honey declared it the best burger he has ever had. I have to agree. It was mainly the incredible beef taste first of all. I ate about half and gave up but am looking forward to the rest for dinner tonight (he's on his own!), My honey finished his with no problem and about 200 napkins. What a score. I am dying to take several of our friends and family there as we always do with a great find. Thanks to your post. I don't think I would have ever gone there if it hadn't been for you. They really don't need our business but we will be regulars.

            12 Replies
            1. re: Neta

              Thanks, but maybe more like, "if it hadn't been for Chowhound." This is a great board. I also went to Tops for lunch today and I got three Kobe burgers to-go. I did not have to travel but maybe 12 to 15 min. away but the meat was still hot when we ate them. I think the lid on the box, the thickness of the patty and also the way it was packed along with the half order of fries in the same large box, all worked to keep the burgers hot. Ya, a half order of fries and we 3 did not finish them -- too big. I requested extra herb mayo and I should have followed-up with asking for 400 napkins. It was really good with the extra herb mayo but it was extra messy. I don't think I will do that again. I took the burgers to a friend and he also liked it very much. He always orders 'no dressing or sauce" but this time he tried the herb mayo and said he will order it with "everything' next time as well. I find that the Smoked Mozzarella is just right. I notice the smokey flavor, oh - maybe once in every three bites. So many flavors going on in this burger.

              Today I noticed many customers, who were seated at the tables, eating those giant asada tostadas. As I walked toward the back door with my burgers I saw at least one tostada on every table on my right side and two on my left side.

              The pastrami, IMO, is better than The Hat for two reasons -- the roll and the meat. I also noticed several orders of the chili-cheese fries being packed to go as I waited for my burgers. The cheeses (white & yellow) looked really good. The onion rings are much better than they use to be but I like the fried zuchini with the blue cheese dip. It is nice to have a place that makes a few items really well.

              1. re: JeetJet

                How does this burger compare with the one at Bake 'N' Broil in Long Beach?

                1. re: katkoupai

                  The Tops Kobe burger is, IMO, pound-for-pound, and dollar-for-dollar, at $6.45, the best L.A. has to offer. The Tops Kobe burger is more than a burger, it is like having a one-on-one encounter with a suprise. Like opening a wrapped packed, seeing what is inside and getting that feeling that makes you pause before you go any further. Then comes the smile on your face. You almost feel sastified before you take your first bite because all your expectations and anticipations have been aroused by the visual presentation of this burger which is still in a wrapper. You know the feeling at this point. Good things are beginning to happen and that is what having a good time is about. As for the rest, try it kat and report back... sometime after.

                  There are maybe two or three other burgers in Long Beach that are as good as the Bake 'N' Broil burger. What makes Bake 'N' Broil more worth a visit than other Long Beach burger places is the banana crame pie or the red velvet.

                  1. re: JeetJet

                    i am so going here this weekend.

                    i hate this board.

                    1. re: ns1

                      Oh God, so do I.

                    2. re: JeetJet

                      Thanks, Jeet. I will check it out the next time I'm craving a burger. I will have to go with a burger lover because it sounds like a special treat. :)

                      1. re: katkoupai

                        hey jeet,

                        do you got the address for the Tops that you're talking about, the location to get the kobe burger from, considering it seems like they're a dozen or more in and around that area, ranging from Top to Topz to Tops, etc.


                        1. re: kevin

                          Hi, Kevin,

                          This is the one:

                          3838 E. Colorado Blvd,
                          Pasadena, CA 91107

                          Jeet posted it earlier on this thread.

                    3. re: JeetJet

                      Tostada next for me and pastrami for my honey but, with an order of fried zuchini. I don't think I'll ever try the fries or onion rings unless I overdose on the zuchini. As for Bake N' Broil, what about the lemon lush pie????? OMG!!!!

                      1. re: Neta

                        I tried the Lemon Lush Pie recently when my GF got the last piece of Lemon Merangue. As they say during the Spanish language 'football' - SCOOOOOOORE!!! Oh yea Jeet Jet, Red Velvet Cupcakes for our midnight snack!

                        1. re: sel

                          "midnght snack" with GF (or in my case -- wife), oh yea, as I said in another post, the moist, sexy, naughty crimson "red velvet,' topped with a creamy white frosting takes the cake beyond suggestive and into being povocative. Ooooooh yea. Bake 'n Broi lis Good.

                          I have not yet had any of the lust pies at Bake 'n Broil that are so talked about on this board. I am stuck on the banana cream with thoses sliced bananas and perfect cream topping and crust. How can they make such a perfect flaky crust but have no aftertaste?

                          Jongeward's Bake 'n Broil (Breakfast,Lunch & Dinner. Chicken Fried Steak, Pot pie, Burgers. IMO, L.A.’s best Banana Cream and Red Velvet)
                          3697 Atlantic Ave (North of 405 – corner of 37th st.)
                          Long Beach, CA 90807
                          (562) 595-0396

                  2. The wife and I just got back from Tops and our first encounter with the Kobe beef burger. We split one, along with a small order of fries and even that was plenty of food. The burger was as JeetJet described - everything very fresh, a beefy patty, and a ciabatta roll that had a great texture to it - just the right amount of chew. The only thing not so great was the tomato, which was underripe but what do you expect with the sorry state of tomatoes these days. I thought it was excellent. My wife thought it was good but not great, but she's not a big burger fan. She thought the charbroiling gave it sort of a bitter taste. The burger, along with what I think are the best fast food fries anywhere, made for a very good meal. Is the burger worth $6.45? Being the cheapskate that I am, I have difficulty spending that much on any burger but this one was definitely good, at least as good as any restaurant burger. Another winner from Tops.

                    By the way, when we ordered this the guy at the counter told us that it was good. I mentioned that it was getting some great press on chowhound and he'd never heard of the site so I wrote it down for him. Then the worker next to him asked what we were talking about and he said people are talking about the burger on this website. So they guy asked what they're saying, and the first guy said "they're saying it sucks," and laughed.

                    Anyway, it was well worth the visit to Tops today. The Kobe burger is a winner.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: monkuboy

                      I had it on Thursday for lunch. It was too much food, but this being my first Kobe burger at Tops, I did not know that I could have shared it with my lunch companion. Next time.

                      I found the burger to be good, since I am NOT a big burger fan. I find it hard to get excited over In-n-Out burgers, or Fuddruckers, when it was still here in Pasadena. Having said that, I think this burger will draw me back to Tops. The side order of fried zucchini was superb also. It was so much food that I am going to take my wife next time and share one order of the burger and fries for dinner - it is that huge.

                      (In business school, I knew the son of the Bicos family that owns this place. He told me that his father and uncle had split - I think that is why the Tops serves different foods at the different locations)

                      1. re: suvro

                        I think the Tops on Colorado is the best of them. I guess a lot of people split the burger since that's one of the buttons on the register - it says to cut it in half. Ours came neatly cut into two, right down the middle so they must be experts at that sort of thing.