best honolulu burger nominee: Salt Kitchen and Tasting Bar
went to Salt last week for a throwdown with some visiting friends from LA and NYC, and the restaurant did an excellent job with nearly everything we ordered...and we had fun, impeccable service. was a great night....
but i write bc i think the burger at Salt is the best in town, of the ones i've had. I would probably put wolfgang's in waiks at a slight #2.
we had 6 peeps and we decided to each split a burger with the person sitting across from us, so we wound up with several combinations. the day we were there, the topping options were taleggio or point reyes blue, house cured guanciale "bacon", ali'i mushrooms, red onion jam, and and egg (i think these were $1 each on top of the $12 burger). they use maui cattle co. beef...1/2 pounders, come with lettuce, perfectly ripe tomatoes, onion, a kaiser bun, and housemade ketchup, housemade bread&butter style pickles, and mustard on the side....but what really set this guy apart from everywhere in town was the handling of the meat --- impressive and consistent achievement of a crazy juicy and perfectly medium rare throughout burger with a great flavorful char/crust. i mean....perfect. i think the best combo of the night was the blue + guanciale. my only issue with the burger was the bun wasn't toasted on the inside -- but that was rectified during round 2: on top of everything else we ordered, we wound up ordering 2 more burgers to share at the table and requested the buns be toasted inside, and they happily obliged. and these burgers, once again, were cooked perfectly. got that desired beefy flavor, had a yielding chew indicating proper 'light' handling while forming the patty, lots of juice to soak into the bun, and the ratio of topping to bread to burger was money. the bread was good but not amazing -- i think the only think that would make this burger better would be a better, fresh cooked bun with a slight bit of crustiness to it -- anyway ...great ingredients, great execution and solid construction: whole thing stayed together throughout its demise with minimal mess.
yes, you are going to pay a little more for this one, but if you want a proper burger, i cant recommend it enough