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Nov 7, 2012 07:41 PM

Anyone know a great East Bay Burger joint?

The only one I have found that makes me go back again is at Cafe Rouge on 4th St. Any other suggestions?

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    1. re: Stephanie Wong

      I've tried several East Bay joints like Wood Tavern and Hopscotch and found them to be unmemorable and just-ok.

      It's not a 'burger joint', but for me, the best burger in East Bay is hands down at Gather, in Berkeley.

      1. What have you tried, found lacking, and why?

        1 Reply
        1. re: bbulkow

          We've found the burgers at Sidebar/Oakland and Cafe Royal/Albany both lacking due to: not salting beef before cooking (a real sticking point for me; salt on top is NOT the same) but more importantly, fluffy fall-apart Kilpatrick style buns. I hate those.

          Give me the great telera bun on La Calaca's Mexicanaburger any day. Or the properly trimmed, lightly toasted brioche at Vault 164 (which sadly, is in San Mateo and a loooong ride away).

          Duck Club/Lafayette made a stupendous burger, but we haven't been back since the chef changed, so will have to wait a week before reporting back.

          1. re: drewskiSF

            another vote for Mua. I also like the ones at Luka's (but even noisier than Mua...)

            1. re: escargot3

              I had the burger at Mua and came away unimpressed (not to mention that the rest of our meal was very acidic and average, but we probably just ordered wrong - great drinks though, annoying ambiance). Certainly not bad, but it didn't stand out among a lot of other burgers I've had. Plum, and Hopscotch are on my list.

              I am shocked no one has mentioned Umami Burger. When I lived in LA, this and Father's Office were the best burgers I've had (and remain that way after living in DC and Chicago since). The one time I had it here, it was way better than Mua.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  That boat has sailed. Nations and In and Out are already mentioned up thread.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    >Umami's a chain, so off-topic.
                    that is ridiculous

                    1. re: psb

                      So post about it if you want.

                      I looked at the menu and the burgers all seemed overly complicated for my taste. I can see how someone who likes the place would not be impressed by Mua's minimalist burger.

                        1. re: Alan408

                          Can we post about UMAMI in the DIN TAI FUNG thread [a chain which doesnt even exist in the bay area :-)]?


                          1. re: Alan408

                            Please post pointer to rules specifying how many restaurants there can be before considered a Chowhound Chain.

                            Umami has 21.

                            ( By comparison, Amici's has 13. Is that beyond reference? )

                            1. re: bbulkow

                              It's not about size. The Chains board is for discussion of national or multiregional operations. If a chain is limited to the SF Bay Area, it's on-topic for this board. Or if there is something unique about a local branch, that's also on-topic. One example would be Grocery Outlet --- this is a multi-state chain, but each store carries unique, one-off inventory, so individual outlets are discussed on the regional boards. In contrast, Trader Joe's tries to carry the same thing in all stores across the country, so it is discussed on the Chains board.

                              This seems to be my day to be the OT police.

                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                So we need to purge the In-n-out references, search returns a LOT of those.

                                1. re: bbulkow

                                  Assuming that you are serious about raising this point, a few issues:

                                  • If you take the time to look at those mentions of In-n-Out turned up by search, the ones in recent years are just that, mentions of the chain as a point of reference, not full blown discussions.

                                  • In-n-Out started in California. At the time that it began to expand to other states, my recollection of the moderators decision was that it could continue to be discussed on the various California boards since the vast majority of locations still are in-state. It would be impossible to stop Angelenos from talking about their local chain, don't you think?

                                  • Purging of *anything* requires somebody to find and report each individual occurrence to the moderators, then for a mod to decide whether any action in indicated. If you feel that there are improper references to In-n-Out, feel free to spend your time that way.

                                  But really, the most effective thing is for posters to be self-policing going forward. I'm not really interested in seeing this board get bogged down with repeated discussions of Wendy's, McD's, IHOP, Taco Bell, In-n-Out, etc., and I suspect that you aren't either. To hear from the mod team directly, check out this thread,

                                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                                    It appears there is some case-by-case that happens here. I'll be aware of that.

                      1. re: mdpilam

                        I dislike Umami burger. There are several around here - in the Marina district of SF, in Palo Alto near my house, and I don't like the style of Umami's burger. The meat is fairly thin (not costco-thin but not thick), the "umami stack" is hard to separate out by taste, the portion is small, the price extortionate.

                        I love the atmosphere at Mua. It's jazzy and energetic, typifies that part of oakland. Different strokes.

                        I was less impressed with their burger a year ago, but wouldn't hold Umami as the answer. Personally.

                        1. re: mdpilam

                          I prefer the Oakland Umami Burger's truffle burger over Mua's burger. The best burger in that area that I've had though was from Hopscotch. Really beefy and juicy. Luka's nearby also has a good burger and fries.

                          1. re: Mr_Happy

                            Good to hear this, thanks Mr. Happy. I'm slated to go to Umami Burger soon. I'm not a Mua burger fan. It was fine, but nothing special to me, and I really don't like the scene. I love Hopscotch's burger. It's been ages since I tried Luka's.... I think I remember not liking the bun? not sure....

                            1. re: mariacarmen

                              Luka's burger is of the same general minimalist style as Mua's. The place is way too loud in the evenings but Sunday afternoon it's fine.

                          2. re: mdpilam

                            i liked umami burger a lot, in Oakland. much more than i liked Mua's burger.

                        2. re: drewskiSF

                          Had their burger once - the burger itself was tasty, but the fries were limp and cold. Rather killed the experience for me.

                          1. re: drewskiSF

                            Mua would be my fav (ahead of Chop Bar), but if the bun's not toasted, it's gets too soggy. And, lately, the noise level is just too much for me.

                            1. re: Stephanie Wong

                              I make it a habit of ordering my bun toasted even at places that usually do it without asking.

                          2. Cafe Rouge is my usual place when I've craving a burger, though the Kaiser rolls they use aren't may favorite.

                            I slightly prefer Mua's, similar style but with a brioche bun, but I don't go there often because of the loud boring music.

                            The old Namu in SF beat both of them. I haven't tried the burger at Namu Gaji yet.