A few weeks ago we were invited to sample a new burger joint right in the heart of West Hollywood. Rounds Premium Burgers offers a fresh take on the all-American burger in one of the busiest spots in the Los Angeles area. After having a successful go with the popular Juicy Burger in Hollywood, George Ghabi pulled in his brother Charbel for a new restaurant projects with hopes of striking gold a second time just down the street. Now, we can both enjoy a great burger. In fact, an amazing burger is one of the things I enjoy most in this world. Chrystal and I decided it would be well worth our time to see what a new burger restaurant could offer amongst this town’s plethora of choices!
Rounds is a quaint eatery in West Hollywood nestled between a long strip of bars, restaurants and shops. Other than a long grill stationed behind the cash register, the whole restaurant is just made up of a handful of tables and a window-front bar fit for overlooking Santa Monica Boulevard. It seems many folks get their meals to go, especially during the busy lunch rush or early afternoon when seating may be limited. We were told, however, that even at the height of the busiest time, the line moves at a fiery pace. Each customer enjoys a made-to-order, fresh burger every time; the cooks do all they can to get those burgers out with a vengeance, fast and furious.
I met Chrystal there for a late dinner on a Monday night, and the restaurant was mostly empty. The owner George graciously greeted us, took our orders and shared more about this new food venture. A large menu hangs over the cashier and sizzling grill displaying all of the options for your choosing. You could pick from a list of special, signature burgers, or “rounds” like the name states, or customize your own to your liking by writing on small paper menus scattered throughout the restaurant. First, pick your protein among beef, turkey, chicken, or veggie. Then pick a bun (or no bun), an original sauce, and finish it off by choosing from a list of premium toppings.
Chrystal, still keeping to a strict vegan diet, tried their veggie burger sans bun. Minus the bread crumbs in their house-made veggie patties, the meat-less option was vegan friendly. George was kind enough to make a patty without the bread crumbs for her, so she could enjoy her meal 100% guilt-free. It was served up wrapped in a wedge of lettuce with more grilled onions and mushrooms exploding out of the wrapper. The patty never really held its shape well, which could be due to the lack of bread crumbs. With cutlery in hand, Chrystal just went to town on her burger using a fork and knife.
George insisted I order one of their most popular rounds, the Sante Fe burger. This guy was grilled to perfection, smothered in a homemade chipotle mayo, and topped with a honking pile of grilled green chiles and Monterrey Jack cheese–all of it oozing out of the bun. I must say, it was a good burger. Though it did have a lot of flavor, I was hoping it would be a bit spicier than it was. I was in the mood for something bold and hot, and I admit this round didn’t smack me in the mouth like I wanted it to. I noted next time to add some fresh jalapenos to the mix, which are listed as available toppings, or try their Western Devil Round. It comes loaded with breaded jalapenos, something different and intriguing, hopefully packing a stronger kick of heat.
All in all, the whole meal was very good. Rounds Premium Burgers can hold its own among the numerous burger offerings sprawling throughout Los Angeles, but there’s still some room between it and some of my favorite places. There are a few things that make this place special for me, and some of you may deem them small touches, but sometimes a small touch can make a difference. For one, I am a fan of their French fries. We split a heaping order of sweet potato fries, which are freshly cut I must add. They were exactly how I like them–some fried well done while others were lightly crisp. The fries on top of the pile were extra golden brown, but as you made your way to the bottom of the bunch, some of them were softer, perhaps steam-warmed by their friends above. Chrystal likes them crunchy, so I cleaned up the rest. They came paired with one of any of their specialty sauces for dipping. The chipotle mayo and, particularly, the Tabasco ketchup were perfectly spiced and paired well with the sweet potatoes. Whatever you do, get the Tabasco ketchup and pour it all over your fries, even your burger. Trust!
Finally, the other notable point about Rounds is the price. They boast of using high-quality and fresh ingredients, but you wouldn’t believe it from the average price of just $6 or $7 a burger. This is noticeably lower than other “premium” burger stops in this city. Even better, Rounds is open until 2:00 AM, seven days a week! Whether for a full lunch, mid-day snack-attack or late-night meal after hitting the streets, this place offers something for everyone. You’ll be able to sink your teeth into a hot, fresh, slamming plate of food made just for you.
Rounds Premium Burgers
8871 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069