Review of BLK Burgrz – $18 Burger lands in sleepy Ladera Ranch
The Orange County food scene is evolving. Several years ago I would have told you that the sleepy bedroom community of Ladera Ranch is not capable of supporting a restaurant that sells Kobe grade beef burgers for $18. Times have changed and BLK Burgrz launched at the end of last year, drawing in crowds. The basic format of BLK burger is simple and close to the Slater’s 50/50 model.
You choose your burger style, meat and then customize. You can make your burger as complicated as you want. The stuffed burgers ($18 base price) is a Kobe grade ground beef that is stuffed in the center with your choice of flavor combinations. For example there is the “Blue Cheese Stuffed Burger” which is made with blue cheese crumbles and cream cheese at the core of the burger.
The “Sizzlin burger” ($17 base price) is for the burger purist. It is a 1/2 pound Kobe burger patty that comes out sizzling on a fajita style pan. The burger comes out in it’s pure state with the fixings on the side.
Starters – House Made Chips
BLK burgz chips are house made and complimentary; this is there version of bread for the table. The chips were crispy and extremely hot, straight from the deep fryer. I love the cheese powder sprinkled on top.
What we ordered:
The “Cheddar Stuffed Burger”
Daniele ordered the “Cheddar Stuffed Burger”, which is a Kobe grade burger stuffed with sharp cheddar, bacon and cream cheese. She customized her burger with a brioche bun, arugula, tomato, red onion, and mayo. She is a traditionalist with her burgers. Even though this is the white cotton panties of burger customization, it turned out really nice. I liked the balance achieved with the sharp cheddar and cream cheese stuffing against the beef flavor.
When she cut the burger open, it began to ooze out melted cheddar and cream cheese! Yummm! Daniele is a cheese head , so she became visibly excited. Despite the burger being stuffed, it was still a cooked to a medium temperature as requested.
Custom Avocado Stuffed Burger
Whenever I go to a burger place like this, I always customize. Since BLK burgz was still in soft opening I gave my server , Robert, the opportunity to show off his skills. I asked him to customize me a burger of his choice of meat, cheese, bun and toppings. My only stipulations was that I wanted multiple flavor layers and a slight edge of spiciness. I watched as he carefully constructed the burger order on his tablet. I love surprises and Robert did not disappoint.
Robert came out with an avocado stuffed kobe burger, topped with pepper jack cheese, arugula, shaved pepperchinis, and spicy aoili. The custom burger was served on a fluffy pretzel roll. This burger was perfectly constructed with multiple flavor layers. I tasted several types of spiciness that evolved without taking away from the kobe beef flavor. The avocado-bacon stuffing served as the negotiator between the spicy and savory elements of the burger. There were no left-overs.
The burger was cooked to a nice medium-rare+ and was very juicy as I bit down. The only thing I would add next time is a slice of tomato to provide a layer of acidity.
My Final Thoughts
When I am asked “Who makes your favorite burger”, my answer will often change because I am constantly finding a better and better burger. For now, BLK burgz makes my favorite hamburger in Orange County. The quality of the beef and creative use of the stuffed burger format really impressed me. Although the burger is not as big as a Slater’s 50/50, the quality at BLK is much higher. This burger is worth $18 in my book and it is exactly what South Orange County needs to evolve it’s dining scene.
I recently viewed the Yelp reviews for BLK burgz and found that many negative reviews focused on poor service. I would take these negative reviews with a grain of salt as they were still training up their staff in December and January. My experience at BLK was very positive. I found their staff both friendly and very knowledgeable. BLK burgz is definitely worth a try if you are in the area of Ladera Ranch and a must try if you live nearby.
27742 Antonio Parkway
Ladera Ranch, CA 92694