Food Truck groupies take notice: Levon’s Quality Foods has been parking it on Sunset for the last 30 years and could very well be the biggest secret in Little Armenia. What Kaiser Permanente Doctors and the occasional road crew worker can tell you is that Levon can do a whole lot: Carnitas tortas, Chicken clubs, Cheesesteaks, breakfast burritos, salads and a fair share of burgers.
The California Melt caught my thrifty eye that day, possibly brought on by a dose of late night college nostalgia for a Sourdough Jack a la Jack in the Box. Regardless, double beef, cheese, bacon, avocado and fries for $6 including tax was a Bang for your Burger Buck No Brainer.
Sourdough doesn’t happen often in burgers and for good reason: hamburger patties are round, and sourdough is not. The challenge to this burger was maintaining bite after bite of beef along with the bevy of toppings. Levon’s California Melt was thankfully one hot mess, with that season finale of gorging you signed up for when you ordered Showtime. The highlights of this burger came down to three elements: a cascade of melted American cheese that was harboring almost on Velveeta territory, gently softened, chopped white onion and a griddled till golden sourdough.
When dining at trucks, stands, or anywhere that is offering you remarkably affordable burgers one must acknowledge that there are elements at play that create a successful burger beyond the obvious. One does not get Wagyu for pennies. But one can get a cheeseburger that has a enough gooey cheese going on to put an 18 inch pizza to shame, if an experienced man is maning the griddle. Levon is that man. My next go around may push me to create a custom minimalist cheeseburger concentrating on Levon’s strengths and an ode to that pappy of all burger chains: White Castle. Single cheeseburger, white onion, pickle – that’s all folks.
Bottom line: $6 for a fully loaded bacon avocado cheeseburger on sourdough with fries, including tax. While there is obvious value in excess, a simple cheeseburger as described above, at Levon’s could be that Bang for the Burger Buck you just can’t go without.