"There's a kind of brotherhood between this place and my own," says Sang Yoon, burger in hand at DBGB on the Bowery.
"It's my home away from home." Home is Father's Office, Yoon's pair of L.A. burger joints famous for dry-aged beef and a strict no-ketchup policy.
His former beverage director is now at DBGB and, hey look, here's a Father's Office-branded skateboard on a shelf in front of the kitchen.
"When I first came, they served me the entire menu but no burgers," Yoon says. "I asked Daniel [Boulud] why and he said, 'I can't take the criticism.' So, I came incognito and tried all the burgers at once."
His pick of the pack: the Frenchie, topped with pork belly and slathered with an umami-y tomato and onion compote.
When he's not eating burgers here, he's dining around town, looking for tastes he can't get back home — plus, occasionally, another burger.
Balthazar: "The thing that I always say that New York City does better than any other American city is anything European. I get the fruits de mer and steak au poivre. We don't have anything like this in L.A. — a classic brasserie."
Crif Dogs: "Cheap eats in New York? What's cheap in New York? The hot dogs here, they're not bad! Good, solid late-night food — my favorite is The Spicy Redneck [bacon, chili, jalapeños]."
Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien: "This place is totally hidden and totally unexpected. I've had the Shake Shack burger, but the burger I really like is this one."