Le Burger in all its glory. Photo courtesy of Camphor

Resy SpotlightLos Angeles

Le Burger at Camphor Is More Than the Sum of Its (Very Luxurious) Parts


As it stands currently, 24 restaurants in Los Angeles hold a Michelin star. It’s an elite club, including seasoned veterans like Providence and n/naka, and newer-comers like 715, the eight-seat sushi counter on the edge of Little Tokyo. But of those lucky 24, only two serve a burger. And if you want that burger for dinner, well, that number dwindles down to one

That one is Camphor in the Arts District, a modern French bistro laced with Southeast Asian flair.

With its signature “99% French, 1% everything else” approach to haute cuisine, Camphor quickly earned its place in the hearts of Los Angeles diners and critics alike. Since opening in 2022, it has already earned a Michelin star, and has gone on to serve its now-signature Le Burger at a special VIP popup at Coachella. 

This should come as no surprise, as Camphor’s co-executive chefs Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George’s combined resumes read like a culinary grad’s wishlist: Blue by Alain Ducasse (the Bangkok fine dining restaurant where the two met), IDAM in Doha, Rech in Hong Kong, and stints at Nightshade and The Bazaar by Jose Andres.

But back to that burger. At a quick glance, Le Burger appears to be just a plain bun and meat, like the order of a very picky child. But one bite in, and you quickly realize there’s much more than meets the eye. 

“Everything is house-made,” says Sarah Lam, who co-owns Camphor with her No. 8 Hospitality partner, Cyrus Batchan. “The buns are baked fresh here every day, the onions are caramelized every day, and the patties are blended here.” 

The sweet brioche bun, brushed judiciously with duck fat, arrives toasted to the color of a deep tan in the middle of August. Next are the umber-hued, silky-textured onions, sweetly caramelized but not cloyingly so.

Then, there’s the patty, a 200-gram grilled bad boy, made with Wagyu brisket, chuck, and short rib mixed with duck, making for a funky combination with a rich, unplaceable unctuousness. Atop that, a big ol’ slice of Gouda, shellacked onto the burger and melted until the two are virtually indistinguishable. Which all sounds a bit… rich, does it not? You’d be right, if not for Le Burger’s final component: rémoulade. 

Lam pulls out one of the restaurant’s many master spreadsheets to break down the rémoulade’s components: “A tomato base with mayonnaise, then basil, rosemary, tarragon, and some apple cider vinegar.” Voila! The rémoulade! Tart and botanical, it tastes like walking through a country garden in the summertime. The acid, culled from the apple cider vinegar, cuts through all of the fat, oil, and lovely grease of the burger itself. 

This is what sets Camphor, and its cheeseburger, apart. Anyone can “make a burger” —  just ask a group of drunk college students hovering above a barbecue on the fourth of July.

But a burger where the flavors sing, where each component builds off one another to form something greater than the sum of its parts?

That’s Le Burger, baby. 

Kat Hong is a food writer living in Los Angeles. Follow her on Instagram or check out her very professional website. While you’re at it, follow Resy, too.