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Food

Evan Funke, Bryant Ng, And Other L.A. Chefs To Make Limited Edition Burgers For Santa Monica's Esters

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Dig burgers, but also looking for a new slant on the American staple? If so, Esters Wine Shop should be on your horizon.

The Santa Monica wine bar has announced a monthly guest chef series in which a rotating cast of notables will bring their own signature burgers. The line-up is formidable, too, as the series will see an appearance by Felix chef Evan Funke, as well as Love & Salt's Michael Fiorelli, who'll be slinging his popular "Downlow Burger."

According to Esters co-owner Kathryn Coker, the series stems from the casual drop-ins by their chef friends, who come in to eat and drink and talk shop and everything else. "We decided to turn it into a whole series, and now we’re excited to welcome some of our dear friends to cook up something new, drink some wine, and hang out with us and our guests. Plus, who doesn’t love a burger?” Coker said in a release.

The fare isn't exactly cheap— they’ll be $19 a pop. Though, as you’ll see in the descriptions below, the burgers are much more than your standard fare. The burgers will be sold on select Tuesdays (see schedule) starting at 6 p.m., and will keep going until they run out.

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Tuesday, September 26: Love & Salt’s Michael Fiorelli will bring “The Downlow Burger”, which is an elevated take on the Double-Double. It features two Black Angus beef patties, topped with Fontina cheese, caramelized onions, house pickles, and tomato aioli.

Tuesday, October 17: Chris Flint and Ashley Abodeely, of the upcoming NoMad LA, will offer The Nomad’s Chicken Burger with foie gras, truffle mayo, frisée, and pickled shallots.

Tuesday, November 14: Cassia’s Bryant Ng drops in for a Pastrami Burger, inspired by those found in the San Gabriel Valley. His version features ground short rib, slaw, herbs, pickled bird’s eye chilies, and American cheese.

Tuesday, December 5: Erin Eastland of Milo & Olive and Huckleberry Bakery & Café stops by to cook a mystery burger that’s yet to be announced.

Tuesday, January 9: Felix’s Evan Funke, who was executive chef at Rustic Canyon from 2008-2012, will bring his own signature burger that includes two Black Angus patties, Tillamook cheddar, dill pickles, herb remoulade, onion fondue, and wild arugula on a potato bun.

Also, on Tuesdays when there isn't a guest chef, you can still get the Esters' signature burger that's devised by chef Chris Ono. The grass-fed burger is stashed in between a freshly-baked Milo & Olive brioche bun, and topped with crisp butter lettuce, heirloom tomato, grilled red onions, American cheese, and a "special sauce."

Esters is located at 1314 7th St., Santa Monica. (310) 899-6900.