When I moved from New York to Los Angeles over a year ago, I knew there'd be a lot of things I wouldn't miss—sweaty armpits on the 6 Train, unexplained warm exhaust billowing out of sidewalk vents, my dark six-floor walkup, snow storms—but other things that made the move almost unthinkable; namely the restaurants. When you live in New York, it can feel like the center of the universe, and the food scene is a big part of that. Every week a must-go place opens, then closes almost as quickly, but there are some chefs and restaurants that have earned their title as classic New York staples, including Daniel Humm's The NoMad. Just a few blocks from my old office, I'd walk past it every day on my way to the subway, occasionally ducking in for a burger at their bar or, on special occasions, their insanely decadent roast chicken, stuffed with truffle and foie gras. But I've learned that, if you wait long enough, the best New York restaurants eventually come to L.A.
The NoMad Hotel and Restaurant is slated to open in L.A. later this year, but before then, their food truck, headed by Chef Ashley Abodeely (formerly the executive sous chef in New York), is driving around L.A. When I caught up with her, the truck was parked outside of LACMA with a line that stretched along the block. As far as I could tell, almost everyone was there for the same thing I was: Abodeely's Truffle Chicken Burger. Like the restaurant's truffle chicken, it's full of flavor and over-the-top, but adapted for the lunch crowd. The patties are mixed with truffle pate, then topped with truffle mayonnaise, two slices of Gruyère, fried chicken skin, and frisée (like I said: packed with flavor). Here's how to recreate it at home:
In a large bowl or in the base of a stand mixer, combine all ingredients together and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients. Set aside.
Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer until the salt and sugar have dissolved into the water. Let sit until chilled.
Slice shallots horizontally, making rings 3 mm thick. Submerge into white balsamic pickling liquid and let sit for about 30 minutes. Since this makes 10 servings, you can store the rest in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
Fry in pan at roughly 350° F until crispy.
In a medium-sized frying pan, add a glug of neutral oil (vegetable oil or olive oil both work) and use a spatula to flatten each ¼-cup burger patty in the pan. Cook, flipping once, until done. Once each burger is hot in the center add Gruyère to top of each, and stack one burger with cheese on top of the others (like a Double-Double). Mix frisée, chives, and pickled shallot in small mixing bowl. To plate, add a swipe of truffle mayo on each side of the bun. Place patty on bottom bun and top with the frisée mixture and chicken skin. Lightly place the top patty down and enjoy! Repeat process for each of the five patties.