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Hurry up and Try L.A.’s First Halal Smash Burgers in the Streets of Glendale Before the Lines Get Too Long

11:17 AM PST on February 18, 2020

[dropcap size=big]I[/dropcap]f you thought L.A.’s smash burger game has hit critical mass, think again: Halal smash burgers have arrived in Los Angeles, by way of Glendale’s Mr. Patties

As you drive down San Fernando Road, a block north of the 134, you’ll find a projection of a suited hamburger man rotating against the side of a building. At two stories tall, he is hard to miss. No, it’s not the long-forgotten McDonaldland’s Mayor McCheese. It’s Mr. Patties, a burger-humanoid spy shining through the Glendale night calling for hamburger lovers to stop and help themselves to this one of kind take on smash burgers. 

Albert Tofanyan, Art Arutunyan, Hamlet Arutunyan, and Mike Boyadzhyan are the four young entrepreneurs behind Mr. Patties. They’ve only been open since October, but by all appearances, this group of young Armenian men has got Glendale’s smash burger game on lock. 

“Us four, we get together at each other's houses and always make different types of food.” As the friendship grew around cooking, the four young like-minded men decided they should go into business together. They created the Mr. Patties logo, put it on a van, tent, t-shirts, and stickers. As you walk up, you’ll find this group of friends organized and manning their posts, each ready to perform their tasks when the orders come in.  

Once in your hands, you’ll feel as if you’re holding that perfect burger in fast-food burger commercial—except it tastes much better. 

For non-Muslims, halal refers to the Islamic-approved way of raising and butchering animals for consumption. The criteria for meat to be certified halal includes the animal being raised humanely and the blood being drained out so that the resulting meat isn’t tightened up from stress or trauma, among other stringent standards.   

For Muslims however, halal has a much broader and deeper meaning. In Arabic, it means “Lawful or Permissive” and it is an essential part of Muslim faith and having respect for life. It aims to treat animals humanely, even in their eventual death and preparation for human consumption.

While many may wave off “halal smash burgers” as being gimmicky or too much, Mr. Patties confirms that they have a lot of customers who go out of their way to come to them because of the halal meat factor. When the Turks invaded, exiled, and committed one of the largest genocides in history against Armenians a little over 100 years ago, many fled Armenia and went all over the middle east. They made new lives and picked up new experiences in places like Lebanon, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. The following generation of Armenians started immigrating to the U.S. in states like Michigan, Hollywood’s Little Armenia, and Glendale. It’s this kind of historical knowledge that makes Armenians creating pop-up smash burgers with halal meat peak Los Angeles. 

Is the reason they went the halal meat route because of its religious or humane practices? Not likely. When asked, the team behind Mr. Patties responds “We spent months in the kitchen trying out different blends, prime meats, and different cuts until we decided halal meat is what we liked best for our burgers.” 

After a proper smash, the patty is topped with a slice of American cheese, then placed on a lightly toasted classic McDonald’s-style sesame seed bun without seeds. Peeking through evenly around the buns is a thin layer of seared meat and a glimpse of pickles, onions, mustard, and ketchup. Once in your hands, you’ll feel as if you’re holding that perfect burger in a fast-food burger commercial—except it tastes much better. 

In truth, the differences between the taste of a halal burger and a regular one are subtle. While this halal patty does not have juice dripping through every bite like other smash burger players in town who add bacon or other fatty cuts of beef into their patties, Mr. Patties’ blend is anything but dry. It’s tender and makes for a great classic smash burger. After you wash it down with one of their shakes with cutesy names like “Agent Coco-Nut, Agent Blast, or Agent Maple,” the only thing that will matter is that you had a great old fashioned burger and shake in the streets of Glendale, a part of Los Angeles that is usually devoid of any street food at all. 

Mr. Patties pops up Thursdays and Fridays from 6 PM to sell-out at the Carwash on 5720 San Fernando Road, Glendale.

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