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Burger Lounge — Hip and Healthy

Burger Lounge — Hip and Healthy

*** One of Wellness 101’s Favorite Places to Eat in 2016 ***

One of our goals at Wellness 101 is to find better-for-you options for things that are popular but sometimes unhealthy. Hamburgers, french fries, onion rings and sodas usually fall into the “bad or very bad” categories — unless you know where to look. In the toney Brentwood Area of Los Angeles, not only is the Burger Lounge better for you than many other establishments but it’s also helping to create an entirely new and needed class of dining — fast, hip, healthy and socially responsible (perfect for attracting a couple of generations of people who grew up on the lesser-quality toxic offerings of some other brands we won’t mention by name).

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Thanks to healthier-option menu items like their Organic Quinoa Veggie Burger, single-source grass-fed beef, free-range turkey and organic cheeses, Burger Lounge has become our first entry on Wellness 101’s Favorite Places to Eat list for 2016.

Lex, Maria, Ralph, Autumn, Justine and the rest of the friendly team at the hip and juicy Burger Lounge in Brentwood are as energetic and flavorful with their personalities as the menu is with its offerings. Selections range from a half-dozen types of burgers to healthy salads, fresh cut fries cooked in 100% GMO-free oil and organic brewed iced teas. For those who love an occasional bubbly drink, they offer batch craft sodas made with organic fair trade ingredients. If you like a little more kick with your bubbles you can get a cold Stella on tap.

Burger Lounge’s retro-chic diner look, rhythmically pulsing dance music and lounge lighting make this the perfect spot for hanging out with a couple of friends in an upbeat atmosphere while enjoying some of the best tasting, most reasonably priced, healthiest fast-casual dining in town. Choose one of the 20 or so tables inside or out, or belly up to the bar-styled seating lining the 10-foot windows that offer a great view of the perpetual car show that is San Vicente Blvd (right on cue, a rare BMW i8 supercar with a sick custom white-on-white paint scheme glides by). Located right across the street from Whole Foods, it’s a convenient place to curb your hunger pre grocery shopping (never grocery shop on an empty stomach) or the perfect place to warm up for a night on the town.

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I’m a 3-4 times a week meat eater and I make sure it’s all high-quality. The Lounge Burger is the headliner, and the go-to for many “Loungers.” I’ve had it before, and it’s worthy of being their star attraction. There are several other delectable offerings from turkey to albacore to an organic quinoa veggie burger but tonight was all about the guest-starring pasture raised, grass-fed Elk (they offer special selections like Elk and Lamb on a rotation). It was all that and a bag of onion rings. Speaking of which, the fresh-cut rings were outstanding — coated with a flaky Japanese bread crumb called Panko, seasoned delicately, with a perfectly crunchy tender mouthfeel that was clean and not at all abrasive.

During my time there, I overheard two separate couples exclaim during their meal that their burgers were cooked to perfection. I would have thought it was scripted conversation for my benefit except for the sheer randomness of my visit. That, and the fact that I said the exact same thing to myself, out loud, only to look around to make sure no one saw me talking to myself. Oh well, what the heck. It’s that good. Who cares if someone thinks I’m crazy. A burger this good deserves to be talked about. Even if it’s to myself.

Burger Lounge has more than a dozen locations throughout Southern California. www.burgerlounge.com

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A.J. Ali

A.J. Ali, "The Wellness Motivator!" is an award-winning writer, producer, actor, host, voice over artist, emcee and creative visionary. He is the Founder and Executive Producer of EclipseVSC since 1999. A.J. is currently producing and hosting the multimedia wellness entity "Wellness 101" with a vision of helping to change the focus of healthcare in America from sickness to wellness (www.wellness101life.com). To launch the Wellness 101 brand, A.J. did the impossible. Starting with only $500, he traveled through all 50 states in 101 days June 16 through September 24, 2014 -- starting in Melbourne Beach, FL and ending up on a sun soaked beach in Hawaii after changing lives in all 50 states. His "True Champion's 30-Day Challenge" book is transforming lives nationwide (www.TrueChampions30DayChallenge.com). Now, Wellness 101 is taking human transformation to another level through holistic wellness. A.J. has more than 30 years experience in sports and entertainment as an athlete, artist and social entrepreneur. He has founded and owned two pro soccer teams and has spearheaded hundreds of successful projects. A.J. created and starred in the TV show "Good Fellas of Baltimore" on Fox in 2011, which raised more than $250,000 for charities in Baltimore and inspired fans to join the cast to help people in need. As an on-air talent and voice over artist, his enthusiastic love of people makes him believable and inspirational. As a wellness speaker and emcee, he is inspiring. An accomplished writer with a conversational style, his work is transformative. His 2007 song "Through the Darkness, Into the Light," compilation music CD "Survivor Celebration" and Survivor Celebration campaign helping cancer survivors won the coveted Hollywood FAME Award for National Community Service. As a philanthropist and entrepreneur, A.J. has raised more than $25 million for charities. He teaches his charity event success methods through a workshop called "MAKE IT RAIN." He is proud to be a U.S. Air Force Veteran (83-87). His mantra is "LOVE is the answer." He is an avid golfer.

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