Hitting the Burger Jackpot


It’s fitting that Krush Burger (formerly Mini Burger, of food-truck fame) would set up its first bona fide restaurant on the ground floor of the California Lottery headquarters. Ordering from the creative menu of sliders and sides feels a little like choosing Lotto numbers: You want just the right combination to yield a winner. The difference, of course, is that the payoff from a meal here is far more satisfying than any Scratcher I’ve ever played.

Sliders are ubiquitous these days, but Krush Burger manages to keep the concept fresh by using top-notch ingredients in a lineup of petite burgers that customers can mix and match to their liking. (A two-pack costs $6.50, a three-pack $9.) The Original Krush mini burger might be a bore if not for the juicy patty amply topped with grilled onions and tasty house sauce. Extra points for the cool, crisp lettuce and respectable slice of tomato—simple details that are wilted afterthoughts at too many burger joints. The Ninja—a small pile of grilled Korean short rib meat paired with Asian slaw, crispy scallions and a piquant aïoli— is not to be missed. The Cowbell—a burger topped with smoked Gouda, bacon, crispy onions and barbecue sauce—is another winner that my dining companions devoured.

The brick-and-mortar location includes a few items not available from Krush Burger’s roaming food trucks, including a breaded cod fillet sandwich with tartar sauce, a slow-cooked pork sandwich and a surprisingly good barbecue chicken wedge salad. Meanwhile, devoted fans of Krush Burger’s almost-famous sweet potato tots (served with ancho-honey dipping sauce) will be relieved to discover they no longer have to chase down a food truck to find them.

Although I didn’t sample any of Krush Burger’s a.m. offerings, I most definitely will return for the cornflake fried chicken on a waffle bun with sausage gravy as well as the Benedict sandwich with applewood bacon and baby spinach. Breakfast of champions? Perhaps not, but it sounds like a delicious way to start the day (even if it warrants a visit to the gym later).

Indecisive diners might want to avoid the digital fountain drink dispenser, which boasts 130 flavor combinations (lime Fanta, anyone?), but it’s great fun for soda lovers. The beer selection—more than a dozen choices in bottles and on tap, from Bud Light to Sacramento’s own Track 7 Panic IPA—offers a little something for everyone. I wanted to love Krush Burger’s milkshakes—I swooned over the idea of vanilla ice cream blended with caramel sauce and chunks of toffee— but ultimately was disappointed that they were so milky-thin.

Even if dessert didn’t satisfy, the friendly staff and welcoming environs made for a sweet dining experience. The industrial area off Richards Boulevard north of downtown is no one’s idea of a great place to locate a restaurant, which is why I was taken aback to find the place buzzing with customers on a recent Friday night. Was it Lady Luck that lured them there? Nope, just winning food.