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Witzl is known for his wonderfully complex, multi-layered dishes at both Ellie’s—his inaugural Long Beach joint at 2nd and Orange in Alamitos Beach—and Ginger’s—the tiny-but-mighty, 12-seater taster space next to Ellie’s. And he's lost some things too: Ellie's was intended to be at Compound (where Union now sits) and Lupe's, his DTLB mariscos concept, is no longer.

But that doesn't deter Witzl: With an entirely new concept in San Diego and a return to the classic Ellie's that propelled the space into the Long Beach food stratosphere in the first place,

Chef Jason Witzl’s Ellie’s will be going on year six come autumn of this year and it has become one of the city’s most beloved restaurants—and while its updated interior and continually altering menu reflect an elevated experience, sometimes, people forget that some of Witzl’s best offerings are takes on our base foods.

Like his absurdly beautiful Ellie’s Burger.

It’s like what it’s always been—quality ranch beef, aged cheddar, thick pickles, a “happily slutty” sauce, as Witzl would joke—but instead of the thicker, pink juices in the center patty that was of yesteryear at Ellie’s, he has switched it two thinner patties, edges crisped, cheese far more gooey.

Photos and written by Brian Addison.

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