Juicy Lucy Serves High-Tech Burgers | Downtown, Los Angeles

High-tech cheeseburgers at Juicy Lucy

Think of it as a savory sibling to the molten chocolate lava cake.

The "Juicy Lucy" burger, whose roots trace back to 1950s Minnesota, gets its name from a superheated plasma of gooey cheese in the center of each patty–a surprise often known to spurt out violently at first bite.

Paul Shoemaker, former chef at the now-shuttered Savory, is putting his modernist twist on this cult classic at the appropriately named Juicy Lucy, the newest addition to the high-end food court inside the FIGat7th complex Downtown.

Cryovac-sealed grass-fed beef patties are injected with liquid-nitrogen-blasted Swiss fondue, cooked in a low-heat vapor oven, then marked with a crisp sear on a nickel-plated plancha. All that technology means your Juicy Lucy burger ($10) arrives a mere 90 seconds after ordering.

The result is an exceptionally moist burger, one whose oozing core elicits feelings of childhood wonderment. Turkey and salmon burgers round out the menu, but if you're opting for a lunch that's simultaneously retro and futuristic, stick with the classic beef.

There are also salted caramel milkshakes studded with chocolate crunchies ($5), and Velveeta-ish cheese fries slathered with Sriracha ($4). Might this be a mad scientist's idea of junk food?

Juicy Lucy, FIGat7th, Ste. #120, 735 Figueroa St., Downtown; 213-683-1030 or thejuicylucy.com