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Best Burgers in Los Angeles

s
shaygo Jul 25, 2006 04:50 PM

Looking for the best "cafe" burgers in L.A. and the two suggestions that seem to keep coming up are Father's Office and The Counter. . .Any further suggestions or preferences between these two?

Thanks!

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  1. hrhboo Jul 25, 2006 05:02 PM

    I too am desperately seeking a good burger. Father's Office is great when I want a gourmet one, but sometimes I crave a good old-fashioned patty that doesn't need any fancying up. I find the Counter's burgers bland and disappointing.

    15 Replies
    1. re: hrhboo
      r
      ryan0414 Jul 20, 2009 08:01 PM

      If you want a good, classic burger that is nothing fancy, try Hanano in Venice (on Washington, a block from the beach). The bartender's make them behind the bar and they are fantastic.

      1. re: ryan0414
        Servorg Jul 20, 2009 08:05 PM

        Emilyt did recommend Hinano's further down in the thread and it's been an LA board favorite for burgers for quite a few years.

        1. re: ryan0414
          b
          Burger Boy Jul 20, 2009 09:30 PM

          Yeah, the JO barteneder told me he was to busy to make a burger, I asked if he was to busy to pour a beer? He said no, then I asked him to make me the burger of take it off th F____ menu. We had words and he refused to serve me. It is a good burger but they have that biker bar mentality, this was a few years ago, but F them I say.

          1. re: Burger Boy
            s
            sel Jul 20, 2009 10:48 PM

            And then you went to...............I know 26 Beach! Right?

            1. re: sel
              b
              Burger Boy Jul 21, 2009 06:25 AM

              No, it was very late, we ended up at In n Out. God bless their late hours! But I like your set up, I should have run with it, especially since I am on the payroll, oh wait, I was fired. Can I collect un-employement?

            2. re: Burger Boy
              t
              tacoyoda Jan 8, 2010 08:37 AM

              The best burger in LA is @ "MASTER BURGER" on western & vernon, hands down. though I will warn you, don't go at night, and if you see someone nodding off at the bus stop, don't try to go help them, just go get your burger, and go elsewhere to eat it. I eat it there because I came up in the neighborhood. If you are a burger lover it will be worth the effort and the trip. The turkey burgers are great also. Get the King

              1. re: tacoyoda
                i
                imp4pdabest1 Jul 6, 2012 02:05 PM

                I'm very familiar with the area. Not even in the top 25 best burgers in LA. Huge? Yes. But overall quality & taste? Not even close.

            3. re: ryan0414
              f
              favorites Jan 9, 2010 03:37 PM

              They have good hot dogs and hot links as well!

              -----
              Hinano Cafe
              15 Washington Blvd, Venice, CA 90292

              1. re: ryan0414
                TheBurgerBusters Oct 16, 2010 01:18 PM

                Amen--Hinano is a damn fine burger

                1. re: ryan0414
                  CharlesKochel Dec 15, 2012 12:37 PM

                  I'll second the backing of Hanano, maybe the best pub burger ever in LA

                  1. re: CharlesKochel
                    Servorg Dec 15, 2012 01:14 PM

                    Just so someone looking for it doesn't feel like they've been sent on a "snipe hunt" the name is actually Hinano...

                    1. re: Servorg
                      CharlesKochel Dec 15, 2012 01:42 PM

                      true that

                      1. re: CharlesKochel
                        n
                        nosh Jan 11, 2013 06:52 PM

                        And note that for Hinano, which is near the foot of Venice Beach, parking on a nice day is either extremely difficult or quite pricy.

                2. re: hrhboo
                  m
                  mijollner Nov 3, 2009 09:16 AM

                  Vinoteque on Melrose has the best burger in town...period. It's a Kobe Burger for only 13 dollars with fries. Juicy, a bit spicy and oh so delicious.

                  1. re: mijollner
                    e
                    emenot Dec 16, 2011 07:32 AM

                    I had kobe sandwichs with a bagit in the Shadow Creek Golf Club house many times as guest in Las Vegas, but you can't get in unless you have a credit line of $30,000 minimum then it will be comped hehe....1/2" thick.

                3. wilafur Jul 25, 2006 05:18 PM

                  the hellman burger at pete's cafe in downtown LA. corner of 4th and main.

                  get it with the bleu cheese fries and you'll be in heaven.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: wilafur
                    ipsedixit Jul 25, 2006 05:46 PM

                    Ditto.

                    1. re: wilafur
                      c
                      calabasas_trafalgar Jul 25, 2006 07:23 PM

                      I work very close by, I'll have to check it out.

                      1. re: calabasas_trafalgar
                        c
                        chowmominLA Feb 6, 2007 11:40 AM

                        If you work near 1st and Main, the cafeteria at the Caltrans Building (100 N. Main) has a pretty good basic hamburger lunch special (hamburger or cheeseburger, fries or fruit and a 12 oz drink for about $4.) I mention it only if you work right around there; it's nothing fancy or worth going out of your way for. But I think it's the best thing they serve!

                    2. m
                      mitchrc Jul 25, 2006 06:07 PM

                      The Counter in Santa Monica or the Farm in either Beverly Hills or the Grove.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: mitchrc
                        b
                        blevine99 Aug 31, 2007 01:40 PM

                        Um...I think the question was "other than The Counter." But I second The Farm. Surprisingly awesome.

                      2. e
                        estone888 Jul 25, 2006 06:17 PM

                        I'm only lukewarm about their BBQ, but I think Zeke's has a pretty good burger.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: estone888
                          j
                          JimN Jul 25, 2006 08:25 PM

                          I agree, Zeke's has a very good burger. I've only been to the Montrose location, though.

                          Couple more good choices: Billy's Grill in Van Nuys and 26 Beach in Venice.

                          I can't recommend The Counter. Tried it twice and didn't enjoy it either time.

                          1. re: JimN
                            wizardx Feb 6, 2007 12:01 PM

                            I have to agree with Billy's Grill also.. their exotic burgers are very good but their regular cheesburger is great!

                            1. re: JimN
                              b
                              blevine99 Aug 31, 2007 01:41 PM

                              Problem with Zeke's is: overly smoky. Works for ribs but not in my burger thanks.

                          2. w
                            Wes Jul 25, 2006 06:38 PM

                            Get the hamburger at George Petrelli's Steak House in Culver City. Some have not liked the Steaks here (I do) but the hamburger has not yet been dissed.

                            A very large patty of real beefy tasting meat with all the condiments. Since they grind their own fresh each day they will cook it any way you like. Comes with fries.

                            ==WARNING== The sodas are from the bar with bar size and price and NO refills. Get the Iced tea instead. Free refills.

                            George Petrelli's Steak House
                            5615 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA

                            Really great burger!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Wes
                              Dommy Jul 26, 2006 05:14 PM

                              Thanks Wes! I've been craving a burger all week and was FINALLY going to have one today. George's it is! :)

                              --Dommy!

                              1. re: Wes
                                m
                                MarlaPR Mar 29, 2009 10:32 AM

                                I couldn't agree with you more!! Absolutely the BEST!

                              2. David Kahn Jul 25, 2006 06:42 PM

                                It seems to me that there's an important distinction to be made here. There are, really, two different classes of burger, which are very different animals.

                                First, there's the high-end steak house type burger. This is typically made with very good beef, is thick, can be cooked to order, and usually costs more than $10. In this class, my favorite is the $13 prime sirloin burger on the lunch menu (only) at Arnie Morton's -- http://www.mortons.com/website/index.... . (I've only had the one at the downtown branch, but maybe, hopefully, they're as good at the other locations). Served with your choice of cheese (I go with cheddar) and grilled onions and/or sauteed mushrooms (I get the later), with fries (although they'll sub sauteed spinach, etc., if you ask them). This burger is excellent. Thick, perfectly cooked and seasoned, massively juicy, with a nice char on the outside. Really excellent.

                                Of course, the other important category here is the fast food type burger. These, of course, have thinner patties of which there are often more than one, are generally not cooked to order (i.e., medium rare, etc.), and are usually under $10. In this class, In-N-Out, Apple Pan, and Pie and Burger are the perennial favorites, but I also really like the burger at the Beverly Hills Diner (474 N. Beverly Dr., at Little Santa Monica, (310) 271-2227). Since it stopped being a Johnny Rockets, I think the food here has turned around. Stuff is made to order, served piping hot and fresh, and the quality of the ingredients seems to have improved markedly. I get the standard double cheese burger with grilled onions and a side of onion rings. Very delicious. Excellent turkey burgers as well. Plus, you can get a diet cherry Coke. (Why, you may ask, would one bother with a diet Coke when one is pounding down a double cheese burger with onion rings? Well, I always say, it's our little idiosyncrasies that make us special.)

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: David Kahn
                                  hrhboo Jul 25, 2006 07:12 PM

                                  The first kind you mentioned is the kind I'm after. I am usually prejudiced against sirloin since it is too lean to pack a decent flavor punch. The best burgers I have eaten (including Father's Office) are made with a proportion of ground chuck which usually contains about 15-20% fat. Kobe and ribeye burgers are full of flavor for the same reason - the higher fat content. Does anyone at all do a ground ribeye burger?

                                2. ipsedixit Jul 25, 2006 06:49 PM

                                  Dunno if this counts as a "cafe" but the Sirloin Burger at MORTON'S is fabulous.

                                  1. m
                                    Michelle Jul 25, 2006 07:15 PM

                                    Hi,

                                    My current favorite restaurant burger is at Wild Thyme in Pasadena. You can actually get a rare burger there, yum! On grilled sourdough, with jack cheese and avocado, it is really good!

                                    1. c
                                      calabasas_trafalgar Jul 25, 2006 07:21 PM

                                      Cassell's
                                      Fatburger
                                      Farmer Boys
                                      Tommy's
                                      Apple Pan

                                      I won't go near Father's Office(no ketchup)

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: calabasas_trafalgar
                                        j
                                        JosephEBacon Apr 3, 2011 10:04 PM

                                        I can still remember when Mr. Cassell was still running his burger place. He watched everything like a hawk, making sure it was high quality. Sadly, when Mr. Cassell retired and sold his business, it went downhill. The hamburger meat isn't the same high quality and especially the ham has gone way downhill. I still remember going to Cassell's when it opened in the morning and Mr. Cassell was taking his baked hams out of the oven and preparing them for slicing. Also remember a time he was arguing with a provisioner about the inadequate curing of a batch of hams he bought. He even complained to his produce suppliers if lettuce or tomatoes weren't up to standard. It's just not the same anymore.

                                      2. foodseeker Jul 25, 2006 08:01 PM

                                        Barneys in Brentwood on San Vicente (close to Barrington), and also on 26th and San Vicente.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: foodseeker
                                          f
                                          FKA Andrew Jul 25, 2006 11:23 PM

                                          Count me out on Barney's. I went to the one at the Brentwood Country Mart (26th and San Vicente) and was extremely disappointed. The burger had very little flavor and came with deep-fried bacon and dried out blue cheese. Bacon should never be deep fried unless you are making it into a bacon bit and even then I would question the cooking method. The onion rings were also over cooked and over priced for what I got. The experience was so disappointing that I don't think it deserves a second chance.

                                        2. blackbookali Jul 25, 2006 08:42 PM

                                          Go to 25 degrees in the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. They have a large selection of cheeses and other various toppings for a buck and a bunch for free too. You can get it all done up and try and imitate the FO burger or the Pug burger at Hungry Cat. Or you can do a strip down burger, similar to the "classic" style of Pie N Burger and Apple Pan. The buns are terrific and they are not afraid to cook it to order. It is by far the juiciest burger in town and with all the options you can fit your burger to any kind of mood you are in.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: blackbookali
                                            b
                                            blevine99 Aug 31, 2007 01:45 PM

                                            I was ver disappointed here. Dry and flavorless for a place that specializes.

                                          2. j
                                            JPomer Jul 25, 2006 08:46 PM

                                            It doesn't get much respect, but I happen to really like the chili cheeseburgers at Pinks.

                                            1. b
                                              blacksab67 Jul 25, 2006 09:49 PM

                                              Jack's Classic Hamburgers on Riverside (on the western edge of Toluca Lake, sort of). Amazing.

                                              Cassell's.
                                              Pie N Burger.
                                              Rick's makes a decent burger...

                                              And there's nothing wrong with In 'n Out.

                                              1. m
                                                mark sferas Jul 25, 2006 10:22 PM

                                                Being from Chicago and also a meat lover. I tried a place in Hollywood called 25 Degrees. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the meat and it juiciness also the texture of the buns. The fries are very good, they have a hint of tyme. The dipping sauces were excellent. You must try the milk shakes, they are a meal in themselves. I think in general the food in LA sucks especially when IN & Out is one of your only options but it's getting better thanks to 25 Degrees.

                                                1. j
                                                  jackattack Jul 25, 2006 10:41 PM

                                                  I like the burgers on the appetizer menu at Cheesecake Factory.

                                                  (O.k., line me up in front of the firing squad! )

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: jackattack
                                                    d
                                                    dinami Jul 25, 2006 10:47 PM

                                                    I personally like the bacon cheeseburger at Houstons with a side of fries with ranch. Mmmmm.

                                                    1. re: dinami
                                                      lil mikey Feb 7, 2007 08:59 AM

                                                      The straight hamburger at Houston's is pretty good, too.

                                                      1. re: lil mikey
                                                        c
                                                        cowbs Nov 27, 2009 02:15 PM

                                                        Houston burgers are always good.

                                                  2. r
                                                    runyonesque Jul 25, 2006 10:59 PM

                                                    Bowery Bar on sunset/Vine- "the works" burger makes me happy as heck. But for you purists I warn that it is served on an english muffin. I don't usually go for this kind of transgression, but dang, that thing is good.

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: runyonesque
                                                      riceflour Jun 26, 2007 11:31 PM

                                                      Agreed on the burger at Bowery. Especially when enjoyed with a (shared) bottle of Malbec and some sweet potato fries.

                                                      1. re: riceflour
                                                        SauceSupreme Jun 27, 2007 05:32 AM

                                                        Malbec? I usually have my Bowery burger with single malt!

                                                        Bowery is a great burger, but IMO it's not even the best burger in a 50 yard radius, given that Hungry Cat is, um, catty corner to Bowery. But I do like Bowery's burger better than Father's Office, in terms of gourmet burgers.

                                                        1. re: riceflour
                                                          justanotherpenguin Jun 27, 2007 05:41 AM

                                                          does "shared" mean two straws instead of one?

                                                          1. re: justanotherpenguin
                                                            riceflour Jun 27, 2007 08:01 PM

                                                            My usual lunch partner is a friend of mine who found this place when working at a studio nearby. She and I frequently split the Malbec, regardless of a burger or not. It's a pretty consistent wine, IMO. At least, the one at Bowery is. Can't speak for others...

                                                            And I agree, SauceSupreme, that the Bowery burger isn't the best out there. However, I have a thing for English muffins and St. Andre, which is why I'd rather go to Bowery than Hungry Cat. HC makes a good Dark 'n' Stormy, though. Maybe I'll try that with their burger next time I'm there.

                                                            1. re: riceflour
                                                              justanotherpenguin Jun 27, 2007 09:09 PM

                                                              btw: i think that malbecs are great. discovered them several years ago from a califonia winery called "imagery", which is owned by a member of the berringer family. have been buying regularly since then. hope that you understand that i'm kidding about the straws... sometimes, anyway;)

                                                              1. re: justanotherpenguin
                                                                riceflour Jun 27, 2007 09:40 PM

                                                                I'll definitely hunt down the Imagery Malbec on my next wine-buying day. Which could be tomorrow, now that you've got me thinking about it. Thanks for sharing :)

                                                                And yeah, the straw thing amused me!

                                                      2. slowcooker Feb 6, 2007 11:14 AM

                                                        Way too few people are recommending Houstons. Get the California burger or the Cheeseburger. Beef ground to order. A long line, so plan accordingly, and slightly pricey, but you can keep that in check by sticking to a burger, fries and coke. No booze, no appetizers, no desert. Unbelieveable.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: slowcooker
                                                          russkar Feb 6, 2007 12:27 PM

                                                          We love Houston's but Morton's is just so much better!

                                                          1. re: slowcooker
                                                            s
                                                            smonkey Feb 7, 2007 09:17 AM

                                                            Which Houstons are you talking about? The only Houstons I know is the BBQ place on Cahuenga, but I can't imagine that's what you're refering to here...

                                                            1. re: smonkey
                                                              wilafur Feb 7, 2007 10:43 AM

                                                              i believe russkar is refering to the houston's restaurant chain.

                                                          2. Marianna215 Feb 6, 2007 12:43 PM

                                                            I myself am a huge fan of Lucky Devils -- I dunno if that's too upscale for your prompt, but in my opinion their kobe beef burger, medium-rare, is fantastic. Grab a chocolate cake shake, and enjoy.

                                                            1. g
                                                              gregg1 Feb 6, 2007 12:59 PM

                                                              Mortons, Houstons for high end...in and out for patty.

                                                              I'll tell though, when I kick and scream loud enough and get them to cook it med rare, the Maui Burger at Islands (guac and swiss add bacon) is one of my favorites. Juicy and seasoned perfectly plus, with respect to Skoobys, still my fav fries in LA. Freshly cut and again seasoned just right.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: gregg1
                                                                SauceSupreme Feb 6, 2007 01:14 PM

                                                                I've never had a problem with my local Islands making my burger medium rare. All in all, pretty good for semi-fastfood.

                                                              2. byrd L.A. Feb 6, 2007 02:41 PM

                                                                On the Westside, for a "gourmet" burger:

                                                                Father's Office is amazing. Ground sirloin not too overcooked, bleu cheese, carmelized onions, fresh arugula, toasted roll... and it comes with the most amazing shoestring fries and their house aioli. For the whole package, it's a to-die-for burger. The downside is you're going to have to throw blows to get a table or barstool as it's strictly first-come-first-serve and quite packed all the time, unless you come on an off night or early (they open at 4pm I think). Bonus: tons of great beer on tap.

                                                                Another option: Beechwood on Washington Blvd at Abbot Kinney in Venice/Marina del Rey. Same type of burger like at Father's Office. Really good, gives Father's Office a run for its money. Your choice of 3 different kinds of fries: shoestring, regular, or sweet potato. Also they have 3 great dipping sauces (including ketchup). Bonus: cool scene, great music, nice "modern" lounge feel. Eat in the bar, not the restaurant. Much easier to get a table here.

                                                                1. c
                                                                  chowchow12345678 Feb 6, 2007 02:54 PM

                                                                  My favorite burger is at Green Street Restaurant in Pasadena called the San Rafael Burger. Don't know why it's not on the menu anymore, but thank goodness they'll still make it if you request it. The beef is nice and thick and is served on sliced grilled baguette so it's crunchy and flavorful, and there are some green chiles added to the burger which gives it a mild kick. I usually ask for fresh fruit for the side which they give generously -- I usually can't finish the the burger and all the fruit. It's particularly enjoyable to eat out on their lovely patio on warmer days, whether it's daytime or nighttime.

                                                                  1. j
                                                                    jtartar Feb 6, 2007 03:00 PM

                                                                    High End: 25 degrees and the Hungry Cat makes a ridiculouly good burger.
                                                                    Fast food type: Irv's on SM next to the Coast Playhouse makes a mean burger. Great when the Apple Pan is too far.

                                                                    1. 2
                                                                      2chez mike Feb 6, 2007 05:26 PM

                                                                      I like the ground steak at Musso Frank. They don't have buns so I get it on white toast.

                                                                      1. l
                                                                        lapchern Feb 6, 2007 05:29 PM

                                                                        in n out, double double w/ grilled onions

                                                                        1. h
                                                                          hungryhyena Feb 6, 2007 05:53 PM

                                                                          I don't know if any of you have ventured over to Opus on Wilshire between Oxford & Western. It has a phenomenal (IMHO) basic cheeseburger. No sauces to cover up for anything, just lettuce tomato & onion on this great egg bun.

                                                                          For diner style burgers that are consistent, I like pie & burger in Pasadena. I agree that father's office has a great gourmet burger, but there are some good places further east.

                                                                          1. k
                                                                            ktm Feb 6, 2007 09:16 PM

                                                                            Moonshadows on the PCH in Malibu has a great Kobe Beef burger served with carmelized onions, asian slaw and homemade taro chips. And you get to eat it basking in the sun with the ocean below you.

                                                                            1. s
                                                                              swisscharred Feb 6, 2007 11:47 PM

                                                                              The BEST TASTING burger is a little known stand on the northwest corner of Broadway and 20th in Santa Monica. I don't know the name of it -- Big Joe's or something. They're not the biggest burgers, but I've never had a burger with so much flavor!

                                                                              They're char-grilled, the only kind of burger I'll eat. Give yourself time... there are lines out the door around lunchtime. They're only open till 3pm.

                                                                              For the best fancy burger, 25 Degrees in the Roosevelt definitely -- green chile with drunken goat cheese -- the best.

                                                                              1. Will Owen Feb 7, 2007 09:31 AM

                                                                                I will eat a char-grilled burger if I must, but very much prefer them done on a surface grill. I have yet to try Pete's, but my two favorite high-end burgers to date are at Second City Bistro in El Segundo and Ford's Filling Station in Culver City - $12 and $14 respectively. Excellent beefy flavor, bun both tender to the bite and able to hold up at least MOST of the way through. Julienne in San Marino has exactly the same basic concept - big patty, cheese, onion, tomato and lettuce - but the flavor is lacking and the bun starts dissolving almost immediately. It's also the most expensive, I believe around $17.

                                                                                Next on my agenda is Central Park Cafe here in Pasadena. Soon!

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: Will Owen
                                                                                  Will Owen Sep 4, 2009 01:23 PM

                                                                                  As a very belated follow-up, Central Park's burger was one of the best, and far the cheapest at under $10. The big winners at the moment? A tie between Oinkster and the Redwood Grill. Next up is Fred 62...

                                                                                2. c
                                                                                  cvc Feb 7, 2007 09:45 AM

                                                                                  Although, I like many of those mentioned here on this perrenial topic, especially Pie 'n Burger and Father's Office, the Oinkster in Eagle Rock does a great old fashioned 1000 Island dressed version for $4.50 while Billingsley's in W.L.A. prepares a terrific half pounder for $8.95.

                                                                                  1. e
                                                                                    ellewoods Feb 7, 2007 12:06 PM

                                                                                    I saw BBQ King's burger featured on the Food Network (I think). They grill them in the smoke barrels underneath the ribs, etc., so that the burgers soak up all the rib juices that drip down onto them. Sounds like a heart attack waiting to happen, but if you do try it, and live to tell the tale, let us know how it is.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: ellewoods
                                                                                      b
                                                                                      Burger Boy Jan 29, 2009 09:15 PM

                                                                                      they used to, years ago they made a greak smoked burger, now it is just a BIG Burger.

                                                                                    2. m
                                                                                      malibumike Feb 7, 2007 12:31 PM

                                                                                      I used to work down there(sunset/ceasar chavez and figuora) and a couple of years ago I had one of their burgers. Usually a long wait, the burger was the size of a dinner plate, but it was dry and tastless. Unless they cook them different now I wouldn't bother. If the above mentioned process of cooking is new it sounds tempting for me to try again.

                                                                                      1. b
                                                                                        broncosaurus Feb 7, 2007 06:18 PM

                                                                                        Yep, BBQ King's burger is huge, but it's fairly average-tasting. Don't recall anything about rib juices the two times I've ordered one of these.

                                                                                        I thought that place was going to be torn down.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: broncosaurus
                                                                                          s
                                                                                          snooze button Jun 28, 2007 12:10 AM

                                                                                          Today I had the King burger and some fries... huge patty (well it better be if it's a 1 pounder). The meat was okay but definitely not juicy. The fries were seasoned but only in certain spots, and kinda soggy. I still enjoyed the meal since I wanted to pig out, and it was on my way home. I also like their outdoor patio and the people there were nice.

                                                                                        2. d
                                                                                          dkent Jun 25, 2007 06:14 PM

                                                                                          This is a burger no one would ever know about, but I believe it's one of the best out there. Would be on my same list as Father's Office, The Counter, Houstons, and SF Saloon...

                                                                                          AMER'S FALAFEL in ENCINO. Trust me. A truly unique and awesome burger along with amazing seasoned fries.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: dkent
                                                                                            kiwi Jun 25, 2007 09:28 PM

                                                                                            dkent said:
                                                                                            "A truly unique and awesome burger"

                                                                                            ooh, please elaborate...

                                                                                            1. re: dkent
                                                                                              m
                                                                                              miffy Jun 27, 2007 09:36 PM

                                                                                              second SF Saloon-

                                                                                            2. g
                                                                                              girlflorida Jun 26, 2007 11:05 PM

                                                                                              gotta go with The Counter in Santa Monica!

                                                                                              1. Get my grub on Jun 26, 2007 11:42 PM

                                                                                                If you like, read my recent post titled "Bleu Chesse Bacon-y Lovliness" it's all about a great burger at Islands in Burbank CA :)

                                                                                                1. b
                                                                                                  BrookeN Jun 27, 2007 09:50 PM

                                                                                                  A burger and a malt says "California" to me... A few of my 'fast food' favorites all vary (in no particular order):

                                                                                                  + The Bucket, Eagle Rock Blvd (fries are good and seriously greasy! Rumor is they use mink oil - just kidding)
                                                                                                  + Pie N Burger, Pasadena (one has to have a malt or be drummed out of Burgerdom)
                                                                                                  + Apple Pan, Westside (one has to have pie a la mode or be committed to Atascadero)
                                                                                                  + Petes, Downtown (fries come in a metal cup)
                                                                                                  + In N Out, Everywhere (try em animal style - protein style is pour moi)
                                                                                                  + BBQ King, Fig and Sunset downtown (mmmm, greasy and smoke all over your clothes)
                                                                                                  + Cassels, 6th St! (with apologies to Randy Newmann) mid Wilshire
                                                                                                  + The Boat (is temporarily gone due to construction of a Kohls - Huntington and Rosemead) The burgers are just okay but the place is a trip - take a kid with you
                                                                                                  + The White Spot (oops that's in Vancouver - try a triple O cheeseburger, eh? - Still a actual car hop drive in)
                                                                                                  + The Pantry Annex (hickory burger's okay but one comes here for the coleslaw, period)
                                                                                                  + Bob's Big Boy, Toluca Lake, on the weekends when they have car hop service - burgers are not that special but it's car hop service, man.
                                                                                                  + Wolf Burger - Colorado + Lake, Pasadena - good in a pinch

                                                                                                  To the fellow from Chicago somewhere on this page who said food sucks in L.A., huh? Sure, there are lots of sucky fast food and crappy places, as there are all over "Anywhere USA". I think the rest of the country is becoming Van Nuy Blvd. I have been finding that in smaller cities it is hard to find places that are not chain restaurants. But in this city (meaning not just L.A. but So Cal) has lots of unique, locally run and owned "one-off" restaurants - all over -- in my area - Hollywood/We Ho/Bev Hills, in the "new" Chinatown (Valley Blvd in the SG Valley) - I could go on and on!

                                                                                                  Ciao, hounds!

                                                                                                  Brooke

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: BrookeN
                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                    tacoyoda Jan 8, 2010 08:44 AM

                                                                                                    Agreed. If you come to LA and can't find good food, you need new friends, If your a good food lover, because they don't know where to go. lol

                                                                                                    1. re: BrookeN
                                                                                                      PommeDeGuerre Mar 18, 2010 04:32 AM

                                                                                                      Agree. Have been to San Fran, NY, Chicago, Miami, Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Boston, Dallas, St. Louis, Denver...on and on... , but L.A. has the most eclectic , ethnically diverse, and, on average, tastiest cuisine in the U.S. Go ahead, pile on. :-)

                                                                                                    2. p
                                                                                                      pamm5959 Jun 28, 2007 01:03 PM

                                                                                                      I love 26 Beach Cafe burgers, great beef just enough fat tto make it good

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: pamm5959
                                                                                                        b
                                                                                                        Burger Boy Jan 29, 2009 09:20 PM

                                                                                                        THANK YOU PAM! 26 Beach has been making great gourmet burgers for 25+ years, they make their own buns, their secret sauce. Check out some of the burgers on their website, a very eclectic mix, long before Father's Orafice and all these others were making exotics, 26 Beach wrote the book and is still writing it! www.26beach.com

                                                                                                      2. b
                                                                                                        beachcats Jun 28, 2007 01:58 PM

                                                                                                        The Counter in Santa Monica
                                                                                                        In 'n Out
                                                                                                        Brentwood Inn on Barrington (don't know if the menu has changed, but if it still offers a burger, go for it, expensive but excellent)
                                                                                                        Houston's

                                                                                                        I prefer the Counter over FO simply because of the customization. I can be as traditional as I want with cheese, onions, pickles, tomatoes or get really creative with garlic aioli and avocado. Either extreme is excellent.

                                                                                                        1. i
                                                                                                          iknowfood64 Aug 9, 2007 07:47 PM

                                                                                                          Double Double from In N Out with extra spread, extra cheese, and grilled onions.(So. California)
                                                                                                          The Hat has a delicious double cheese burger.(Alhambra, Upland, Monterey Park)
                                                                                                          Chronies also has a excellent doudle cheese burger. (East L.A)

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: iknowfood64
                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                            somenoise Jul 28, 2008 08:10 AM

                                                                                                            You can also order it as "Double Double Animal Style" if you want to simplify things

                                                                                                            1. re: somenoise
                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                              manku Jul 28, 2008 09:03 AM

                                                                                                              Animal Style has mustard on it, which IMO, should never be on a burger...others may disagree, but I just don't like the combo.

                                                                                                          2. maxzook Aug 31, 2007 02:55 PM

                                                                                                            Here's a more recent thread on the same subject:

                                                                                                            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/429948

                                                                                                            1. r
                                                                                                              ripken00 Jul 11, 2008 12:36 AM

                                                                                                              ERCOLES in Manhattan Beach 1101 Manhattan Beach Blvd AN ABSOLUTELY AWESOME burger, price for the cheeseburger and a soda about 8.95,so good and LARGE one can easily feed 2 adults. Beware cash only and stop serving food at whatever hour they feel like , usually only serve food until happy hour times, when it apparently becomes a total dive, even more so than during the day, and have great drink prices as well, good stiff drinks and low prices, the epitome of a DIVE BAR

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: ripken00
                                                                                                                j
                                                                                                                Jeryy Jul 11, 2008 03:29 PM

                                                                                                                I live on the Westside so I don't really know a lot of the previously mentioned Pasadena vicinity spots but my three favorites are, oddly, all on Pico Blvd. In ascending order of price, Rae's, near 26th Street, SF Saloon near Gateway, and Whist in The Viceroy Hotel near Ocean. Rae's is a classic inexpensive diner burger, SF Saloon is a heartier and much discussed her pub-burger, and Whist serves a Kobe beef burger that's simply celestial (I think it was 15 bucks) And all three offer charming, characteristic experiences. Maybe Pico Blvd is the Main Drag of Burgers??? Go ahead, somebody start a "Best Food Street in LA" thread.

                                                                                                              2. h
                                                                                                                humbop Jul 13, 2008 12:37 PM

                                                                                                                Molly's on Vine at Selma in Hollywood. Burgers the way they were meant to be: cheap, charbroiled, and delicious. Nothing hoity-toity, just a good old-fashioned, no-nonsense American burger. Cheeseburger Combo: burger, fries and drink for under six bucks!

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: humbop
                                                                                                                  wutzizname Jul 20, 2008 09:32 AM

                                                                                                                  Always wondered about Molly's 'cause it looks like a place you want to love, but I assumed, since it's right in the middle of everything but I've never heard a single person recommend (or even mention) it, that there was no reason to give it a try.

                                                                                                                  I don't need hoity-toity in the least, but wondering if the burger itself, the meat, is actually any good? Or if it's just a frozen mass-produced thing that passes 'cause that's all you're looking for?

                                                                                                                  Appreciate any other details on this joint/burger stand.

                                                                                                                2. JeMange Jul 13, 2008 12:47 PM

                                                                                                                  Cafe Stella in Silver Lake - the burger is fantastic. It's served on a great artisan roll and has blue cheese mixed in with the meet. Comes with small mounds of caramelized onions and roasted tomatoes for topping. The fries can be drizzled with white truffle oil on request. Not on the menu, but it's an open secret. You can only order it if you're sitting in the bar area. It's pricey though, close to $20, I think.

                                                                                                                  On the flip side, there's The Bucket, which has already been mentioned. More down and dirty but maybe just a shade less delicious.

                                                                                                                  1. n
                                                                                                                    nrique Jul 14, 2008 09:53 PM

                                                                                                                    Cafe burgers you say?

                                                                                                                    I recommend the Montebello Country Club. They got a VERY GOOD burger, Fresh patty, cooked to order and toppings by request.

                                                                                                                    They remodeled the place so it's more restaurant now. But the food is still good!

                                                                                                                    5 minutes east of Downtown L.A. by the 60 freeway. Look for the big MCC sign and exit. Turn right at the Mobile station and then another right at the MCC entrance. Head to the top of the hill and park and walk past the golf cart rentals.

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: nrique
                                                                                                                      g
                                                                                                                      goldenpoppy Oct 30, 2008 12:57 AM

                                                                                                                      awww montebello! I come from montebello/whittier. And i've been to the counrty club for numerous events throughtout the years, but never tried the burger there. Gonna have to try it since its so close.
                                                                                                                      And i don't know maybe know one likes it here, but how come Tommy's isn't on this list at all? I love the chili cheeseburger with everything

                                                                                                                      1. re: goldenpoppy
                                                                                                                        Servorg Oct 30, 2008 04:13 AM

                                                                                                                        calabasas_trafalgar had Tommy's on his/her list above.

                                                                                                                    2. j
                                                                                                                      Jolly Jul 19, 2008 09:07 PM

                                                                                                                      I just tried some organice grass fed beef cheese burgers in West Hollywood. It was pretty good. I liked the bun which some people say fall apart too easily but not for me. I thought they put too much thousand island sauce on there but otherwise very good. I used to go to organic burgers in San Francisco near the castro but have been surprised not to find any in this area. Now, I can go and get one if I crave healthy unhealthy food. It is a bit pricey, 7.99 for a burger. But everything is organic including the ketchap. It is a small tidy place and a bit claustrophobic but oh well, can't have everything. There is more comfortable outdoor seating as well.

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Jolly
                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                        sel Jul 19, 2008 09:34 PM

                                                                                                                        O! Burger on Santa Monica Blvd. across from L.A. Fitness? Went a few days ago and got the combo that added fries and a drink for 3 bucks more. I substituted a green salad for the fries and enjoyed everything. Good tasting healthier burger plus sides and very friendly service. They didn't flinch when I requested rare and that is what I got. Tomorrow I'll probably take my GF there!

                                                                                                                        http://www.oburger.net/index.html

                                                                                                                        1. re: sel
                                                                                                                          j
                                                                                                                          Jolly Jul 20, 2008 01:56 PM

                                                                                                                          Yeah, that's the one. I forgot to mention the name. They're pretty friendly and I enjoyed their food. Have fun w/GF.

                                                                                                                      2. s
                                                                                                                        schrutefarms Jul 23, 2008 05:42 PM

                                                                                                                        I heart burgers. Here's some of my faves...
                                                                                                                        25 Degrees, at the Roosevelt. Really great toppings, super juicy, high quality meat, great bun (if a little greasy), dipping sauces are awesome, also, you can get a half fries, half onion rings if you can't decide.

                                                                                                                        Applepans, only had it once, but I remember it fondly.

                                                                                                                        Irv's Burgers, on Santa Monica and Sweetzer. Good burgers, crappy fries, and the friendliest service in town.

                                                                                                                        The Village Cafe, Beachwood Canyon, had a burger there the other day, and I gotta say, it was great!! Really tasted like a backyard barbeque burger.

                                                                                                                        And lastly, when I'm hungover, McDonalds.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: schrutefarms
                                                                                                                          c
                                                                                                                          cdmedici Jul 27, 2008 12:43 PM

                                                                                                                          For all of you living in Orange County such as myself, word has it that they are going open a 25 Degrees in Newport Beach very soon. I love those burgers!!

                                                                                                                        2. p
                                                                                                                          pamm5959 Jul 27, 2008 10:44 AM

                                                                                                                          I prefer the Counter over Father's Office just because they don't let kids in at their CC location. At the Counter get the 1/2 & 1/2 it's half sweet potato fries and half fried onion strings! There's also Barney's Gourmet Burgers. I am predispositioned to places that serve sweet potato fries! Skip the onion rings at Barney's, you only get four rings. What ever you do do not go to the Apple Pan! Don't listen to what they say, the burgers are slathered with ketchup to overcompensate for the lack of taste and quality.

                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: pamm5959
                                                                                                                            JeMange Jul 27, 2008 11:48 AM

                                                                                                                            I love the idea of a burger place that doesn't allow children. That's just so... wrong!

                                                                                                                            I'm looking for investors in a new food venture - a frozen yogurt/play space that doesn't allow children. Who's with me?

                                                                                                                            1. re: pamm5959
                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                              sel Jul 27, 2008 12:38 PM

                                                                                                                              True, kids are not allowed in either location of Father's Office which is a BAR that serves some great food including the famous Office Burger, part of a menu designed to go along with their wonderful selection of BEER. The Counter is a burger restaurant, not a bar. Some like it and some don't. I went two or three times shortly after they opened and while the options on the check list menu looked interesting, the end result both times was not cooked as I had ordered it and tasted just ok but not really great. I tried Barney's in Brentwood shortly after they opened there and they refused to cook my burger as requested, never returned. Now folks may or may not like The Apple Pan, I have enjoyed them for years but it is not true that their burgers are "...slathered with ketchup..." as you state. Their Steak Burger has a red relish and their Hickory Burger has a hickory sauce that while it may look like ketchup and does have a similar consistency; tastes NOTHING like ketchup! While you and some others may not like the taste, style or price of their product, their meat is very high quality. I knew their former meat supplier, who did go out of business but that was after supplying not only The Apple Pan but many of the finest restaurants in the L.A. area with very high quality meats for decades.

                                                                                                                              1. re: sel
                                                                                                                                m
                                                                                                                                malibumike Jul 28, 2008 09:06 AM

                                                                                                                                Sel, you are right, the Apple Pan Hickory burger is great even if a little pricey, I had my first one in about 1953 and they do not have ketchup on them and never did. The hickory sauce resembles nothing like the taste of ketchup, it makes me wonder if the above poster actually ever had one!

                                                                                                                            2. maatkare Jul 27, 2008 11:43 AM

                                                                                                                              Father's Office is still the best, but the seating irritates. I went to the Counter once, my burger was dry, never again. I do love Lucky Devils. I really love the bun they use. But I have to starve all day so I can finish an entire burger. I just went to a new place on Melrose just east of Fairfax, 8 Oz. Burger Bar. Great cocktails, plenty of unique beers, burgers start at $8, everything from ketchup to aoli to ice cream made in house, awesome desserts, and great service. In a lovely, calm, atmosphere with normal table service where you can hear yourself talk. Highly recommended! (and kids welcome)

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: maatkare
                                                                                                                                Servorg Jul 27, 2008 12:44 PM

                                                                                                                                The new FO's in LA on Helms Ave. hard by the Culver City border has cured the "seating" irritation problems at the original on Montana in Santa Monica.

                                                                                                                                You are right on the money about the burger at the Counter (which on its best day doesn't hold a candle to the burger at FO's).

                                                                                                                                1. re: maatkare
                                                                                                                                  wutzizname Jul 28, 2008 11:25 AM

                                                                                                                                  I've been to 8 Oz twice now, once on the front end of dinner when it was only half full, and once in the heart of it when there were no empty tables and 20-30 people in front of the bar. The noise level was fine for the former, but when the place is filled it is a complete conversation killer. The LOUDEST restaurant I've ever been in, including Comme Ca. So if you do want to "hear yourself talk" there, I recommend choosing your visit times wisely.

                                                                                                                                2. t
                                                                                                                                  tappleton2 Jul 27, 2008 01:33 PM

                                                                                                                                  My favorite burger in LA has to be the Apple Pan. I've tried them all - my partner is a recent immigrant and huge American hamburger fan - and the burgers that stand out are the ones that are not overly garnished with gourmet filler. Father's Office, is of course, perhaps the best in the gourmet category. The Apple Pan's business is burgers. They are always consistent, inexpensive, and fresh. The waiters have been making burgers practically their whole lives! and are so focused on burger making they barely register your existence. I prefer the Steak burger; my partner prefers the Hickory burger. Both have their special apple relish, which is not as sweet as it sounds. They also have a great follow up of various freshly made pies. MMM!

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: tappleton2
                                                                                                                                    m
                                                                                                                                    manku Jul 28, 2008 09:06 AM

                                                                                                                                    Hardly inexpensive...a burger, fries and drink will run close to $15 w/tax&tip!

                                                                                                                                    I can have three in n out combos for the same price.

                                                                                                                                    I like Apple Pan, but it's too pricey for what it is.

                                                                                                                                  2. d
                                                                                                                                    drewnkatie Jul 28, 2008 11:54 AM

                                                                                                                                    Honestly, I admit that we haven't been to Father's Office (going today!), but we've found quite a few good burgers out in the Pasadena Area.

                                                                                                                                    Hawkins House of Burgers, in Altadena, is actually one of the best I've had. The patties are incredibly thick and juicy, and the prices are fantastic ($5 for a burger, a giant coke, and fries). If you're feeling adventurous, try out the Hawkins Special, three 9 ounce patties, a sausage, bacon, pastrami, and two fried eggs. Definitely a stomach blaster. The place is a bit on the tough side to find, considering it's basically just a door in the non-descript "Hawkins Beauty Supplies" building. Also, service is a bit slow, so be prepared to wait for your burger.

                                                                                                                                    Pie N Burger is good, but the lines can be fairly devastating and the prices aren't fantastic.

                                                                                                                                    The Original Topps (the one on Colorado, not the one on Foothill) makes a good Kobe burger. They also have excellent zucchini fries.

                                                                                                                                    Lucky Boy's patty melt, if you're into that kind of thing, is pretty great, but primarily a hang-over food style. And the guy who runs the place is incredibly grumpy.

                                                                                                                                    But honestly, for my money, the best burger in Los Angeles is at Comme Ca, a high dining establishment in West LA (on Melrose). They only serve the burger at lunch, but it is well worth the fairly high price they charge. They don't do any of the fancy crap, no portabello mushrooms or foie gras or anything like that. It's just a perfect piece of aged beef on an excellent bun, with a strong cheddar on top. While you're there, try to get the cheese plate as well. Fantastic.

                                                                                                                                    1. b
                                                                                                                                      bakedwiththemunchies Oct 30, 2008 01:08 PM

                                                                                                                                      I really love the Double Supercheese Burger at Snax Burgers in Torrance. (Corner of Sepulveda & Anza) A truly great tasting cheese burger... I like them with grilled onions.

                                                                                                                                      1. swojahn Oct 30, 2008 02:44 PM

                                                                                                                                        Father's office in Culver City is a home run. Counter-not near the best. Inventive and fun, but go for the sweet potato fries instead. No one has mentioned Josie on Pico/24th in Santa Monica. High dining but an incredible buffalo sirlion burger stuffed with gruyere and truffle fries to boot. Absolutely killer.

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: swojahn
                                                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                                                          mopeyboy Nov 6, 2008 12:57 PM

                                                                                                                                          Burgers, huh? OK, Apple Pan is still good BUT you need to add salt and you need to order your fries well done. And the pie? I laugh about some places mentioned for good pie. Skip the apple pie and get one of the cream pies at Apple Pan and you won't be thinking about hell-holes like Pie n Burger's pies, Marie Callendar, or House of Pies. FO has a great burger but it should be and maybe even better, for the price. J'n'J Burgers and BBQ, at 5754 W. Adams off Washington in E. Culver City, has a good "old-time" cheeseburger. I have tried The Counter maybe three times. Would rather go to Fatburger or even In 'n' Out. Someone wrote about Philly West - great Cheesesteak with mushrooms, no sauce, and a very good burger. Also have a good sub. Lucky Devils was OK. Best Burger on Western, South of Expostition, has a great chili-cheeseburger. Seriously. Hungry Cat has good meat but I don't like bleu cheese or avocado on my burgers. 5 Guys Burgers, fairly new to Carson, has great meat and excellent fries but the buns are terrible. Even though they grill the buns right in front of you, the quality is terrible and they are still soggy. Bandera, Sister of Houston's, has a serviceable burger but too expensive. Have their French Dip instead - Excellent, made from prime rib.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: mopeyboy
                                                                                                                                            sbritchky Nov 6, 2008 01:27 PM

                                                                                                                                            You need to add a lot more than salt to make the Apple Pan beef-type substance interesting. Try a completely plain corner of your next burger there to see what I mean. Far from the AP of my youth, or maybe I'm the one too far from my youth.

                                                                                                                                            Ten years ago, I used to eat at 5 Guys in their original locale (Washington, DC, area), and they were great -- juicy, tasty burgers and outstanding fries. I've been to the new one in Carson only once, and the burger was merely decent -- better than Apple Pan, for example, but not as flavorful as at such fellow corporate entities as Fatburger and Houston's. By the way, anyone who thinks those cardboard sticks at In n' Out are good enough should stop by 5 Guys for fries.

                                                                                                                                            I'm still hoping desperately I haven't found the best burger in Southern California. I may have to turn 17 again for that.

                                                                                                                                        2. f
                                                                                                                                          foodiebiz Nov 6, 2008 02:29 PM

                                                                                                                                          The Pub Burger @ The Hungry Cat is always great. Comes with bacon, avocado, and blue cheese.

                                                                                                                                          The French Burger, Bombay Burger, or the Patty Melt @ 26 Beach

                                                                                                                                          -----
                                                                                                                                          26 Beach
                                                                                                                                          3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: foodiebiz
                                                                                                                                            m
                                                                                                                                            millions Jan 28, 2009 10:10 AM

                                                                                                                                            It's the PUG burger, not the PUB burger.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: foodiebiz
                                                                                                                                              ReelMike84 Jan 29, 2009 05:54 AM

                                                                                                                                              To me the Pug Burger is a great burger but only for one or two bites. Then its lousy "Tower of Pisa" construction kicks in and the whole thing tips explodes out of the bun. Messy burgers are fine by me, I just don't want to sit there having to reconstruct my burger from the rubble.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: ReelMike84
                                                                                                                                                rednyellow Jan 29, 2009 05:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                I hate a burger with a bun that wont last for the duration.

                                                                                                                                            2. t
                                                                                                                                              troublemaker Nov 8, 2008 11:04 AM

                                                                                                                                              Believe me, as a burger aficionado I have to say COMME CA is HANDS-DOWN the best burger I have ever had. Try it and argue to me otherwise. Then again, the burger is $16 so you're really getting what you pay for. But you know what, the day after we had gone and tried their burger, literally everyone in our party was still raving about the taste of their burger. The meat is something else, unreal.

                                                                                                                                              11 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: troublemaker
                                                                                                                                                TonyC Jan 30, 2009 12:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                I have tried it. And I'll argue with you every time. At $16, I'd rather have 25 Deg and or Bar Marmont's Burger. The beef is fine, but the greens they use is just disgusting after it's heated by the patty. The brioche bun is also much too porous thus couldn't contain / control the juices coming out of the medium rare patty. Tres disgusting. And I ate it pretty darn fast.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: TonyC
                                                                                                                                                  Servorg Jan 30, 2009 12:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                  My brioche bun held up to my med. rare patty without any structural failure. This may have something to do with my rate of "burger inhalation" I will admit.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TonyC
                                                                                                                                                    a
                                                                                                                                                    a213b Jul 24, 2009 03:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                    I just had the Comme Ca burger at lunch today (split with a friend), and while I do not think I'd call it the best burger in the city, it was certainly a damn good burger.

                                                                                                                                                    There weren't any greens on it, just a slaw mixture, and since my friend cannot eat mayo we had it on the side. I applied some to my half of the burger, though not too liberally, and it worked really well.

                                                                                                                                                    The bun was great ... toasted, but with some give. The meat seemed very high quality, and was cooked perfectly (MR). The bun absorbed the juices without getting soggy and falling apart, as others have complained, and the taste was just great, beefy goodness with a bit of clean slaw flavor and rich mayo combined with a nice sharp bite of cheddar.

                                                                                                                                                    So, in short, it was really a very good burger -- I wouldn't call it transcendent, but it is certainly a yummy bite.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: troublemaker
                                                                                                                                                    tablefor1 Apr 12, 2009 05:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                    troublemaker, i agreed with this until i went to umami burger last week and the week before. comme ca still has THE BEST french fries in town, but umami's burger is otherworldly.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tablefor1
                                                                                                                                                      peppermonkey Apr 13, 2009 09:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                      umami burger is bleh, flavors too disparate..don't come together well

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: peppermonkey
                                                                                                                                                        rednyellow Apr 13, 2009 08:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                        I think Umami's flavors blend/ balance beautifully and I'll take their fries over the hard dark things I was served at comme ca any day.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rednyellow
                                                                                                                                                          peppermonkey Apr 14, 2009 10:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                          the burger isn't bad...but if you're gonna compare to the likes of father's office, it's just not in the same league. The individual components are all good, but they don't help each other. Everything is too separate. The fries are even worse..they're cut too thick so you get that drying effect like when you eat a baked potato without any butter.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: peppermonkey
                                                                                                                                                            rednyellow Apr 17, 2009 08:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                            I guess thats why there's choices, I completely disagree with you.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rednyellow
                                                                                                                                                              f
                                                                                                                                                              foodiemahoodie Nov 13, 2009 09:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                              rednyellow feels that the Pacific Dining Car is one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles. I personally wouldn't put that in the top 100. So if you agree with him - that the Pacific Dining Car is one of your favorites, then run, don't walk to Umami. If it isn't, then don't bother.

                                                                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                                                                              Pacific Dining Car
                                                                                                                                                              1310 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90017

                                                                                                                                                              M Restaurant - Hotel Metropole
                                                                                                                                                              205 Crescent Ave, Avalon, CA 90704

                                                                                                                                                              Dining Car
                                                                                                                                                              PO Box 5381, Santa Barbara, CA 93150

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: foodiemahoodie
                                                                                                                                                                ronnie_gaucho Nov 29, 2009 11:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                PDC is in my top 100...if Im hungry at 4am

                                                                                                                                                                The Golden State and FO (SM ONLY...LA NEVER cooks my burger rare as I request...SM always seems to nail it) are my favorite burgers in LA...Bradley Ogden in Las Vegas (an extension of LA) is my favorite in the country

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: rednyellow
                                                                                                                                                            wienermobile Sep 5, 2009 04:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Umami is burger heaven. I had the Manly burger and the Pork burger and all I can say is wow. Not the biggest burgers in size but they are gigantic on flavor.

                                                                                                                                                    2. d
                                                                                                                                                      dfoldes Jan 29, 2009 09:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                      it's been said before but for what you're describing:
                                                                                                                                                      father's office
                                                                                                                                                      lucky devil's
                                                                                                                                                      houston's
                                                                                                                                                      hungry cat
                                                                                                                                                      comme ca
                                                                                                                                                      bowery bar

                                                                                                                                                      1. o
                                                                                                                                                        ohdaylay Jan 29, 2009 05:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Carney's at 8351 W Sunset Blvd. is the best in town. I really like the simplicity. Also, Pie and Burger in Pasadena on California is pretty good, too.

                                                                                                                                                        1. w
                                                                                                                                                          whatsfordinner Jan 30, 2009 06:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Anisette: flavorful and juicy beef topped with brie, pancetta and avocado on a grilled brioche bun.

                                                                                                                                                          1. u
                                                                                                                                                            us2sinrz Mar 27, 2009 01:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                            I love this post! I'm new to the LA area (Santa Monica) so I'll have to start checking off some of the recommendations on this post. My favorite (after 3 months here) is the San Fransico Saloon on Pico in West LA. Good burgers cooked exactly how you order them. And stiff drinks.

                                                                                                                                                            1. p
                                                                                                                                                              Poeticalmath Mar 27, 2009 04:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                              does Fat burger still exist?

                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Poeticalmath
                                                                                                                                                                maxzook Mar 27, 2009 04:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Absolutely, they're still in the parking lot of the Jon's at Vermont and Hollywood Blvd., and elsewhere in the area:

                                                                                                                                                                http://www.fatburger.com/Location/Loc...

                                                                                                                                                              2. j
                                                                                                                                                                jerseygirldawn Mar 28, 2009 10:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Applepan - tradional and yummy.. Chez Nous in Toluca Lake has a "brie burger". It is a juicy patty served with thick slices of brie. I have never had brie on my burger before and it was delicious! The fries were also great. Hungry Cats burger and fries were very nice. Very flavorful but pricey. The burger w/fries costs $16!
                                                                                                                                                                Houstons is awesome too. Five Guys is a fast food chain that started in Virginia. They finally have made it to the west coast. You can find one in Long Beach. You have got to try these burgers if you are in the area.
                                                                                                                                                                I have not tried Fathers Office or Pie N Burger. I am definatly going to after reading all these posts!

                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jerseygirldawn
                                                                                                                                                                  h
                                                                                                                                                                  Harry Nile Apr 14, 2009 05:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Five Guys is in Carson and Cerritos, not Long Beach. Even though local management seems very confident -- I met one of them right after the opening -- the burger is merely OK, not great. It's better than In N Out, e.g., and like nearly every restaurant in America has better fries than INO (actually, quite good fries). But the burgers are nowhere near Pie 'n Burger in juiciness or flavor. Fatburger (among many others) is also superior. 'Hounds looking for a quick, casual meal in Carson should head to Jay Bee's BBQ, which is a short drive from Five Guys up Avalon.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harry Nile
                                                                                                                                                                    wutzizname Apr 14, 2009 05:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Tried the Five Guys in Cerritos recently. Nothing mind blowing, but within the In 'n Out universe, it's definitely worth a try. And yes, though their fries also looked somewhat similar to In 'n Out's, they were actually much better.

                                                                                                                                                                2. lilbuddha Apr 12, 2009 12:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Have to put a word in for Hole in the Wall Burger Joint. Really good burger. Don't know if they cook to order, but mine was juicy and tasty. You can fancy it up a little, but it doesn't need it.

                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.holeinthewallburgerjoint.com/

                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: lilbuddha
                                                                                                                                                                    Servorg Apr 12, 2009 12:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Because this thread started before Hole-in-the-Wall burgers got going it didn't get added here, but there have been several long and enthusiastic threads about it elsewhere on the board. And they do offer to cook your beef to order (and get it right).

                                                                                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                                                                                    Hole in the Wall Burger Joint
                                                                                                                                                                    11058 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                                                                      wutzizname Mar 23, 2010 10:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Finally tried Hole in the Wall last night and was pretty impressed. Kind of a smaller mom-and-pop version of The Counter, with its checklist and pencils ordering process, and its list of (albeit fewer and more traditional) customization options. But the huge 8 oz. burger had really great flavor (much better than The Counter's) and was cooked perfectly. And the pretzel bun option I tried was a nice variation.

                                                                                                                                                                      My one fear is that their low profile and semi-hidden locale has yet to drive the masses to their door. The place seemed almost dead (and maybe dying) while I was there. Too bad because I think they've got a good thing going. If I didn't live so far away, I'd add it to my regular rotation. For those who do live closer, you should definitely give Hole in the Wall a try.

                                                                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                                                                      Hole in the Wall Burger Joint
                                                                                                                                                                      11058 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: wutzizname
                                                                                                                                                                        b
                                                                                                                                                                        bulavinaka Mar 23, 2010 10:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        I'm not sure what time you went, but they tend to be very busy with the lunch crowd during the week and on weekends. I think what goes against this place being more of a destination that would appeal to more folks are the abbreviated menu and the limited and basic space. They are the same folks who owned the now-closed Dainties Cupcakes in the same location.

                                                                                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                                                                                        Dainties Cupcakes
                                                                                                                                                                        11058 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: wutzizname
                                                                                                                                                                          Servorg Mar 24, 2010 04:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for reporting back and glad to hear that you liked it. They definitely do more "on site" evening business after the weather warms up. During the colder months they tend to do more take away business in the evening.

                                                                                                                                                                          Another little know place for a classic old fashioned burger in the "double cheese burger" at Ronnie's Diner in Culver City / Mar Vista / Marina Del Rey (I can never tell exactly where the location is as it exists in the "Bermuda Triangle" of those communities). We have become regulars there for that particular burger.

                                                                                                                                                                          Ronnie's is only open for dinner Monday through Friday.

                                                                                                                                                                          -----
                                                                                                                                                                          Ronnie's Diner
                                                                                                                                                                          12740 Culver Blvd Ste J, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: wutzizname
                                                                                                                                                                            a_and_w Mar 24, 2010 10:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            Glad you liked it wutzizname! I think the parking situation hurts them, but they seem to do decent business during lunch, as b suggests. Try the turkey burger, which I think pairs well with the pretzel bun.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. c
                                                                                                                                                                        CraigChinoHills Apr 12, 2009 07:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Clearman's Galley - "The Boat" is back! It was mentioned above as closed. Much of the menu is the same, a few added items. More space, more bar offerings, just south of Clearman's Northwoods Inn and the firestation on Rosemead.

                                                                                                                                                                        Burgers made the same way as before. They aren't bad for fast burger, but I'm still a bigger fan of the salads and cheesebread.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. wutzizname Apr 14, 2009 08:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Although comments on other posts have been surprisingly mixed, I believe the burger at the newish Golden State on Fairfax deserves a mention here. I've taken half a dozen people there to try it, and every one of them has ranked it among their favorites.

                                                                                                                                                                          -----
                                                                                                                                                                          The Golden State
                                                                                                                                                                          426 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: wutzizname
                                                                                                                                                                            rednyellow Apr 17, 2009 08:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Golden State was a big disappointment. I didn't care for it at all.

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                                                                                                                                                                            Cinemaverite1 Apr 14, 2009 05:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            I love the burger at Nook- it's amazingly juicy and I love the red-wine onion jam they use

                                                                                                                                                                            1. e
                                                                                                                                                                              emilyt Apr 16, 2009 11:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              Father's Office has a serious attitude problem. We boycott them even though their burgers are great. So I recommend The Counter, where the burgers are yummy, you don't get shouted at and you can put ketchup on if you want!

                                                                                                                                                                              Otherwise the cheeseburger at R&D Kitchen on Montana in Santa Monica is supposed to be excellent and you just can't beat the burgers at Hinano's at the bottom of Washington in Venice. So cheap, and very yummy!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. jayspun Apr 18, 2009 08:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                Umami Burger both hands all the way down!!! If you're in the mood for the old-fashioned nostalgic burger experience of your childhood, order the So-Cal. If you're in the mood for a gourmet upgrade, try anything else. Umami seriously knows how to make a burger but they do not overdo it; striking a perfect balance of flavors and coarse ground meat cooked to perfection... and the bun, oh the bun... don't get me going. I've tried FO and The Counter and they make a decent burger but just lack that special something that Umami posses.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Lady Marmalade Apr 18, 2009 05:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I've got two suggestions... Rustic Inn - a divery-dive bar on Hillhurst in Los Feliz and The Bowery a little place decked out in floor to ceiling subway tile on Sunset just East of Vine. Fantastic burger if you can get in!

                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Lady Marmalade
                                                                                                                                                                                    Servorg Apr 18, 2009 05:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Rustic Inn - home to the best buffalo wings in LA.

                                                                                                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                                                                                                    Ye Rustic Inn
                                                                                                                                                                                    1831 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                                                                                      Lady Marmalade Apr 18, 2009 05:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, my friend, I agree!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Lady Marmalade
                                                                                                                                                                                        rednyellow Apr 18, 2009 08:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Gotta love the Mertle Burger

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                                                                                                                                                                                    Rho Apr 18, 2009 07:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Just went to Umamiburger last night with friends -- amazing! The specials were the pot roast burger and the open-faced scallop burger. No worries, the more traditional burgers are on the menu too. They make their own condiments. It is a 'must' for any burger lover -- 850 S. La Brea Avenue (bet. Olympic and Fairfax). I think it is BYO (we brought wine).

                                                                                                                                                                                    Also, I think Tom Bergins on Fairfax near Olympic makes great burgers -- nice touch with the potato buns.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rho
                                                                                                                                                                                      b
                                                                                                                                                                                      Burger Boy Sep 7, 2009 09:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      I do not know if I consider a pot roast burger or a scallop burger a traditional burger, like the OP was asking for! We should go apples for apples not apples for watermelon.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. o
                                                                                                                                                                                      ov1 Apr 24, 2009 02:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood has a great burger. This place has quickly become a favorite of ours - they've got a lot of interesting beers on tap and they're constantly rotating them through (which can have downside if you find one you like and it's gone next time). Cool waitstaff - maybe a little shorthanded at times, but they're always helpful in giving tips on what to order.

                                                                                                                                                                                      But back to the burger - I had Burger # 2 - which was a Kobe Beef burger topped with braised short ribs, porcini mushrooms, caramelized onions and gruyere. It was one of my favorite things I've ever ordered from anywhere. I almost don't want to go back so I can preserve the memory of it - I'm worried somehow I caught them on a good night or I was starving or something - it's just too good in my mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                                                                                      Blue Palm Lounge
                                                                                                                                                                                      6126 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ov1
                                                                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                                                                        sel Apr 24, 2009 11:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I've had both burgers at Blue Palms. Both always good with their often exemplary craft brew selection!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ov1
                                                                                                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                                                                                                          Mel Gee Apr 27, 2009 02:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          You're very wise to worry about that, but you have to go back, don't you?

                                                                                                                                                                                          Incidentally, were those porcini the dried, reconstituted type or were they, by chance, fresh? Was the gruyere spear-caught or net-caught? ;-) Seriously, it's almost impossible to find fresh porcini around these parts -- unlike the Bay Area, where the Oregon variety made regular appearances at my grocery store -- so I'd be very interested if Blue Palms serves them.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Mel Gee
                                                                                                                                                                                            w
                                                                                                                                                                                            wnichols Dec 10, 2009 06:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            I am pretty sure that the gruyere was neither, it was most likely raw milk heated in a copper vat and after adding rennet, cut into rice size pieces and separating the whey, was probably then put into molds and left to age for 2weeks to 10 months.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Don't know of any cheeses you have to catch through spearing....

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. c
                                                                                                                                                                                          Crowley May 5, 2009 08:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Laurel Tavern on Ventura Blvd just east of Laurel Canyon has amazing burgers. Meat's got just the right amount of fat and the buns are perfection. The awesome microbrews bring out the best in a tremendous burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. s
                                                                                                                                                                                            schrutebucks Aug 5, 2009 12:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            i love 8 oz burger's melrose burger, the father's office burger, in-n-out and five guys. i did NOT like umami burger at all (had the truffle burger and the umami burger and found both weirdly greasy and the sides overpriced).

                                                                                                                                                                                            rush street makes a very good burger, and the fries with asiago and truffles make a great side.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: schrutebucks
                                                                                                                                                                                              b
                                                                                                                                                                                              Burger Boy Aug 5, 2009 03:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Check out 26 Beach Restaurant. www.26beach.com

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: schrutebucks
                                                                                                                                                                                                m
                                                                                                                                                                                                mdpilam Aug 5, 2009 11:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I went to Rush Street last week, and was going to order the burger, but ended up being tempted by their Turkey Burger, but was completely underwhelmed. I rarely order a turkey burger, so maybe that was part of it, but it just lacked flavor and character. And the avocados were more yellow than green. Their sweet potato fries are solid, but whenever I eat sweet potato fries I crave FO's aioli, and when I asked the waiter if they had aioli for the sweet potato fries, he brought me something that tasted like pine sol and ranch. I shudder thinking about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                The fries with asiago and truffle oil were good and so was the mac n cheese though.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. a_and_w Aug 24, 2009 09:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Count me among the cult of 26 Beach! Had an exceptional burger there the other night. Meat was juicy and fatty, and cooked a perfect medium rare. Brioche bun soaked up the juices wonderfully, retaining structural integrity right to the end. Even the fries were perfect -- cooked extra crispy as requested. I usually prefer a slightly smaller burger, but this still ranks among my favorites.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                  jamiemica Sep 3, 2009 10:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Apple Pan is the best burger in LA. The Counter is design your own so not that amazing in my opinion. Try Apple Pan and get fries extra crispy! Cash only, counter-style.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jamiemica
                                                                                                                                                                                                    m
                                                                                                                                                                                                    mdpilam Sep 4, 2009 12:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Eeek!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mdpilam
                                                                                                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                                                                                                      sel Sep 4, 2009 07:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Eeek!"???

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sel
                                                                                                                                                                                                        m
                                                                                                                                                                                                        mdpilam Sep 4, 2009 09:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Was my thought when Apple Pan (ie, In N Out, but double the price) was proclaimed the best burger in LA. Especially, considering there are alot of real good to excellent burgers here, most notably FO and Umami.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mdpilam
                                                                                                                                                                                                          b
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Burger Boy Sep 4, 2009 11:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Eeeekkk! ! ! Fathers Office, Umami.......... Go to 26 Beach for a real burger experience. Great meat on a homemade bun and original topping combos for the last 25+ years! JMHO

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Burger Boy
                                                                                                                                                                                                            a_and_w Sep 4, 2009 11:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I recommend not overloading with toppings at 26 Beach -- they distract from the quality meat and bun. I loved my medium rare 26er with cheese, but I think my friend regretted all the goat cheese on his Napa(??).

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Burger Boy
                                                                                                                                                                                                              A5 KOBE Sep 4, 2009 11:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Scootrvil Sep 4, 2009 12:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fred 62!! They have two sizes if you arent that hungry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/2 lb Juicy Lucy or 6 oz Whimpy

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Both under 10 bucks

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Open 24/7!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.fred62.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Scootrvil
                                                                                                                                                                                                        maxzook Sep 4, 2009 09:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        They also have a good patty melt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. h
                                                                                                                                                                                                        hungrykitty Sep 4, 2009 12:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I will agree that Hungry Cat's burger are great. I have heard from several different people about Father's Office. I do not like that fact they don't have or allow ketchup. Also I heard that you have to wait in line to order and then possibly wait for a table too...I love the burgers at Island's! (Did anyone else notice that this post originated in July of 06?)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        31 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hungrykitty
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Will Owen Sep 4, 2009 01:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, I did notice that, and have been noticing since, oh, about July of '06. Just proves what we knew all along: LA residents never get tired either of eating burgers or arguing about them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Will Owen
                                                                                                                                                                                                            b
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Burger Boy Sep 4, 2009 02:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am calling a "Throw Down" not Bobby Flay style. Old School Echo Park style, Mano y Mano! Midnight tonight, Echo Park & Sunset. Bring your best burgers and lets do this bad boy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Will Owen
                                                                                                                                                                                                              h
                                                                                                                                                                                                              hungrykitty Sep 4, 2009 03:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Very true!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: hungrykitty
                                                                                                                                                                                                              peppermonkey Sep 4, 2009 02:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I am a FO burger lover...i'm ok with the fact that there is no ketchup b/c it's almost like you're ruining the chef's creation by adding it. I think there was a lot of thought and care into making that burger. His ketchup component is the tomato compote. If you add ketchup to that thing you will ruin the balance. And while I love ketchup with fries, the aoli is good enough and i can see many people dumping the ketchup onto the burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: peppermonkey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Will Owen Sep 4, 2009 05:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's exactly the problem. A burger is not a composed dish, it is an item that demands adornment, like a taco or a pancake, and the proper person to select and apply such adornments is the diner. This is why in many establishments the burger is served with most of the plated trimmings to the side, so that the diner can include or exclude whatever he wishes to. Many of us, I included, consider presenting it fully adorned as a Chef's Masterpiece a perversion, an arrogant oddity, and even more so if the Chef forbids the addition of any unapproved substance to it. He can call it perfection if he wants; I call it an example of a cook who doesn't know his place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Will Owen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Servorg Sep 4, 2009 05:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "A burger is not a composed dish"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's funny, Will. People on this board complain, for instance, that the Counter makes them (for the most part) select all their additions and they'd rather have predetermined choices that bring a "fully formed" burger to their table that the chef designed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Look, FO would get very boring if it was the only burger in town. But to have it occasionally is a wonderful thing. But having places like 26 Beach and Lucky Devils and Morton's to order up burgers at is also wonderful. Even the Apple Pan has its place in our hearts. The old school vibe can resonate at just the right pitch when you feel like stepping back in time. We're lucky here to have so many great places to eat burgers. I don't hate any of the board favorites. I just like to rotate them to keep my burger palate "fresh!" lol

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Will Owen Sep 4, 2009 05:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree, really I do. I just feel like slapping that FO guy around once in a while. One of the principal articles of whatever religion I've got is, "The customer may not always be right, but he is always THE CUSTOMER." And anyone willing to patronize someone who disagrees with that is perfectly free to do so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Will Owen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Servorg Sep 4, 2009 05:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It would be a drag if most of the chef /owner's did what Soon does. But since he is the true exception in LA, rather than the rule, it sort of tickles the iconoclastic cockles of my heart to have him marching to the beat of his ketchupless drummer. ;-D>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A5 KOBE Sep 4, 2009 05:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Can't you just sneak in ketchup packets from Micky D's if you really wanted it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I hate ketchup with a passion, so the no ketchup policy is fine by me but if I really wanted it I would just bring my own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: A5 KOBE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Servorg Sep 4, 2009 05:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          People do it, but I believe they will ask you to leave if you get caught doing it. Reasons for the "ejection" policy has more to do with bringing "food" items in from the outside and the resultant liability that FO would assume if something was wrong with the outside food and they allowed it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            a_and_w Sep 5, 2009 08:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The waitress did tell epop he could bring a pickle from the supermarket LOL!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: a_and_w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Servorg Sep 5, 2009 09:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Are you certain that she wasn't employing one of those (old by now) Aussieisms I learned while traveling through Oz back in the early '80's and calling someone a "dill brain?" ;-D>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              maxzook Sep 5, 2009 09:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I could've sworn that Soon made it clear he would *not* object if people brought their own ketchup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But I wouldn't know since I haven't been to FO for years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            wnichols Dec 10, 2009 06:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            tickles the iconoclastic cockles of my heart to have him marching to the beat of his ketchupless drummer. ??? Haha, people really put some thought into their burger responses

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              CLowe Dec 11, 2012 02:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This is awesome, Servorg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Burger Boy Sep 5, 2009 12:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree, if I want to compose my burger I do it at home. I enjoy tasting the chefs creations. I really miss a double Jay all the way with an egg, it sounded so bad until one of the cooks convinced me. Fo is a really good burger but i think the my way or the highway attidtude is a bit much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4. re: Will Owen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Harry Nile Sep 5, 2009 12:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "[T]he proper person to select ... adornments is the diner."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The obvious reply for anyone who dislikes being told what to do is, "Amen."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Which is why I skip Father Sophist.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harry Nile
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              bulavinaka Sep 5, 2009 01:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              >>Which is why I skip Father Sophist.<<

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LOL - well put...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Will Owen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              peppermonkey Sep 5, 2009 03:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              For me, I want my gourmet burger as a composed dish. I view it the same way I would view any other restaurant dish. I actually don't like having too many choices and I feel that the chef with all his training and testing should choose for me which ingredients go best together in his opinion. The complexity of ingredients from the sweetness of the carmelized onions with the bitter argula and the use of dry aged beef with a toasted french roll, and how they come together all point to a composed dish that the chef has taken time to create. Whether the customer likes it or not is a matter of personal taste, just like any other dish. And the customer can choose to order it again or not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: peppermonkey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Harry Nile Sep 6, 2009 11:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                F.O. could present their brilliantly conceived compositions for those who want them while letting the rest of us make our own choices, correct?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's what you get at most hamburger places and especially at pizza houses, from low- to high-end. Bollini's, for example, has 15 or so "Signature Pizzas," which you can order as is, modify to taste, or simply ignore while creating your own complex pie with extra nuance. The chef-owner there is apparently confident that he and his kitchen staff can efficiently handle new ideas from their paying customers. In real-time, no less!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harry Nile
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  a_and_w Sep 6, 2009 12:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Come on now, Harry, it's not at all unusual or unreasonable for chefs to insist that you experience their carefully composed dishes with no alterations or additions. Like many serious chefs, Sang wants diners to experience a specific taste combination with his burger and has every right to insist that you have it his way or the highway, provided he does so politely. Not every restaurant needs to be like Burger King or even Bollini's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  PS: With due respect to Will, I see absolutely no reason why a burger can't -- or shouldn't -- be a composed dish. That's sophistry verging on snobbery.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: a_and_w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    bulavinaka Sep 6, 2009 02:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    <<That's sophistry verging on snobbery.<<

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And with all due respect, you know as well as I that folks on either side of this issue will point to the other about both s-words...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: a_and_w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Harry Nile Sep 6, 2009 03:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      To the contrary, a_and_w, I find F.O.'s policy both unreasonable and, in my experience, unusual. I often ask the kitchen at restaurants ranging from nice to very fine for accommodation on ingredients, even in composed dishes. To mention only the first few examples that come to mind, I've requested additions (convert sauteed spinach into spinach au gratin -- Charlie Palmer), deletions (no beets in a salad -- Michael Mina in San Francisco), or substitutions (tagliatelle for some other pasta with ragu bolognese -- either Piatti in Thousand Oaks or Celestino in Pasadena) when I can't eat or don't like something, and I cannot recall ever being refused. At top places, I frequently order a chef's-choice tasting dinner and in that case invariably request one or more ingredient substitutions after hearing the specific menu. In the past year, I've done that without fanfare at Stonehill Tavern, the Water Grill, Arterra in San Diego, the Dining Room at the Langham, and various other restaurants here and around the country.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've even asked Big Mista to mix his brisket with broccoli so it won't taste as good, thereby giving me one less thing to pine for when I'm on the road! (Just kidding. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Of course, you can't always get exactly what you want. Some dishes fail or lose their point or require extraordinary additional effort if you tamper too much. But at normal, reasonable, "serious" restaurants, you can usually come very close merely by asking politely, because serious cooks put customers first. Incidentally, some of us customers have been eating in great restaurants and cooking our own serious meals for decades. Our preferences and suggestions can convey important information that restaurant kitchens shouldn't run away from.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I know that many of you love Father's Office, and you should go on loving it. But I hope you now understand a little better why some of us deeply dislike their don't-touch-the-merchandise policy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harry Nile
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        a_and_w Sep 7, 2009 10:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Harry, order the omakase at many places like Sasubune here in LA and you get what the chef serves you -- no alterations or substitutions. Charlie Trotter and Alice Waters are two other well known chefs off the top of my head who don't allow alterations or substitutions to their tasting menus. And that's all just at the high end -- there's also low-end places like Louis' Lunch in New Haven where requests for ketchup on your burger are summarily rejected. I'm not saying such policies are the norm (at least in the US) and we can agree to disagree whether they're unreasonable. But you can't seriously be suggesting what Sang does is somehow unprecedented or otherwise exceptional.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        b, I see your point but don't get your sentiments. At all. How is it either sophistry or snobbery to say a burger can, in the right hands, be a composed dish like sushi?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: a_and_w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          bulavinaka Sep 7, 2009 02:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sushi can be as sophisticated or as humble as one wants, as can just about anything. It's FO's call to set ironclad rules for how things are to be done in their house. As many have already mentioned in one form or another, it's your choice as a consumer where to patronize. My long-burning issue is how they issue these directives, which I experienced a couple of times and why I choose not to go anymore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: a_and_w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Harry Nile Sep 7, 2009 03:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Let me close by reiterating: I'm not claiming the problem is snobbery. It's fine for a hamburger kitchen to say, "Here are the ingredient combinations that we particularly like on our sandwiches." (As I've noted, many pizza houses do something similar.) But demonstrate as much respect for customer diversity as you do for your 'burger-vision, F.O. Show a little on-the-spot creativity, not to mention confidence in your kitchen staff, by allowing people to choose what you lay on top of their ground-beef patties.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: a_and_w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              f
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              farmertomato Sep 7, 2009 03:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              When a legend like Alice Waters decides the way a dish should be presented, I'm with the program. On the other hand, when a hack like Nozawa uses his sushi-nazi schtick to divert attention from the poor quality of his fish, it's another case altogether.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm not willing to accept on faith the credentials of a burger-making anonymous doofus in a bar somewhere on the westside until I see overwhelming evidence that his is the true and righteous path toward culinary enlightenment. Such evidence has yet to appear, so I must cast my lot with the stayaway crowd.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: farmertomato
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                peppermonkey Sep 7, 2009 11:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                if you've had one, you should be able to see that there is a lot of thought and care going into it. The ingredients and how they come together show this and point to someone who is trying to create something unique and also satisfying like a burger should be
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Whether you like it or not is a different issue. For example I know that thomas keller is a great chef who is the most meticulous and puts so much care into every detail. One look at his food and you can see all the love and care that he's put into each dish. And while I did enjoy some dishes, overall the meal was not as good as other places where I payed half as much.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't think Sang's policy is to divert/attract attention. Many chefs view their dishes as their babies, their precious creations. I wouldn't want anyone to mess with something that I took great care and effort to create.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: peppermonkey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A5 KOBE Sep 4, 2009 05:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You should try the aioli in the burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: peppermonkey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      bulavinaka Sep 4, 2009 09:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You're channeling Sang... next up, 1984...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: peppermonkey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        wooster Nov 3, 2009 03:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nope, no tomato compote on an FO burger. It's applewood bacon compote. That said, I disagree with the guy below suggesting that a burger is not a composed dish. I love to see who is "composing" the best burger out there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. kushnerom Sep 4, 2009 06:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is the longest thread ever! I actually haven't tried it myself because it was too packed in there when I went, but the Backstage Bar on Culver Blvd. in Culver City apparently has a really yummy burger. Another one I am excited is here (as an alternative to In n Out) is the east coast favorite, Five Guys Burgers and Fries (in Carson, near Ikea). They let you pick out whatever toppings you want at no extra cost (i.e. peppers, mushrooms, jalapenos, etc.) and there's endless amounts of peanuts that you can just bag up and eat at your table while you're waiting for your burger!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://talk.2itch.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Backstage Bar & Grill
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10400 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kushnerom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        wnichols Dec 10, 2009 06:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The backstage, for a dive bar, or any bar USED to have really good bar food (not really good food, really good bar food). They let their female cook go and even before that the quality had gone down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cheap beer, but I wouldn't recommend eating there at all especially when decent places are just down the street in CC downtown.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Melvin Surdin Sep 5, 2009 09:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fat Burger, Moe Beefy Burger, Chez J, Hamburger Hamlet, JAXs ....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          addy rourke Sep 6, 2009 05:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have lived in several major cities in America and have tried nearly 1000 burgers around the world, and I can say, without a hint of irony, that the best burger I've had in Los Angeles was at Fuddruckers. Whether this is a testament to the quality of the Fudd burger or to the lackluster burger landscape in LA, I'll let you decide.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I will simply say this: the LA burger-shack style (with shredded iceburg lettuce, thin patties and mixed condiments) is shameful. But, to each his own. I know many a transplanted New Yorker out here who agree. I think the biggest mystery to me still is the unconditional love that is granted to In-n-Out Burger. I have tried in vain many times to enjoy one of these things, in every possible style and variety they offer. I find that LA natives seem to glorify this place, while those who perhaps have a broader burger perspective (if such a thing can exist) tend to be left scratching their heads.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: addy rourke
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A5 KOBE Sep 6, 2009 09:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am scratching my head wondering how Fuddruckers is your favorite. Either you simply have not tried some of the aforementioned places or your taste buds are uniquely different. That place would not even be in my top 10, In n Out either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: addy rourke
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              malibumike Sep 7, 2009 08:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In n Out burgers are fantastic, especially the double double animal style, always fresh ingredients, The famous late french chef, Julia Childs carried around a paper in her purse that listed all the address' of In n Out burgers in California, they were one of her favorites. So to each their own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: addy rourke
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                OC Mutt Sep 7, 2009 03:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Agree 100% about In-N-Out. It's vile, overcooked, and inedible (I've commented on it a few times before so I won't expound). How it's popular is one of the world's greatest mysteries but I guess at one point, everyone thought the world was flat. And you're also right, Fuddruckers makes a terrific burger. Just because something is a chain does not mean it is implicitly bad. I've eaten all around the world as well, and yes, I prefer a family run place over a chain most of the time, but it's absurd to rule something out for arbitrary reasons. I don't like Fuddruckers for other reasons, like the infestation of screeching children running around like zoo animals, but the burger is terrific.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: OC Mutt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A5 KOBE Sep 7, 2009 03:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Terrific is a bit of a stretch to me. It is mediocre at best. Like I said I didn't say it was bad, just that it is not even in my top 10.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mickey Mantle was a terrific baseball player. Fuddruckers is definitely not the "Mickey Mantle" of LA burgers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: OC Mutt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    wnichols Dec 10, 2009 06:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I wouldn't say In-N-out is vile, I'll go there on occasion and enjoy it, what I think it done just right on the IN-N-Out burger.... The bun, more precisely the edge around the bun, it has just enough toastiness for a good crunch. Best part of their burger...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. f
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  foodluverla Sep 7, 2009 08:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My votes:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Cafe burger: Pie 'n Burger for classic, juicy consistency. I've tried Apple Pan at the behest of this board but to me it didn't compare. I was surprised people rated it so well. Cora's Cafe in Santa Monica makes a juicy, tasty one also.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  As for high-end, my vote is with 25 Degrees ... pretty darn great patty. Add to that the yummy selection of cheeses, toppings and sauces. And wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I like Father's Office -- well executed -- just not my style of burger by choice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    JBC Sep 7, 2009 11:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Shack - I've only just read the newer posts, but I'm surprised no one has mention The Shack Burger. They trick it up by adding a Louisiana Hot Link making it a unique burger experience which a few people I know love; however, I didn't become a raving convert but would have it again. Santa Monica & Playa de Rey. Picture:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/Rc-kQwrngQzXu6CiizlTVA?select=4uxyT2aAECopEAOstjrKZg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.shacksm.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Apple Pan - Their hickory burger for $6.00 (?) is just a In-N-Out with a pound of extra iceberg lettuce. Truly, the most lettuce I've EVER had in a burger. Once was enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. DrBruin Sep 11, 2009 10:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I had a surprisingly tasty burger at the LAX Hilton (off of Century) at their Cafe Restaurant while staying their the past week for a conference. Normally, I find hotel restaurant burgers to be "blah." I wasn't even that hungry when I ordered it but after a few bites, I probably could've downed 2-3 of them (if my wife wouldn't give me grief for doing so... and, if they were less expensive..$15 for burger and fries).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The bun was firm (not entirely sure what the bread was... kinda had a brioche-type look to it but I don't htink it was brioche), the beef was moist and beefy (a thicker patty), the arugula added another layer of flavor (I wished there was more of it), the bacon was lean, meaty and crispy (something that I find most places can't deliver... since it's either crispy overcooked or too limp) , and their cheddar (they said the name of the type of cheddar on their menu but I can't recall it... taligia or something along those lines but not taleggio) was firmer than most cheddars I've had, having almost a parmesan-type texture. The accompanying fries were thick cut and sprinkled with garlic and parmesan. I normally don't like thick cut fries, but these were tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DrBruin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Harry Nile Sep 12, 2009 03:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It wasn't a Tillamook cheddar from Oregon, was it? They currently have a "Vintage White Extra Sharp 3 Year 100TH Anniversary" cheddar that must be pretty firm (and most likely crumbly).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harry Nile
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DrBruin Sep 12, 2009 10:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          No, I would have remembered Tillamook.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. ReelMike84 Nov 3, 2009 01:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I wouldn't go as far to say it's the best burger in town, but I just had a great BUFFALO BURGER at BILLY'S GRILL in SHERMAN OAKS with a side of ONION RINGS.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Juicy burger with great grilled onions. The venison my friend ordered that I got a taste of tasted great as well. Next time though I'd forgo the cheese so I can really taste the meat, and I'd pass on the onion rings. They were OK rings (beer battered) but I think I'm more partial to breaded.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The place was also kinda pricey if you get the combo like I did. For the rings, drink, and the burger it cost me around $12. It was priced higher because it's exotic meat, but even their basic burger sans a combo is just under $7.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ReelMike84
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          wooster Nov 3, 2009 03:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Randomly had an amazing chile burger at Le Grande Orange the other day. They nailed it with the meat..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: wooster
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            mopeyboy Nov 4, 2009 08:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Please! I'm looking for a specific type of burger. Some call them "Cafe", "Old Fashioned", "Drive-In", or "Drugstore". Pie & Burger is an example but the trek from Culver City is too far to go on a regular basis. I wrote last year about Apple Pan. I have since decided I was wrong. They are tasteless. Look, all this stuff about the add-ons is fine for some but the real way to taste a burger is: the burger, the bun, and maybe some cheese. Then, if you must, go from there. No arugula. No bleu cheese. No lettuce. No tomato. Anyone out there?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mopeyboy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              JAB Nov 5, 2009 05:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In-N-Out double double with grilled onions and spread only. And so much cheaper than Pie & Burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JAB
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Harry Nile Nov 5, 2009 09:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Cheaper" is correct. Let me just say that I prefer the taste at Pie 'n Burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Here's a challenge for INO-ters. Get at least a half-order of the luscious hashbrowns at Pie 'n Burger and then stop by your favorite INO for the tender and tasteless cardboard they call french fries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Too cruel? Challenge #2: Finish the Pie 'n Burger meal with your favorite pie, and then head to INO for their concession to dessert -- a decent but unexciting milkshake. (If you really want to challenge PNB on dessert, go to Portillo's for a chocolate cake shake or to the Bake 'n Broil for almost anything on their pie and cake list.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pie 'n Burger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                913 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harry Nile
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  westsidegal Nov 27, 2009 11:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i think you are being overly kind in your description of the in and out milkshake.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  has the plasticky taste and mouthfeel of artificial goop (sort of like cool whip)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: mopeyboy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ernie Nov 5, 2009 07:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bake 'n Broil in Long Beach make one of my favorite burgers in LA County. Nothing fancy, just quality meat and bun, and I like it with grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, and cheese. Fantastic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bake 'n Broil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3697 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mopeyboy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  maxzook Nov 5, 2009 07:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Andrew's North Hollywood Diner (formerly known as Sitton's). Bun, ground meat, one slice of non-artisan Kraft American. Everything else on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Andrew's North Hollywood Diner (fka Sitton's)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  11329 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mopeyboy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Harry Nile Nov 5, 2009 09:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I can say from experience that's absolutely right, mopeyboy. In fact, pulling off a bite or two of plain beef from every burger to test separately -- no bun, no cheese, no dressings -- could bring one's confident burger world tumbling down. (This is a risky scientific procedure that children should NOT attempt.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                annapurna7 Nov 5, 2009 10:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I recently had both Umami and Father's Office burgers for the first time this week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We shared a Port & Stilton and a Casablanca burger from Umami and we both got the signature burger at FO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have to say that I love both places. The burgers at Umami and FO were so different that I shouldn't even compare the two places, they both serve VERY good burgers. They both use quality ingredients and have a good contrast between sweet and salty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                However, If I had to choose between the two for dinner right now, I would choose Father's Office. Their burger is a more substantial burger, I felt full after eating it. After eating at Umami, while the burger was good, I still felt a smidgen hungry. While, eating the Office burger, as my husband said, I felt like I was eating a farm. The mix of the Maytag cheese with the onions, arugula and a perfectly cooked medium rare patty just did it for me. I really didn't get that impression from Umami, which isn't a knock on them, but I think I need to try the SoCal burger or Umami burger, which may be more similar to the Office burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: annapurna7
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Servorg Nov 5, 2009 10:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I really can't say that I have ever had a better quality burger (in terms of the beef used) than the one served at Father's Office. It is stellar. And I always get mine medium rare and it's always done perfectly. I like to let the bartender choose a beer for me (I always tell them to surprise me with something they like). Did you go the LA FO or the Santa Monica one?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Father's Office Bar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1618 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    annapurna7 Nov 5, 2009 12:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The LA one. It is close to work and convenient for me to get to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. d
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  dineomatic Nov 25, 2009 09:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Went to Golden Harvest cafe a few days ago just before the place really filled up. However, we were seated within five minutes and the food came promptly. The bacon cheeseburger and blt avocado sandwich we shared were very good. Their house dipping sauce was also terrific. Beer selection is limited but excellent (I like stouts). Also their menu has other choices besides only burgers. On the downside the place is tiny, a bit uncomfortable and overlit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Went to the Silverlake Umami Burger tonight. We shared the So Cal and the Umami Burger with fries and onion rings. Liked everything very much except for the semi-slimy mushroom that goes on the Umami (you really can't taste it and the texture is off putting).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am not a big ketchup fan but their take on it had a great complex flavor.Aioli sauce was also fine. The butter pecan ice cream sandwich we shared was outstanding. Judging from the Thai lager beer that accompanies their burger combo #1, The Golden Harvest Cafe is way ahead of them in that department. otherwise the space is larger and more relaxed than GHC and burgers are maybe a bit tastier. Prices are similar but no waiter service at GHC means you save on a tip. Hmm. It's a toss up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: dineomatic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    sel Nov 25, 2009 10:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Golden Harvest Cafe? Do you mean The Golden State on Fairfax Avenue?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      d
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      dineomatic Nov 26, 2009 07:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, I do! My apologies. Typed that one late at night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. jayspun Nov 28, 2009 06:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Just tried Bill's in Van Nuys and while the burger did not claim the best burger status in my world, it was a tasty burger. Definitely in-n-out style, perhaps better than in-n-out. Make sure to get the double though cause the patty is quite thin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Trep1 Nov 28, 2009 10:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I just had a burger at The Counter for the first time. Very unimpressive. Father's Office, 25 Degrees and Mortons are all far, far better. The meat and bun at The Counter were basically generic, grocery store quality. I don't know what all the fuss is about. Maybe because it's a burger place and people automatically think it must be good without even thinking about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Trep1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        krick Nov 29, 2009 08:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        On the one hand, I agree completely - I do not like their burger at all - it's bland and generally mediocre.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        On the other hand, I get its popularity. The quality of their meat is good (albeit underseasoned, poorly formed and almost always overcooked) and their assortment of toppings/sauces is extensive if you're into that type of thing. Factor in the ability to customize the burgers, and for people who like a lot of stuff going on with their burger, it hits the mark perfectly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: krick
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          sel Nov 29, 2009 10:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree with both of you although I've only been to the original location 3 times way back when they were first on the scene. What I was served was always overcooked. I had high hopes based on reviews here and the place does look promising as you walk in. I like the concept but the execution did not live up to my expectations.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Now compared to what most people have come to expect in a typical burger, think corporate fast food chains - I'd pick The Counter in a minute. But there are a lot of better burgers already mentioned in this way too long thread that I've just made a bit longer!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hugedork Nov 29, 2009 10:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just had the burger at Edendale Grill and it was spectacular. Among the best I've had in town.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        blark Dec 11, 2009 06:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        martys on pico and prosser. the best. hands down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. wienermobile Dec 11, 2009 08:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I really enjoyed the Lamb burger at Umami.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Umami Burger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4655 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: wienermobile
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            wutzizname Dec 12, 2009 10:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You should try the one at Golden State. It's excellent. But only on Thursday nights, I believe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. wutzizname Dec 29, 2009 10:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just tried Nick & Stef's downtown and it's a definite contender for my best of L.A.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Terrible location in an office tower courtyard, unless you happen to work right there. But the huge 1/2 pound patty was one the freshest, most flavorful and perfectly cooked I've had. The "Challah" bun is an interesting if mild variation of the now ubiquitous brioche everyone else is using. But the meat -- and the cook's expertise on the grill -- are clearly the stars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            On top of that, the cheeseburger with fries (shoestring or sweet) is only $12 (lunch only, I believe) and just $10 in bar during happy hour (M-F 3:00-9:30, per website).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nick & Stef's Steakhouse
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            330 S. Hope St., Los Angeles, CA 90071

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bloghungry Jan 4, 2010 04:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Umami burger is the best burger I've ever had. They are so juicy and full of flavor it made me weep. The bun is amazing too. However, I didn't love their sides or homemade ketchup. You have to order a few different types of burgers, split them up, and skip the sides.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bloghungry
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                senzanome Jan 5, 2010 07:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree with those that favor Pie 'n Burger, but if I don't feel like waiting, I go to Bristol Farms Cafe in South Pasadena. This is the choices from their menu. The burgers are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                a big hit with my grandkids too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Gourmet Burgers...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Served with your choice of Bristol soup, fruit salad, potato salad, or garden green salad. All burgers are served with your choice of freshly ground beef, turkey, or vegetable patty on a bakery fresh onion roll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bristol Burger $8.99
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Topped with cheddar cheese, vine-ripened tomatoes, pickles, onions,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ketchup and mayonnaise
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Teriyaki Burger $9.49
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Topped with melted pepper jack cheese, mixed Asian greens, grilled onions, teriyaki glaze and mayonnaise
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Big Texan Burger $9.49
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Topped with bacon, barbecue sauce, lettuce, grilled onions and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                cheddar cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chili Cheese Burger $9.49
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Topped with chili, shredded cheddar and white diced onions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Avocado Burger $9.49
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                California avocado added to our Bristol Burger makes this a favorite
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                San Francisco Burger $9.49
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The perfect beef patty served on sourdough with lettuce, tomato, pickles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                and Thousand Island dressing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pointe Reyes Burger $9.49
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Point Reyes Blue Cheese, oven-roasted tomatoes, red onions and

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                RN4LilOnes Feb 11, 2010 07:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Second City Bistro in El Segundo has one of THE BEST BURGERS EVER! Caramelized onions, garlic aioli, perfectly grilled meat! Cozy restaurant with very friendly servers! Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: RN4LilOnes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  sel Feb 11, 2010 10:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have to agree that the one I had recently was very tasty! Cooked exactly as ordered.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Second City Bistro
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  223 Richmond St, El Segundo, CA 90245

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  bigmista Feb 11, 2010 10:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have fallen in love with the burgers at the Forty-Niners Tavern on PCH and Bellflower in Long Beach. Burgers are juicy and flavorful. Try the triple bypass burger and ask for 'Tude sauce instead of dressing. Tell Chris (owner) that Bigmista sent you and he might introduce you to the "K-Dog" (not on the menu).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Note: This is a bar so don't take the kids.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bigmista
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    pinotgrisgirl Feb 20, 2010 07:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Cabbage Patch burger is the perfect size -- not too big or too small for the price. And, they really do cook to order. Medium rare burger lovers unite!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. dukeofsandwich Feb 24, 2010 09:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Ranch (http://theranchwestlake.com/) in Westlake Village has really great burgers. The buns are one of a kind, ya really gotta try it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      bigmista Feb 24, 2010 10:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Just had Five Guys Burgers at the Carson Mall. Fresh, never frozen meat with lots of toppings to choose from. And the cajun fries are tasty too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bigmista
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ken S. Feb 27, 2010 05:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I recommend Carney's Train Car on Sunset Strip. Great chiliburgers!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ken S.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Servorg Feb 27, 2010 06:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I love Carney's (and the best chili cheese dogs) on south side of the mountains...and they have their Studio City location for the Valleyites too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. TheBurgerBusters Oct 19, 2010 07:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Both The Counter and Father's Office are completely awful in their own ways. The service at The Counter is attentive, but the kitchen staff is bad and sloppy, and the ho-hum ingredients are bland. The Office service is dismissive and snotty, but the kitchen is precise--even though they turn out an awful burger, they turn it out with great consistency.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Try Umami Burger, 8 OZ. Burger Bar, or Comme Ca, or Five Guys Burgers and Fries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Five Guys Burgers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        20700 Avalon Blvd, Carson, CA 90746

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Umami Burger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        850 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Father's Office Bar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1618 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        22 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TheBurgerBusters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mdpilam Oct 19, 2010 07:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TheBurgerBusters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            sel Oct 19, 2010 08:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah, Five Guys is better than Father's Office.........NOT!!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            From their website:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Q: Why does Five Guys only serve burgers cooked well done?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A: By cooking all of our burgers juicy and well done we are able to achieve two goals.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ensure a consistent product
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Meet or exceed health code standards for ground beef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We understand that there are varying opinions on what level a burger should be cooked for optimal flavor and our opinion is that our burgers taste best cooked juicy and well done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              TheBurgerBusters Oct 21, 2010 07:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              @Sel...Your reply is confusing--you seem to take umbrage with the following:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Consistency
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Juiciness
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Optimal Flavor
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              and Health Code Standards

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have never perceived any of those qualities as negative. Well, may the consistency of the sheer awfulness of Father's Office burgers, but at least I know it will suck, so I don't have to go back to review it again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Otherwise, it looks like the Five Guys burger is just fine. Heck, even Zagat would agree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Father's Office Bar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1618 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TheBurgerBusters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Servorg Oct 21, 2010 07:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So are you saying that a burger cooked "well done" is not a negative for you? That is difficult to believe (or even understand). But if it's true then that pretty much eliminates any of your picks from my list of places to try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  TheBurgerBusters Oct 21, 2010 08:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  When I review a burger, I almost always order it Med-Rare. You can see that on my review site--there's generally an "autopsy shot" of each burger that I review to demonstrate the level of doneness and the depth of the sear.. In the case of Five Guys, they only serve it Well Done--I can't change that. As luck would have it, the Five Guys burger is made of ground chuck. As you already know, chuck is a collagen-rich, shoulder cut. The cooking process melts that collagen and gives chuck that distinct beefy flavor, which would otherwise be missing. We've all had plenty of bland Chuck burgers.. In the cases of Five Guys and Nook, cooking past Med-Rare works out. Five Guys does it on purpose, and the Nook just had quality control issues.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ordinarily, I go for burgers that are made with blends of better cuts of beef, and these cuts (from the back half of the cow) tend to be flavorful even when completely raw. Skirt, Rib, Sirloin, Round, etc. I insist that burgers made from higher quality, flavorful cuts be cooked Med-Rare, so that the quality of the ingredients shines through.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TheBurgerBusters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Servorg Oct 21, 2010 08:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think you are confusing the cooking methods needed for solid chunks of beef (which is not ground) and the best ways to make them both flavorful and tender using either wet or dry heat methods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    With ground beef that process has been short circuited through mechanical means, and the small difference in cooking time between medium rare and well done is not going to appreciably affect the melting of the collagen in any significant way. However it will render out more of the fat and make the beef less juicy and flavorful than cooking it medium rare.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      TheBurgerBusters Oct 21, 2010 09:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not really---the proteins in beef hydrolize at the same temperature regardless of what mechanical actions have been previously performed on that beef. The mechanical process of grinding does not change the chemical nature of the proteins contained in the beef itself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The various collagens have specific melting points, and those tend to not be met at temps to low to cause the aforementioned hydrolysis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This logic is akin to water not boiling below 100 degrees Celcius at STP. It gets hot, but it's physical structure is not changed until it reaches 100. More aptly, solid water will not change into a liquid state at STP at a temp below 0 degrees Celcius. Solid collagen melts at temps slightly higher than those required to achieve Med-Rare.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The temp at which beef collagen melts is about 68 degrees Celcius. The temp for Med Rare beef is between 55 and 60. As you can see that's well below the required heat. To get to 68, the beef must be cooked to an average Med-Well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Again, one can eat Chuck at a far lower temp, but the unmelted collagen will not provide additional flavors.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TheBurgerBusters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Servorg Oct 21, 2010 09:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Exposure over time, at what temperature and using either a wet or dry method of cooking are the factors important in non ground beef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        By comparison ground beef cooks so quickly (90 to 95% less time) than non ground beef, and over a dry heat, that any appreciable difference in the melting of collagen is negligible - no matter if you are cooking the beef medium rare or well done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The difference that really impacts ground beef is in the amount of juiciness retained in the meat. This factor of juiciness will always be less in well done beef, no matter the cut of beef you are using.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          TheBurgerBusters Oct 21, 2010 09:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That is simply incorrect. The physics regarding collagen denaturing temps (melting points) runs completely counter to your line of reasoning. The science is clear in this instance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It is true that ground beef does heat more quickly, and that is due to the mechanical actions performed upon it, which altered its macro/gross physical structure. Those actions do not, however, affect the melting point of the collagen, because the mechanical action does not affect the beef at the molecular level

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There seems to be little point to continuing this particular thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TheBurgerBusters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            taiwanesesmalleats Oct 21, 2010 07:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            While what you are saying might make sense if you assume melting and denaturing points are cliff points in which it all melts at once, I don't believe it works in that manner. Take a sparerib for example. If I rapidly bring that rib up to the supposed melting point of the collagen, following your logic, it ought to be just as tender then if I were to bring it up to temperature very slowly and keep it there for hours on end.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: taiwanesesmalleats
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              TheBurgerBusters Oct 22, 2010 06:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Like a small amount of solid water, it likely takes a few moments, but as Servorg pointed out, the mechanical action aids to speed even heating throughout. Additionally, the cooking proces continues off of the grill so, I think the small amount of collagen in a hamburger patty would have ample time to melt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In the case of those spareribs, collagen is not the only thing that is contributing to the toughness. That prolonged. slow, even heat acts on other molecules, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: TheBurgerBusters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      mdpilam Oct 21, 2010 11:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "In the case of Five Guys, they only serve it Well Done--I can't change that. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Did you ask them to cook it Medium Rare? And did you proceed to get upset that they wouldn't, even though it is their policy?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mdpilam
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        TheBurgerBusters Oct 22, 2010 06:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Are you kidding? I went nuts. Eventually, they had to call security. I'm not even allowed in Carson anymore. I was a huge deal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: TheBurgerBusters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                rickym13 Oct 19, 2010 08:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                wow...been to umami several times and 8 oz as well.....and you think they have better burger than fo? wow

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rickym13
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  TheBurgerBusters Oct 21, 2010 08:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes--yes I do, Ricky. I have done my best to document my rationale for those findings on my own review site. I found FO truly lacking in terms of flavor and skill of preparation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: TheBurgerBusters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ernie Oct 20, 2010 08:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Umami Burger is gross. Ultra greasy, expensive, with unremarkable flavor and poor service. They are the most overhyped and overrated burger currently in Los Angeles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Umami Burger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  850 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ernie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Harry Niletti Oct 20, 2010 08:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I certainly agree with the first half of your comment, Ernie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -Harry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ernie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Burger Boy Oct 20, 2010 08:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nice to have investors and a PR firm/Publicist! Got to have good press!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Burger Boy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tripeler Oct 20, 2010 09:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I wonder when they will open up a high-end location called Umami Dearest?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Tripeler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Harry Niletti Oct 21, 2010 12:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ... Or a street version called Yomami.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -Harry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harry Niletti
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tripeler Oct 21, 2010 02:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Er, I believe that would be Joe Mama. (grin)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Ernie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        blackbookali Mar 31, 2011 07:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        it really is overhyped. but i do like the hatch a lot

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. TheBurgerBusters Oct 21, 2010 07:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I would strongly encourage you to try the burger at Wolfgang's Steakhouse in Beverly Hills. I went there today, and I thought it was amazing. $14, but it was over 1/2 pound, and it came with a full side of both fries and onion rings--it was enough for 2 people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      www.theburgerreview.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wolfgang's Steakhouse
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      445 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. TheBurgerBusters Mar 26, 2011 09:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It was not just the burgers that were fantastic at MIRU 8691--we tried a number of other things this time. The Calvin Fries (not pictured) were loaded curly fries with spicy tuna...amazing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Burger Breakdown...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Beef: The Kobe beef was a medium grind of Chuck. On this, our second visit, the beef flavor was strong and prominent, and the aging came through to round out the flavor profile. The bite was nearly buttery in its tenderness, and it was perfectly juicy without being greasy. This was one of the few cases where Chuck was equal to premium cuts of beef. Susan Feniger pulled this off at Street, and Chef Jung's Kobe Chuck was every bit as good as a complicated premium blend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Seasoning: The light dusting of seasoning on the exterior of the thick patties worked its way through the bite and perfectly suffused each bite with a gentle savoriness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Preparation: As was the case of our previous visit, the burgers took about 20 minutes to arrive. Sometimes it takes a while to deliver something beautiful. MIRU 8691 easily delivered the best presentation of a burger that we had ever seen. Great care was taken in plating each dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The 7 ounce patties were formed to order and with gentle pressure so that they were remarkably tender. This was a nice contrast to the booming beef flavors. The beef was slowly brought to a temperature between Med-Rare and Medium. This melted enough of the collagen to generate that strong flavor, but it retained the creamy mouth-feel associated with lower degrees of doneness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Cheese: We have NEVER experienced such an exacting and masterful level of culinary expertise with regard to cheese on a burger. To create that lush, thick blanket, which was draped over the patty, Chef Jung melted Cheddar, Mozzarella, Parmesan, and Monterrey Jack cheeses into a kelp broth. This yielded something well beyond mere cheese. The kelp broth added a quiet depth of umami flavor and creaminess to the savory cheese blend, which served to showcase the tender Kobe beef's texture without being chewy enough to blur it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Meat To Bun Ratio: Perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Fries: As they were on the previous visit...these were well-seasoned, spiral-cut, battered, crispy, golden-brown coils of deliciousness. The fries retained their crispness well after we had finished our burgers, and it was a challenge to stop eating them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Toppings: The galbi beef was terrific, and the grilled pineapple was a huge winner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Value: The value at MIRU 8691 was spectacular. $12 for a brilliantly prepared burger and tremendous fries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Interestingly and refreshingly, over the course of the few months since our last visit, the burger had evolved from a really good burger to a great burger. In terms of value, this was on par with Umami Burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Burger Review : We were impressed the last time, but this time we were blown away. One member of our party pronounced this the best burger that he had ever tried. Chef Jung was fearless without being smug.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        www.theburgerreview.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Miru8691
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        9162 W Olympic Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Umami Burger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        850 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TheBurgerBusters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ipsedixit Mar 26, 2011 03:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Have you tried the burger at Ammo? Tried it the other day and it was surprisingly very good (grass-fed beef). A bit pricey, but worth looking into.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            TheBurgerBusters Mar 27, 2011 03:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks--Ammo is now on the list of places to try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          swimfin Dec 9, 2011 11:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Grea burger-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Fat Dog in Montrose.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: swimfin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            maudies5 Dec 9, 2011 02:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Rustic Canyon is my favorite!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. orythedog Dec 9, 2011 08:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Lazy Ox

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: orythedog
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              beaubourne Dec 13, 2012 11:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Totally second this. After searching the 300+ post page for it, I'm REALLY surprised there's only one recommendation for it. I've been to the Counter, Umami, In N Out obviously (lol), and many other places. I think Lazy Ox does a really nice burger. I don't know about the best, as everyone has different preferences, but Lazy Ox makes a darn good burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: beaubourne
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                JAB Dec 13, 2012 12:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Agreed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. echoparkdirt Dec 11, 2011 02:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The burger lineup at Standing Room in redondo is amazing, and their fries are some of the best in the LA area

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              144 N Catalina Ave
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Redondo Beach, CA 90277

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                emenot Dec 16, 2011 08:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Fat Burger @ 3rd and La Cienega, I used to do their XXXL with the works, bacon, egg, cheese and chili. Yummmmmm. Yeah I know its heart attack stuff, but the last time was 3 years ago!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  allinthedetails Mar 17, 2012 12:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Best Eight Burgers in L.A.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sorry about the username they won't let me change it. Anyway, I have reviewed ALL the burgers in this post (I think users have it covered) and will give my eight best.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  As a caution, I love burgers well done from fresh VERY red ground beef only, with no large non-meaty parts of things in the patty (even big globs of fat, bone, or cartilege). On a flat grill. The rest is just details, important and somewhat intangible details.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I won't list prices because they aren't a concern. No burger worth its salt is over $9

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Bob's Big Boy - the Original double decker. Yes, I've heard it compared to a Big mac. Center bun and all. Well guess what? The Big Boy came first! The place to go is in Toluca Lake. The patties are thin, so you might order the "Super Big Boy". What makes it is the sauce, it's a sort of mayonnaise on the bottom and a sort of relish on top. The center bun is buttered and grilled. Ask for cherry peppers on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Big Jo's Santa Monica. Yep, I'm a fan too. I've loved this place since I first went to UCLA and had to drive outside westwood for something decent (i.e. besides Fatburger lol). I found Big Jo's. The burger I think is charbroiled, only one on my list. What saves it I think are the spices, and the quality, and it's charbroiled somehow perfectly. Juicy. Kinda thick. Crisp, especially if you add bacon (why?). Perfect classic toppings, fresh lettuce. Tangy sweet sauce. Crinkles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Tip Top Burger, Arleta. This place is tiny. Same deal as #2, thinner patty, grilled, crinkles. Lettuce here is shredded thinly and perfectly, fresh. A slightly smoky 1000 sauce. Go double.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4. Dandy Fast Food, Chatsworth. This place is tiniest. There's no room inside to eat. The junior burger uses a thin patty, get two. Patties cook perfectly on the flat grill, and you can smell the spices. Combo with ample crunchy homemade fries and drink. Again, perfectly spiced. Fresh. There's only one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5. ArcLight Theater Cafe/Bar, Sherman Oaks Galleria. If your idea of perfect ambience is a dark movie theater with plush seats, this burger is for you. Half pound fresh with bib lettuce, beefsteak tomato, maui onion, catsup, and kosher dill. With fries you'll completely devour. Try the blackberry sorbet with whipped cream for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  6. Duke's Malibu. Primarily a sustainable seafood restaurant on the beach side of P.C.H., the patio bar serves the best hamburger. Fresh Choice Angus (which I absolutely don't require) with mango bbq and crisp waffle fries (ask for banana catsup). Bam! Leave a tip cheapskate, and tip the valet parking guys too. Crab wontons are amazing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  7. Basket Burger on Atlantic, E. L.A. Fast and friendly sit-down service. Thick third pound fresh beef burger with french fries and a drink. Again, spiced just right. Crispy, juicy, watch it grill. Served on a Chinese plate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  8. Bill's Hamburgers, Van Nuys. A small stand you can sit around the grill with a patio area in back. Friendly. Not to be confused with the nearby "Billy's Grill", Bill's is a Van Nuys treat. Get a triple. You will down it with a bag of chips and a canned soda. The spices are heaven, it's fresh ground beef from Farmer's Market or something (I've asked). The juiciest, watch from peppery drippage as you're biting into the three patties on a tiny sponge bun. The lettuce gets immersed in the juices. No fries or 1000 here, just a terrific lunchtime hamburger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: allinthedetails
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Peripatetic Mar 17, 2012 05:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    > I have reviewed ALL the burgers in this post ... and will give my eight best.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You've tried every burger mentioned in the entire thread? I've never even heard of some of them! For example, the "Moe Beefy Burger" mentioned by Melvin Surdin: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3122...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Peripatetic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      allinthedetails Mar 17, 2012 05:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Peripathetic,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I honestly don't know why you're asking me if I've tried Moe's across the street from Bob's in Toluca Lake. OF COURSE. They make a living off the spillover from a true American original

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: allinthedetails
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Servorg Mar 17, 2012 05:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And Hinano's in Venice or Hole-in-the-Wall burgers behind the Winchell's in WLA? What about B & R Burger in Hawthorne: http://bandrburgers.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: allinthedetails
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Peripatetic Mar 17, 2012 05:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I had the impression Melvin was referring to a place called "Moe Beefy Burger". The other places on his list are, well, recognizable places, not burgers. Even if he is referring to a burger, I don't think Mo's in Toluca Lake has a burger named the "Beefy Burger".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I could be wrong, though . . . your first-hand experience of burgers in LA unquestionably exceeds mine!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Peripatetic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Servorg Mar 17, 2012 06:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          He wasn't talking about Mo's in Burbank/Toluca Lake...he was referring to the now closed Mo Better Meatty Meat Burgers that was on Pico Blvd in WLA which then briefly morphed into the Indulge Cafe (also now closed) which was also on Pico in WLA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Peripatetic Mar 17, 2012 06:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That looks like a match! Thanks, Servorg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What a great name. Someone should resurrect it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: allinthedetails
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          8Gr8N8 Sep 7, 2012 02:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Please see my review of "Fusion Burgers". They kick all kinds of cow right in the udder. One Hound purports them to have some familial bonds to Umami Burger:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/866871

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://fusionburgersla.com
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          5933 York Boulevard,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Los Angeles, CA 90042
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tel: (323)257-8705

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: 8Gr8N8
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Burger Boy Dec 11, 2012 11:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I believe they worked for Umami and borrowed their game plan, how original.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: allinthedetails
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            n
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ns1 Jan 15, 2013 05:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have a hard time believing you have eaten all the burgers in this post and then come up with the top 8 list that you've come up with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ns1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              SherlockNoms Jan 15, 2013 07:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hahaha, yeah. I couldn't get passed the statement "I love burgers well done." Seems like such a waste of a good burger; not that Big Boy's is what I would refer to as a good burger, much less the best. To each their own, I suppose.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. wienermobile Mar 17, 2012 08:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tried burger at the new Plan Check. CHEFS FAVORITE BURGER cheese two ways, bacon two ways, ketchup leather, fried egg, hot sauce $12. It's good. My son had their PCB (PLAN CHECK BURGER) akaushi red wagyu beef, americanized cheese, ketchup leather, savory onions, mixed pickles, crunch bun $10. I don't know which one I like better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.plancheckbar.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: wienermobile
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Dommy Mar 17, 2012 10:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I dunno why, but the ketchp leather thing skeeves me out from the PCB... was there at all any texture to it? Or did it kinda meld into the patty like a cheese slice would?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, I did hate froot roll ups as a kid...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Dommy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                wienermobile Mar 17, 2012 10:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It kind of melts in a little with a mild sweet flavor. Tomato fruit strips. The Chef describes "ketchup leather, as a solidified sheet of ketchup that locks the tomato flavor in place without saturating the Portuguese-style bun."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: wienermobile
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                aching Dec 13, 2012 01:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I just had the Chef's Favorite Burger at Plan Check last week, and it is my new front-runner in the LA burger race. Every note was just perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                AAQjr Mar 17, 2012 08:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Any reviews on the burger from 'Batch' in Culver city? I keep hearing good things...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. lsirlin Jun 20, 2012 04:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Local Peasant gastropub in Sherman Oaks. Order the Local Peasant Burger... rare with an egg on it. And...also must have? Their fab fat fries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    jgilbert Aug 29, 2012 05:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hole in the Wall -- behind the mini maill at Santa Monica and Sepulveda in West LA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jgilbert
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      kellybean333 Dec 15, 2012 11:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      that place is still around? I used to go there with my dad when I was a kid. I thought it went away when the fancified that area. nostalgia trip coming up!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kellybean333
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Servorg Dec 15, 2012 11:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Probably you are thinking of a different places. Hole in the Wall has only been around about 5 years (probably less) as far as I know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          kellybean333 Dec 15, 2012 11:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I wonder if it's the same people though. There was a place called Hole in the Wall ~30 years ago, on the north side of SM Blvd just west of Sepulveda. They served burgers wrapped in brown paper. Mmm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I live on the other side of the hill now and my favorite burger is from Blue Dog behind the Whole Foods on Sepulveda South of Ventura. Fantastic burgers, you can tell they are ground in-house and hand formed patties. Lots of good variations. I haven't seen anything on Blue Dog on Chowhound, has anyone tried it? Fabulous beer selection too..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kellybean333
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            SherlockNoms Jan 6, 2013 11:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm with you 100% on Blue Dog's burgers! They are my favorite as well. I always order a blue cheese burger (med rare, of course!) with fresh jalapenos and their chili cheese fries. I am not a chili cheese fries kind of gal, but these are the BEST I've ever had. Truly delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Blue Dog Beer Tavern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4524 Saugus Avenue Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: SherlockNoms
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              d
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Dirtywextraolives Jan 11, 2013 10:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              +2 best burgers in the valley....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                n
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                nosh Jan 15, 2013 05:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I tried Blue Dog today for lunch after golf. Cute place, lots of TV screens inside and some patio seating, though a bit chilly for that today. Ordered the cheeseburger with fries welldone. Burger was a shade more towards medium, but good. Fries were very plentiful and quite crispy. Amazing bun -- nicely grilled (or toasted) crispy, soft and pillowy, tasty, held up through the whole sandwich. A good, reasonably fast, filling lunch for $10 + tax + tip = $13.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nosh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  SherlockNoms Jan 15, 2013 05:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's my one beef (no pun intended) with Blue Dog. Their medium rare can be slightly inconsistent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: SherlockNoms
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    d
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dirtywextraolives Jan 15, 2013 08:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have not seemed to have the same problem, but I suppose it varies. I have a habit of going to places right when they open, if I can. Perhaps the grill is not as preheated as if it would be going later in the day. And I have not tried the chili cheese fries, and now will have to make a plan to stop by there soon and try them, thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      caldad02 Sep 7, 2012 08:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Daily Grill (any location) has fresh ground beef and should have been mentioned! Great quality!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        magiccat Dec 12, 2012 08:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This is an odd one (and I haven't read the 300+ below, so I may not be first to recommend it), but my favorite burger in LA other than In 'n Out is at Gulfstream in the Century City mall, which is generally a fish restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        First, they use great beef with nary a bit of bone or gristle. I am hypersensitive about that and never eat somewhere again if I feel something I don't like, which I haven't there although I have eaten there for at least five years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Second, they will cook it to your specifications - if you want medium, you get medium, if you want well done, you get well done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Third, it is topped with cheese, lettuce (really arugula) and tomato and some house sauce and also pickles and very delicious marinated onions. I usually ask them to leave off the arugula and tomato (and just leave the flavorful things). It is served with very tasty shoestring french fries, but you can substitute other sides.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have not ordered it plain, but I have seen others do so, and it looks good too (they also claim to make the ketchup in-house). But the stock way is extremely tasty and quite a find for a fish restaurant. The crunchy fish sandwich (euphemism for fried) is also very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: magiccat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Servorg Dec 13, 2012 06:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          While it's true Gulfstream wasn't mentioned specifically, both Houston's and Bandera were mentioned, and since all these restaurants are part of the "Hillstone" group they have almost identical burgers and fries at all of them (along with the burgers and fries I've had at R+D Kitchen on Montana Ave. in Santa Monica - another Hillstone group member).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            cdub Dec 13, 2012 08:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            and the best burger at gulfstream is their tuna burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              TonyC Dec 13, 2012 12:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              so it's the same burger at Honor Bar as well, yes? BTW, is that place just the most under-rated bar on the westside? People seem to love it unconditionally?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TonyC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ernie Dec 13, 2012 12:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Hillstone burgers are similarly excellent in quality, but have small variances, i.e., usually the type of sauce or dressing and assorted toppings. That being said, I do love the version at Honor Bar. Great little place

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ernie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  TonyC Dec 13, 2012 02:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What is it about Honor Bar? I really want to get it. 110+ 4.5* reviews on Yelp for a "chain" bar with no Chow/blog/web/newspaper hype. Is it the jazz? the classic cocktails? The "near" affordability on Beverly Dr?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TonyC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ernie Dec 13, 2012 02:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's a small bar with pretty good food in a nice area. That is all there is to "get." I don't put much value on Yelp reviews.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: TonyC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      beaubourne Dec 13, 2012 04:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A lot of my friends in entertainment go there, which could explain how it gets so much hype. I've never been.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. CharlesKochel Dec 15, 2012 04:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Bistro in Topanga Canyon is off the charts when it comes to Burgers. Don't skimp and get the lean stuff, but order the Bistro Burger (I like it medium) and truffle fries...wow, the best I've had in LA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. SauceSupreme Dec 18, 2012 10:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                At the moment for me, my top burger is still Comme Ça, followed by Spice Table and The Eveleigh as 2a and 2b.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: SauceSupreme
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Helper Monkey Jan 15, 2013 10:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I second Comme Ca as my top burger, thus far.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  WileysHungryAgain Jan 7, 2013 08:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Been following this post for a while now, and it appears that the consensus is, that there is no consensus. Maybe not THE best in LA, but Blue Plate Oysterette (Santa Monica) and Monsieur Marcel (Santa Monica, haven't been to The Grove loc.) do some really solid work on their burgers when they hit their marks. The latter boasts the NS blend on their menu FWIW.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  As a Venetian, Hinano & 26 Beach are way up there for quality and proximity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Senzinina Jan 12, 2013 09:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Burgers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lucky Boy - Pasadena - the pastrami burger is off the charts. Old fashioned and so freaking good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Hat - Pasadena - old fashion, gooey, chili fries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Stout - Hollywood - wow, wow, wow.... gourmet, simple burgers with huge selection of beers on tap. Outrageously good. Umami Burger for real men. Fantastic meat you can order med rare, simple, gourmet fixins'. Wow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Umami Burger - Studio City - the truffle cheese gruyere burger is SO good. Real meat you can order medium rare, simple. Amazing fries with homemade ketchup. Cool atmosphere.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In N Out - used to be my fav, but recently they are going downhill I think. The meat is thin and grey. Fries still awesome though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Senzinina
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      hyacinthgirl Jan 15, 2013 12:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Seconding Stout, haven't seen it mentioned much on this thread, but then it's very possible that I just missed it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. JAB Jan 15, 2013 12:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In San Clemente, The Riders Clun Cafe has as good of a burger as I've ever had. Nice draft selection as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JAB
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Servorg Jan 15, 2013 05:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.ridersclubcafe.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Searching4Dunny Jan 15, 2013 06:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Looks pretty good. Thanks for the link and rec!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Searching4Dunny
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            JAB Jan 16, 2013 06:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's well beyond pretty good. ;>)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            JAB Jan 16, 2013 06:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oops, thanks!

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