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Why isn't White Castle in L.A.?

bohemiana Dec 11, 2006 02:30 AM

I grew up in Chicago and a big treat as a kid was getting White Castle burgers. I love um!!!! It seems like a natural for L.A. but there aren't any here. Does anyone have scoop as to why not? (Yes, I have had plenty of In & Out burgers but I find them kind of plain and they just don't compare--or stack up--to sliders!)

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  1. JK Grence the Cosmic Jester RE: bohemiana Dec 11, 2006 07:44 AM

    I think it's a matter of regional preference, much like how you don't find Jack In The Box back east, or Steak-n-Shake anywhere but the Midwest. I remember many years ago there was a White Castle in Arizona, but it just didn't take root out here.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
      alliebear RE: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester Dec 11, 2006 06:01 PM

      They also have Steak and Shake in the South.

      1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
        Igor5 RE: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester May 24, 2011 02:40 PM

        I live in the Midwest. And yes, there's a Steak n Shake down the street.

      2. r
        ricepad RE: bohemiana Dec 11, 2006 03:19 PM

        There used to be a White Castle in Long Beach, just off the Traffic Circle. It's been years since I was in the area, tho, so I don't know if it's still there or not. That was the only one I knew about in the Southland, tho.

        1. ipsedixit RE: bohemiana Dec 11, 2006 10:24 PM

          I believe there is a White Castle out in Rancho Cucamonga (maybe stretching the geographical definition of "Los Angeles" a bit ...)

          1. c
            chucktowneater RE: bohemiana Dec 11, 2006 10:32 PM

            I lived in LA for a little while and liked Fatburger, IN & Out, and Jack in the Box so much better than White Castle. I'm stuck in Cleveland for the time being and am jealous of my friends with In & Out and the ilk at their disposal. There's White Castle here but not much else.

            2 Replies
            1. re: chucktowneater
              soulimar RE: chucktowneater Dec 12, 2006 09:29 AM

              hey cleveland, my ex from Ohio used to love roman burgers at mr hero http://www.mrhero.com/

              have you been ?

              1. re: soulimar
                Matt986 RE: soulimar Dec 28, 2006 04:03 PM

                Egads!!!! Mr. Hero lives!! I lived in Cleveland back in the late 70's / early 80's and loved Mr. Hero. I always had their regular cheeseburgers. Definitely a heart-attack on a sub bun. Maybe it's time for a trip back to Cleveland.

            2. f
              fara RE: bohemiana Dec 12, 2006 01:28 AM

              why is there no popeye's in raleigh-durham (except the airport where people stock up) or chik-fil-a up north or whatever your fav fast food chain, instead of a mcDo's on every corner. (i got "mc do" from the fat french girl in supersize me., i love how she's fat AND french)
              anyhow, better marketing = more locaitons

              1. Danimal n Hustler RE: bohemiana Dec 12, 2006 09:04 AM

                is there really a White Castle in California? According to their website there is not.

                1. h
                  haleyjen RE: bohemiana Dec 28, 2006 01:30 PM

                  Same reason there's no In -n- Out in NYC? It sucks, though.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: haleyjen
                    Cathy RE: haleyjen Dec 28, 2006 05:11 PM

                    In-N-Out is totally Family owned, not franchised. Thats probably why they haven't expanded..yet..

                    Original owner died this year and granddaughter inherited...so it might become a franchise.

                    1. re: Cathy
                      ChinoWayne RE: Cathy Dec 28, 2006 05:17 PM

                      Yes, In-N-Out is a private corporation, until recently directly managed by family, however, there has been a dispute for the past year or so between two camps, one represented by the granddaughter and one represented by hired management.

                      For all of the years that In-N-Out has been managed by the original family members the quality and product have remained unchanged. The service has also remained unchanged (one reason being the fact that they pay significantly more than mininum wage).

                      My prediction is that if the company grows, either by going public and or opening up franchises, the product and dining experience will suffer, then there will be no point in anyone in an area not previously served by In-N-Out to patronize just another fast food joint.

                      1. re: ChinoWayne
                        Sacto_Damkier RE: ChinoWayne Dec 31, 2006 07:17 AM

                        The main issue about In-N-Out expansion is distance from the central plant in Los Angeles. The burgers are made fresh in a central kitchen then shipped fresh to each restaurant. All restaurants have to be within driving distance of Southern California. Reno & Phoenix are the end of the line for In-N-Out expansion.

                        1. re: Sacto_Damkier
                          Servorg RE: Sacto_Damkier Feb 24, 2011 08:34 AM

                          Regional "central plants" can undoubtedly be created to feed locations other than those here in the far west US...(should the company wish to do so).

                  2. SauceSupreme RE: bohemiana Dec 30, 2006 07:27 AM

                    I disagree that White Castle would be a natural for California. There's a wide variety of ethnic fast food (predominantly Mexican, but also consisting of Asian flavors like Thai and Chinese) that helps to supplement typical burger-and-fries fast food.

                    That's not to say that there would be a KrispyKreme-esque rush when a White Castle would first open, but like KK, the furor will die down.

                    Meanwhile, the line to In-N-Out at midnight still causes traffic on Ventura Blvd.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: SauceSupreme
                      lovefoodandstayslim RE: SauceSupreme Feb 9, 2011 08:25 PM

                      I disagree with you, becausee New York City area has a bigger and wider variety of ethnic food and restaurants, and White Castle does well there. Besides In-N-Out is more like typical burger-and-fries fast food than White Castle. White Castle is way more different when it comes to burgers. I think it would do well in California, especially in Los Angeles area.

                    2. t
                      Tony Miller RE: bohemiana Dec 30, 2006 08:38 AM

                      You can buy frozen sliders by the box at the supermarket. Maybe not quite the same experience, but they taste pretty much the way I remember them.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Tony Miller
                        MeAndroo RE: Tony Miller Mar 16, 2007 03:51 PM

                        Actually, I think they taste BETTER than the real thing. I'll qualify it by saying that I had White Castle once in Nashville, and was surprised at the grease sponge that was called a bun and gristle that was called a patty. Fries were bad too...I think we ended up tossing 4 3 sliders and 3/4 an order of fries and eating somewhere else.

                        1. re: MeAndroo
                          Tripeler RE: MeAndroo Feb 9, 2011 08:36 PM

                          Isn't there a pub someplace called...

                          The Sponge & Gristle


                        2. re: Tony Miller
                          jcmods RE: Tony Miller Feb 14, 2011 07:02 AM

                          Just had the sliders from the box. Not quite the same, but better than you think.. It will definitely satisfy that craving if there is nothing else. They are hard to find in NY although it does exist in Queens. I used to live in Jersey City....practically across the street from the one on Kennedy Blvd. Not sure if that one is still there.

                        3. NiKoLe1625 RE: bohemiana Jan 11, 2007 03:03 AM

                          you cant find white castle west of the mississipi. it just doesn't exist! one of theperks of living on the east coast i guess!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: NiKoLe1625
                            John E. RE: NiKoLe1625 Jun 29, 2014 09:41 PM

                            Since your last post was more than five years ago, my response is for anyone else reading this revived thread.

                            The first White Castle restaurant opened in Wichita, Kansas, about 500 miles west of the Mississippi River. There are probably a dozen White Castle restaurants west of the Mississippi in Minneapolis alone.

                          2. m
                            mrwilmoth RE: bohemiana Mar 16, 2007 01:30 PM

                            where are the california locations for white castle? I have never seen one. someone post a street address and phone number. thanks

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: mrwilmoth
                              justagthing RE: mrwilmoth Mar 17, 2007 08:16 AM

                              there are no longer any locations in southern cal, it has been decades since they were here. i guess it just didn't catch on back in the 70's. but since sliders are now becoming more and more popular here, ie..more readily found on menus all over now, they may fare better if they tried again.

                              1. re: justagthing
                                textex RE: justagthing Mar 20, 2007 05:15 AM

                                do you have krystal's in LA

                                1. re: textex
                                  justagthing RE: textex Mar 20, 2007 06:45 AM

                                  not that i have heard or seen....??

                            2. g
                              Gadvfreak99 RE: bohemiana Sep 7, 2008 09:47 PM

                              Well, It is just not a western Fast Food place.

                              1. m
                                Muskrat RE: bohemiana Sep 7, 2008 09:51 PM

                                They tried in L.A. -- I vaguely remember one at Hollywood & Cahuenga, where Popeye's is now. It didn't last long. Evidently, Angelenos never took to moist, square, tiny hamburgers. And New Yorkers discovered that a "real" hamburger tastes like a Fatburger, Tommy's and, later, In-n-Outs, too.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: Muskrat
                                  Scrapironchef RE: Muskrat Sep 8, 2008 03:08 PM

                                  You're right about the Hollywood Blvd, what killed them there was parking, not comparison to "real" hamburgers. Sliders are not in the same food category as hamburgers. At 2 am whem the bars close you need someplace you can drive to and get a bag of bad food, if you can't park you don't stop. The 2 am crowd is a key demographic for White Castle.

                                  1. re: Scrapironchef
                                    ricepad RE: Scrapironchef Feb 10, 2011 11:37 AM

                                    The 2 AM crowd in LA is at Jack in the Box, loading up on "tacos".

                                    1. re: ricepad
                                      Scrapironchef RE: ricepad Feb 10, 2011 12:42 PM

                                      My point exactly, if there was a WC with a drive thru and/or reasonable parking they'd eat sliders just as readily. About the same meat content either way.

                                      1. re: Scrapironchef
                                        ricepad RE: Scrapironchef Feb 11, 2011 11:24 AM

                                        Sliders are made with Meatpaste??

                                        1. re: ricepad
                                          Scrapironchef RE: ricepad Feb 11, 2011 11:27 AM

                                          Meatpaste is made from sliders.

                                          1. re: Scrapironchef
                                            bohemiana RE: Scrapironchef Feb 23, 2011 05:08 PM

                                            Who cares what they are made of really, I mean, most fast-food is pretty questionable. I eat White Castles because they are unique and taste good. Actually, the frozen ones in the grocery are good enough for me.
                                            I would rather eat White Castles than In-and-Out anyday, although I grew up in Chicago.

                                2. r
                                  robert919 RE: bohemiana Jun 29, 2014 06:21 PM

                                  It's a midwestern restaurant that has spilled into the NYC market, probably because Harold and Kumar movies were set in NYC, and it wouldn't make sense not to have WC's there. Other than that, White Castle is to the midwest as Jack in the Box and In N Out is to the southwest. Frankly, I've had both Jack and White Castle, and Jack is much better (for fast food).

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: robert919
                                    jcmods RE: robert919 Jul 4, 2014 08:54 AM

                                    White Castle has been in the NY area long before Harold and Kumar. But I agree it is a Midwest thing. They seem to thrive in urban working class areas that were well established before WWII (Cleveland, St. Louis, Chicago) which is why they are not in LA.

                                    My father ate them a lot in Chicago in the 1930s - 1950s. He also complained that they did not have them when we moved East in the 1960s.

                                  2. trolley RE: bohemiana Jul 7, 2014 09:37 PM

                                    why? bc there's an In-N-Out. That's why.

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