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Great Burger AND Fries

Mike13241 Aug 23, 2007 12:19 PM

Not to complicate the best burger debate any further, but I am hoping that someone will be able to assist me in answering this question: Where can I find a good burger with equally delectable fries?

Often I find myself eating a great burger, only to have the experience stymied by the underwhelming fries. Is there any place where meat and potato go hand and hand to create a truly fantastic experience? Or will I be forced to find two separate locations near enough to each other where I can order both to go?

  1. SauceSupreme Aug 23, 2007 05:04 PM

    I love the burger and fries at The Hungry Cat. I'm also a fan of the fries at Father's Office. I think the fries at Oinkster is great, but I've never had the burger there, so I can't comment.

    The Hungry Cat
    1535 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028

    Father's Office
    1018 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403

    4 Replies
    1. re: SauceSupreme
      tatertotsrock Aug 23, 2007 09:30 PM

      I love everything about the Hungry Cat EXCEPT the burger...I can't stand the HC Burger.
      The patty is way too fat, the blue cheese overwhelms the flavor of the meat, the meat distracts from the cheese and the bun is too thick so there is no way a normal person can get a perfect mouthful of all the goodies. It was messy in a not so good way and it just left me mad...I have no idea why everyone likes it so much.

      The burger at GRACE is so lovely..the meat just held together with just enough fatty-flavory-goodness that it creats that perfect surface-area mouth feel perfection that just oozes good flavor all over the bun (and that bun, I could really get into that bun, but I'll save that for another time) and into your mouth..mmm....burger...now, that's a burger.

      And the one at YORK is good for all the good meaty texture reasons, but again, I hate those stupid pickeled onions...give me a pickle, give me an onion, but don't pickle my f-ing onions! The bun is this beautifully shiney eggwashed fluffy bun...aahh, fluffy-bunned-burger.

      1. re: tatertotsrock
        rednyellow Aug 23, 2007 09:47 PM

        Great point and having read your post, I probably wont try the burger at HC.It would only make me mad too. A burger is a sandwich and should be able to be picked up and eaten without turning into a giant mess.

        1. re: rednyellow
          tatertotsrock Aug 23, 2007 09:56 PM

          Hi rednyellow?
          Do you have a favorite burger?
          And what are your burger requirements?
          It's fun to see what everyone likes.

          1. re: tatertotsrock
            rednyellow Aug 24, 2007 04:36 PM

            I like the burger at Lucky Devils, but not their fries. The Kitchen in Silverlake has a very good burger and their fries are fantastic. Cheesecake Factory is a good burger - since a friend of mine likes to eat there, I go too. Dusty's burger is fantastic if when they get it right, sometimes too well done though. Hamburger Mary's is suprisingly good. I get cravings for Astro and in-n-out too.

    2. b
      Burger Boy Aug 23, 2007 05:04 PM

      26 Beach Restaurant They make their buns & patties and cut their own fries! Case closed!

      3100 Washington Blvd Venice CA 310-823-7526

      1. s
        sassystella Aug 23, 2007 05:02 PM

        There's a place called Y'Not in Torrance (on Hawthorne Blvd). It's supposed to be Tony spelled backwards, I think. They make the best burgers I've had. Excellent fries and onion rings.

        1. Will Owen Aug 23, 2007 04:46 PM

          I want a big juicy patty, and steak fries with NO skin, crisp exterior and practically weightless interior, and even though I'm neither Belgian nor Dutch, I like'em with mayonnaise - or tartar sauce or aioli. Hamburger Hamlet is the one place I can think of at the moment that does this, and while their burgers are okay they're a little too Corporate. In all honesty I enjoy ANY burger that tastes like a burger, and any kind of fries as well, and Pie'n'Burger is way up on my list of local faves, though I wouldn't drive there from any great distance. Rather sorry to hear that York has skins on theirs (what IS the attraction? To me it's like getting your eggs with the shells on), but I can deal with it. In the meantime, does anyone know of a place with a good fat-patty burger and perfectly cooked steak fries?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Will Owen
            Mel Gee Aug 23, 2007 07:15 PM

            > what IS the attraction? To me it's like getting your eggs with the shells on

            Eggs are soft and slippery; shells are hard and (I'll assume) inedible and indigestible. So it's not like that at all!

            A small amount of potato skin gives a nice contrast in texture and taste and somewhat shields the adjacent part of the potato from the cooking fat, changing **its** texture and taste slilghtly. All in all, a very nice addition but, obviously, not universally appreciated.

            1. re: Will Owen
              tatertotsrock Aug 23, 2007 10:01 PM

              Hi Will Owen,

              I can understand your "not into skin" preference. I am really critical if there is skin cuz sometimes it can be kinda gross...if the potatos aren't crisped correctly, you can get a leathery, chewy skin that is so unappealing-can almost taste dirty.
              The ones at York are so crip on the outside that the skins become the same texture as the rest of the potato (thank goodness)...as long as the fries are crisp and have a more potato to skin ratio, then life is good.

            2. m
              Mel Gee Aug 23, 2007 03:16 PM

              For me, a good hamburger is on the thin side (to reduce its weight in the mouth), has a relatively open texture (closed texture goes better with a properly made meatloaf), and is cooked quickly to be crisp on the surface, very juicy inside. Current best candidate in the restaurants I patronize: Pie 'n Burger.

              I also like luscious, slightly greasy french fries (with some of the skin still on), made from large, somewhat waxy potatoes cooked twice in hot, clean fat. I can't stand dry, chalky Idaho fries. Current best candidate: the hashbrowns at Pie 'n Burger or at Russell's. In other words, I don't know of any great fries in Southern California (outside my house) and have been especially disappointed in the highly promoted frites at Oinkster, although it's a pleasant-enough place for other reasons.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Mel Gee
                droyal Aug 23, 2007 08:26 PM

                I agree regarding the patty, too large and the proper ratio between meat and bun is destroyed.

              2. n
                nick_r Aug 23, 2007 01:44 PM

                The Counter in Santa Monica. They have great sweet potato fries too, AND you can get a 50/50 mix of those with regular fries. I've only had the veggie burger there, but my understanding is that the regular burger is of very high quality. And the toppings, my god, the toppings! I think there's something like 1,000 possible combinations.

                3 Replies
                1. re: nick_r
                  Wolfgang Aug 23, 2007 02:36 PM

                  The Village Idiot has a pretty darn good simple burger and great fries. And they have Racer 5 to wash it down.

                  1. re: nick_r
                    TracyS Aug 23, 2007 02:44 PM

                    I've had both the beef and turkey burgers there and don't like them. For some reason their patties tend to crumble a lot, so at the end you're left with something looking more like a salad. Makes sense with why they serve their burgers on what look like personal pizza pans. Other than the novelty of being able to choose exactly what toppings you want, I don't care for their burgers too much.

                    1. re: TracyS
                      Renault78law Aug 23, 2007 05:44 PM

                      IMO, that is the sign of a superior burger. Lightly hand-packed is the way I cook them at home too.

                  2. n
                    nd33x Aug 23, 2007 01:32 PM


                    5 Replies
                    1. re: nd33x
                      ElsieDee Aug 23, 2007 10:33 PM

                      I second the rec. for the Oinkster in Eagle Rock - get the cheeseburger combo, medium-rare, with grilled onions. They call their fries Belgian (I've no real idea what that means) and they're served with a garlic mayo dipping sauce and several options of ketchup (I like the home-made and the chipotle). Really, really, drippingly good.

                      2005 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

                      1. re: ElsieDee
                        silence9 Aug 24, 2007 09:21 AM

                        I believe the Belgian technique refers to twice fried frites, being initially immersed in standard hot oil and then rested briefly before being plunged back into freakin' hot oil; the first immersion cooking the raw product, and the re-immersion crispening up the just-cooked potato, for an (ideally) crunch-tastic spud experience...

                        1. re: silence9
                          ElsieDee Aug 24, 2007 11:25 AM

                          MMMMMmmmm - crunch-tastic. I'm gonna steal that, if it's okay by you.

                          Thanks for the explanation.

                        2. re: ElsieDee
                          Akitist Aug 24, 2007 11:47 AM

                          Belgian fries are traditionally cooked in horse fat, too. I don't imagine Oinkster takes authenticity to that level.

                          1. re: Akitist
                            ipsedixit Aug 24, 2007 03:01 PM

                            Horses have fat??

                      2. b
                        B Minus Aug 23, 2007 01:02 PM

                        Trax has an above average burger & amazing fries.
                        Gotta rec. Fatburger's skinny fries (dipped in ketchup & Tabasco). Mmmmm

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: B Minus
                          tatertotsrock Aug 23, 2007 01:09 PM

                          B Minus,
                          Hi, could you tell me more about the TRAXX burger...and the fries...I love TRAXX and since they are KCRW Merchants and I'm a member-great discout: 10% off including alcohol....refereshing.

                          1. re: tatertotsrock
                            B Minus Aug 23, 2007 04:55 PM

                            I'm partial to "stand" burgers myself. I like a lot of personality in my burger. But the Traxx burger was very nice. It's a good version of the standard fancy burger you find all over L.A. these days. It comes on a nice on a nice bun-roll hybrid, trimmed with traditional fix'ns (Tom., Let., Red On. (if I remember correctly). You have your choice of the common cheeses. And it comes with a couple of nice gerkins. The burger itself is of good, quality, meat cooked to order. Careful how you order it though. I like my meat mooin', but their "rare" is nearly raw. All in all a very tasty, and tasteful, burger. I'd recommend it (along with a couple of Buds to was it down).

                            The fries though...
                            The fries are top notch. I'd go back just for the fries. Nice shoestrings (my favorite cut), with a flavor that I can only describe as that of buttered popcorn. Sounds strange, but that's what they tasted like. The waiter said that they were fried in peanut oil. So good.

                            1. re: B Minus
                              tatertotsrock Aug 23, 2007 07:33 PM

                              Thanks B Minus,
                              I now know where I'll get my burger fix next week...yee ha, me and my KCRW card.

                          2. re: B Minus
                            MeAndroo Aug 23, 2007 01:42 PM

                            Ahh, Fatburger fries are pretty darn good. I prefer mixing that ketchup with Tapatio personally, but I can say that's a solid combo.

                            I like the Farmer Boy's burger combo. The burger comes with 2 patties, cheese, bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato, and their fries are pretty good too. I also like the "herb shoestring fries" served with the sandwiches at Bonaventure Brewing Company in downtown LA, and the combo at Happy Cow inside the Bonaventure isn't bad, though the fries are pretty salty.

                            I'd say that more often than having a good burger with bad fries, I end up with a mediocre burger and good fries.

                            1. re: MeAndroo
                              B Minus Aug 23, 2007 04:29 PM

                              Try the chipotle Tabasco. Very nice.

                            2. re: B Minus
                              Rae Aug 23, 2007 04:42 PM

                              I don't recall seeing a hamburger or fries on the Traxx menu - and I was just there 2 weeks ago. Enjoyed the crab cake though.

                              1. re: Rae
                                ipsedixit Aug 23, 2007 04:59 PM

                                Traxx has a burger on the lunch menu.

                                1. re: Rae
                                  B Minus Aug 23, 2007 05:03 PM

                                  Yep, should have said I was there for lunch.

                              2. d
                                dinami Aug 23, 2007 01:01 PM

                                What kind of fries do you prefer? Shoestring? Steak fries? I still say my favorite burger is the bacon cheeseburger at Houstons, and their fries are damn good but they are shoestring style.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: dinami
                                  brandygirl Aug 23, 2007 05:57 PM

                                  I gotta give another vote to Housetons. Best burger in LA, and terrific fries.

                                2. s
                                  silence9 Aug 23, 2007 12:59 PM

                                  Gorikee (in Woodland Hills), for their huge and tasty burger (unfortunately named the Wimpy Burger), sided with hot, crisp garlic fries. A harmonious meat and potato experience. Total: $7, but only available for lunch (till 2:00 p.m.). Don't stray into the dive bar next door without a pair of nunchucks, though...

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: silence9
                                    David Kahn Aug 23, 2007 02:26 PM

                                    Assume you're not a Popeye fan? (See, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Welli... ).

                                    1. re: David Kahn
                                      silence9 Aug 24, 2007 09:36 AM

                                      Hi David... Yup, Wimpy is an interesting cartoon archetype, and a good patron saint of hamburgers :-). I suppose naming a burger in his honor makes sense! However, just as Winne-the-Pooh is also a lovable cartoon icon and patron of honey, I would find it an unfortunate marketing practice to sell a line of honey called Pooh Honey. Conjures up the unthinkable. HAHAHA !

                                      1. re: silence9
                                        Akitist Aug 24, 2007 11:44 AM

                                        I've heard that in England hamburgers were referred to as Wimpys.

                                  2. tatertotsrock Aug 23, 2007 12:34 PM

                                    YORK in Highland Park...love the burger (don't like the pickled onions)...really LOVE THE FRIES.
                                    GRACE has an amazing burgers with HEAVENLY FRIES (just bring your own ketchup cuz their ketchup sucks)

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: tatertotsrock
                                      echo eater Aug 23, 2007 12:44 PM

                                      I second the York. Had the burger and fries last night. Burger was med rare (as ordered) and the "skin-on" fries were nicely cooked and seasoned.

                                    2. t
                                      TracyS Aug 23, 2007 12:20 PM

                                      My vote goes to Father's Office.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: TracyS
                                        hrhboo Aug 23, 2007 12:22 PM

                                        Second this, and Beechwood too.

                                        1. re: hrhboo
                                          LisaStitch Aug 23, 2007 02:28 PM

                                          I highly agree with both of these!

                                          I also recommend:
                                          Apple Pan
                                          Barney's Gourmet Hamburgers (for the spicy curly fries with ranchy dipping sauce YUM)
                                          The Bowery (Bowery Burger + sweet potato fries)

                                          1. re: LisaStitch
                                            B Minus Aug 23, 2007 05:15 PM

                                            Ahh yes...

                                            Apple pan. Fries and Apple Pie a la mode, what a combination.

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