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Hamburgers in Los Angeles Area

Bring a transplant to Southern California, I have heard different opinions about local hamburger places. In particular, In N Out seems to be a local favorite. However, after going there, I was not impressed. The hamburgers seemed to be like so many everywhere else--pressed meat from a mold, rather thin and mass produced. Where does one go to get an old fashioned hamburger, like the kind you make at home.

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  1. B & R in Hawthorne is a good spot for the type of burger that you are seeking. Hand made and cooked on a griddle.. Nice people once your inside. Oh yes, leave your good watch home that day..

    B & R's Old Fashion Burgers
    3512 W Rosecrans Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250

    1 Reply
    1. re: Foodandwine

      B&R is also a good old school, no fancy smanchy

    2. You have opened up Pandora's Box!

      26 Beach Restaurant
      Texas BBQ King

      this all offer old school basic good burgers, there will be many more replies that have gourmet burgers and I could list those, but I won't. Try these for a good basic old school burger!

      26 Beach
      3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

      Cassell's Hamburgers
      3266 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020

      Original Texas Barbecue King
      5309 South Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA

      Yanakis Burgers
      13200 Valley Blvd, La Puente, CA 91746

      1. for comparison, try a fat burger. but yes, a pandora's box has now been opened... :-)

        1. I agree with you, the In N Out burgers do not live up to the hype and I found the fries to be yuck. I've only been once, but I preferred the Apple Pan. Disclosure: I eat very little beef and no pork. Whatever you do, never Hamburger Hamlet. I've been pleased with the burgers at The Counter, but that's probably because it comes with a crapload of toppings. Yeah, that's why for sure. Also, sweet potato fries.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ahuacatl

            I love In N Out, go figure, I get animal style, protein style and animal style fries. Do you really like to build your own burgers? I like a place that presents their take on a BBQ Burger or a mushroom burger, I like the chef's take on what he does. You go to Father's Office for that one thing he does, why would you have hime leave off the blue cheese and add feta, you wouldn't., im rambling, sorry.

            1. re: Burger Boy

              In N Out burgers aren't bad at all, I was just agreeing about the hype ≠ reality. Being only an occasional burger eater I don't really have a sense of the burgerscape in LA. I just remember the first time I went there, after all the WOM and I was sure I had the wrong place or bad luck. I've been maybe a half dozen times and they are consistently better than the pack, but not equal to the hype. I don't normally go for the BYO, but if the toppings are included and they sound good... Actually, I'll try some of the places off your list. I don't run with a burger eating pack, so I've always felt that I'm not really finding the right places. I recall someone mentioning a Philly West, or something Philly in Westwood?

          2. I just tried the Father's Office in Santa Monica. I went to try the burger since I had heard great things about it. Not a real "home" burger but very flavorful. And if you like beer they have everything in the book-- but go early... seats are hard to come by!!!!

            2 Replies
            1. re: iheartfigs

              And another Favorite of Mine is The Richmond Bar and Grill ( my go to for its the Blue Cheese Bacon Burger ) in El Segundo. However, from reading the OP's wants.. I think that my rec of B & R will do em fine..

              Richmond Bar & Grill
              145 Richmond St, El Segundo, CA 90245

              1. re: Foodandwine

                I love the Richmond Bar and Grill, and it's certainly among my favorites for "traditional" burgers. I especially like their house-made potato chips. They're also one of the few places where you can get Firestone Double Barrel *Unfiltered* on tap (the only other place I know if is the Firestone brewery up in SB county).

                And I would remiss if I didn't also recommend Pie N Burger.

            2. Lunch burger, thin patty but hand-formed: Pie'n'Burger, Pasadena. Like In-N-Out, only artisanal and hence more expensive.

              Nice fat bar-burger: been on a quest for the best of these, and leading the pack so far is the Redwood Grill, on 2nd downtown just a door or two east of Hill St. I seem to recall it was $14 or maybe less, and cooked perfectly to order. Excellent fries, too.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Will Owen

                I'm not sure I would call anything at the Pie 'n Burger "artisanal," other than, perhaps, the unusual knee-operated mens-room faucet, but it's my current California favorite for: (1) hamburgers; (2) hash browns; and (3) that one very cute waitress.

              2. I would say Apple Pan or Pie N Burger. In N Out is fast food, for fast food its good(no steak n shake). The one thing about your post that sticks to me is "the kind you make at home" - i happen to believe that making a "regular burger" like Apple Pan and Pie N Burger is easy if you have a cast iron skillet, and a super market and half a brain. Get the buns in the morning, buythe fattiest ground beef(also the cheapest) and figure what toppings you like . . . and it will be cheaper than the gas it costs to drive to either of those places. But if you are lazy and have $12 to spend on comfy food, I guess Ill see you on the westside.

                1. My favorites are:

                  1. Houston's - they use Nieman Ranch meat
                  2. Pie N Burger - in Pasadena

                  1. Hawkins House of Burgers on Fairoaks in Altadena. None better IMO. A single, half-pound patty medium rare is all you need.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: martyR

                      Or you could get the Hawkins Burger and it would be all you and four friends need.

                    2. The cheeseburger at happy hour at McCormick and Schmick's is pretty good... thick, homestyle patty with cheese and fries for under $3!! Also, the burger at Yaki's is pure gluttony!!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: mrshankly

                        i used to live directly across the street from yaki's. they knew me by name. :-)

                      2. Gosh, what a wonderfully original idea for a post! ;P


                        If you want a burger "like the kind you make at home", chances are nothing you ever find in a restaurant is going to approach it. And if (like me) you don't make burgers at home, everyone's mileage will vary.

                        I'm linking to the three places I've been to of late that have the burgers I would most like to have again. I have not yet been to Tops in Pasadena.

                        I _have_ been to Cassell's recently enough to know that it has declined dramatically since the days when it deserved to be on anyone's best-of list. (Cassell's isn't open for dinner or on Sundays, so I find its rep tends to rest with people who haven't been there for years.


                        And, honestly, can't we all agree to hit Search before we repost the same subjects again and again?

                        25 Degrees Restaurant
                        7000 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

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

                        2901 Ocean Park Blvd Ste 102, Santa Monica, CA 90405

                        1. My all time favorite old fashioned hamburger used to be at a place called the Thai American Cafe in silver lake - of all places - but it closed down - it was the best burger i've had - if anyone knows where the owners of that place ended up let me know - the thai food wasn't bad there either

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: paulfromla

                            Yes, the posts have been duplicated, but the fact that so many people have replied to this thread must mean that the subject has still not been "talked out". I like the Pie n' Burger burger. It's probably because of the pie/burger combination. Fresh peach pie and a good burger just hits the spot. In my three times to the Counter, I've liked the burger the best the one time I ordered it without cheese. Their cheeses are so overpowering that that was all I could taste. The cheeseless Counter Burger, combined with the sweet potato fries and the onion rings, has been the best burger experience I've had in So Cal.

                              1. re: rednyellow

                                And it was regularly raved about / discussed / recommended here on the LA board (and the closing of TAC was widely lamented here).

                                1. re: Servorg

                                  Yea, especially by me as I started lurking on CH about the time everyone was saying how good it was and how much it would be missed!

                            1. A bit farther afield, but what I might consider the best burger of all, can be had in Bellflower, at Big Mike's. About a 2 1/2 inch hand-formed and pressed, seasoned patty with a grilled hot link on top. No need - or room - for much condiments.
                              Each one is cooked to order, so don't be in a hurry.

                              1. Lucky Devils
                                6613 Hollywood Blvd
                                Los Angeles, CA 90028
                                (323) 465-8259

                                Top notch burgers & shakes (diner-type atmosphere)

                                1. "pressed meat from a mold, rather thin and mass produced."

                                  I agree with the other post that support In N Out. Freshness, flavor, and they are hot -- at least at the older two lane drive-thru stands.

                                  I also understand the concern you point out -- "thin mass produced"
                                  Maybe you would like the new Hand made burger in town at the Peach

                                  Hand made burger at The Peach

                                  1. Here are some suggestions:
                                    1. San Fernando Valley - Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill
                                    2. Burbank - Mo's
                                    3. Glendale - Crocodile Cafe
                                    4. Pasadena - Houston's
                                    5. Hollywood - 25 Degrees
                                    6. West Hollywood - Irv's
                                    7. West L.A. - RIP Mo Better Meatty Meat Burgers (In my opinion, the best, but now
                                    laid to rest)
                                    - 2nd choice - Howard's Famous Bacon & Avocado Burgers
                                    8. Santa Monica - Cora's Coffee Shop
                                    9. Beverly Hills - Nic's
                                    10. Downtown - Nick & Stef's (Lunch/Bar Menu - Not Dinner)

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: omakase

                                      Tell me more about Cora's. Where is it? What type of burger is it?

                                      1. re: ElJeffe

                                        Cora's is located at 1802 Ocean Ave. in Santa Monica. The hamburgers are huge, dripping, and delicious. They even have a hamburger salad.

                                        1. re: omakase

                                          Cross street? Santa Monica Blvd, Olympic, Pico? Their own parking lot or street and structure or valet?

                                          1. re: nosh

                                            Cora's is on Ocean Ave., north of Pico Blvd. You can park on the street (meters) or at a nearby pay lot.

                                    2. One of the best burgers I've had in a while was at the Redwood bar on second street downtown. It was perfect, cooked as ordered, very flavorful, juicy, really the best in a long time. I've had good burgers at Lucky Devils in Hollywood, but I hate their fries - coated or something. Once in a while 25 Degrees would get it right, but only if the manager was there overseeing everything. Left to their own, the staff at 25 D. is totally incompetant as well as rude. Dusty's can make a great burger, but I've had a few over cooked even though I very specifically ask for med rare, but when right, they are very good.

                                      1. Wanted to give a thumbs-up to Mike's Hockeyburger on the N/W corner of Soto and Washington in ELA. Their signature burger also has a split grilled sausage topping the cheeseburger. Counter service, big portions, very accommodating, a lot of hockey and boxing memoribilia on the walls. Order your huge side of fries done well, they have good pastrami and breakfast options, and they offer this roast beef flatbread sorta option as well. Extremely clean, friendly, good place -- we'd drive from downtown for lunch.

                                        1. I haven't been there for at least 15 years, but I used to get a real good chili burger at Clearman's Galley in Pasadena (Huntington & Rosemead). I'm referring to the old boat that was moved on to the property, not the Clearman's Restaurant. Does anyone know if the old Galley is still there?