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Thoughts on Best Burger in LA?

b
boigahmonster Nov 11, 2007 10:34 AM

There can never be a "Best" burger....but figured I would try to get this timeless debate fired up.
Fast Food=In n' Out (don't gimme the Fatburger thing!)
High End=Chaya Brasserie
Pub=Ford's Filling Station
Old Time Burger joint=the Bucket in Eagle Rock

Let's hear some cointer-point?

D

  1. c
    crt Nov 18, 2007 08:33 AM

    Responding to silence9's...

    "The big deal with In N Out is, arguably, the value. About $2.50 for a Double Double. Quality ingredients, simple menu, and overall decent service from employees who seem pleased with their wage and working conditions and don't give the impression that they want to slit their wrists in front of you. I'm 48, and honestly, In N Out is the only fastfood place i can recall wherein the young counter-persons don't give me the stink-eye for having lived beyond the age of 40. This may seem an odd perk, but i like having the person preparing and serving my fastfood actually appreciating my patronage. Perhaps its only my experience, but the staff at In N Out seem very OK with both *their* being the employee and *me* being the customer. Restores just a bit of my faith in those new to the workforce. I'm pleased to support this, via my patronage..."

    Although I have to agree with most of what you say about In N Out, it's obvious you've never eaten at their Anaheim location on Brookhurst and Orange. As with any dining establishment whether it is independently owned and operated or a 'chain' good food & drink and good service depend on many factors. I've had great food and great service at both kinds of restaurants and vice versa. I think some folks like to 'bag' on chains for the sake of 'bagging'. Okay enough of that rant! We do love the the In N Out in Fullerton @ Harbor & Orangethorpe. After the 3rd try at giving the Brookhust and Orange location our business, we vowed never to go there again. Even slower than usual service from a staff that moved at a three toed sloths pace and fries that were for some reason always cold and a messy messy dining area that was never attended to. So we decided to try the Fullerton location. And we've been driving the extra distance ever since. It's the complete opposite of the Brookhurst and Orange location. I even took the time to sit down and write a letter of commendation on behalf management and staff and sent it to 'Corporate'.

    On the 'best burger' ? that I'm guessing has been asked more than once on the many various boards here at Chowhound.com...I think way too much is made about it. I understand folks wanting to know where others think the 'best burger' can be found. I think that in the Greater Los Angeles Area (including Orange County), there are probably hundreds of places you can get a good or even great burger. Just give me a fresh bun, preferably sesame seed, and toasted, Thousand Island dressing, charbroiled or grilled patty, fresh crispy lettuce, cheese (we prefer swiss) and for a basic burger I'm more than happy. And I can get that at three independents close to my home! Add bacon and avocado, which those do also, and I'm exstatic (sp?)! Like anything else I think burgers can be over done or over exotic. But hey to those who like that, more power to you! Enjoy!

    1 Reply
    1. re: crt
      t
      thomtompkins Nov 23, 2007 07:02 PM

      Dont laugh, but among the serious burger places that LA has to offer, the best burger for my money is the Houtsons, California Burger. Grilled to order, with onion, tomatoe, avacado and dressed arugula. Its juicy, with all the right flavors. Fathers office is the same thing. I cant believe that In and Out is even mentioned. The burgers are inexpensive yes, but they are just ok. They taste like a greasy, inexpensinve burger and you get what you pay for. And the accompanying fries.....limp, flavorless and just awful. I simply cant believe this place is a popular as it is.....mostly with Native Californians. All this and I get to wait in my car for ten minutes to get it.

    2. j
      Joe Nov 18, 2007 06:43 AM

      Fast Food=that's a no brainer. In-N-Out any day! Too bad for people who are not on the west coast. They truly are missing out.

      High End= Another no brainer; Father's Office. Some say it's too gourmet but I say it's the best creation I've tasted in a while. Tried 25 Degrees recently and was not impressed.

      Pub=not really certain

      Old Time Burger joint=Well, considering it's been there since 1957, I guess you can call it old time. Top's Burgers on Colorado in Pasadena. Their classic burger or Pastrami burger is awesome. To boot, with their latest Kobe Burger creation, they rank 2nd (1st being FO's) in the gourmet burger business. A must try.

      1. j
        jlrobe Nov 16, 2007 09:58 AM

        Too many burgers in LA. WAY TOO Many.

        I like fancy burgers, great atmoshpere, and great brew, otherwise, the best burger, is the burger I make at home, or just In and Out if I am very short on money and time.

        Lucky Devils, Fathers Office, and Ebizos in Manhattan Beach are my favorite fancy burgers.

        They all use fantastic ingredients, have great beer lists and great atmoshperes. They are very Unique and very LA.

        Ones in hollywood, ones in the the southbay (where I live), ones on the west side. Its a good spread.

        If you want a good burger downtown, redwood bar and grill also has a very unique and very LA atmosphere, very good beer, and great ingredients.

        Anyhow, some people think paying 10+ on a burger is too much and thus wouldnt like this list. To each their own I guess.

        PS: Hollywood has a lot of great burgers. Bar Marmount, The Bowery, Hungry Cat, 25 degrees, Musso and Frank all have very good burgers. You really cant go wrong as far as preparation and ingredients go.

        1. s
          soccerandlost Nov 14, 2007 09:01 PM

          I like the burger at BLD, the Kobe burger at Lucky Devils, and the make-your-own burger at The Counter on Ocean Park. Father's Office obviously has great gourmet burgers, but the no-substitutions rule gets me. The Bowery also has a great burger. Damn...now I want a burger.

          1 Reply
          1. re: soccerandlost
            chef2chef Nov 15, 2007 01:43 PM

            i gotta go with the Bucket. mammoth burgers.

          2. Will Owen Nov 13, 2007 09:03 AM

            My faves for the fast-food, pub and Old Time categories are In-N-Out, the Redwood and Pie'n'Burger. The pub category is a wonderfully crowded field, especially as a lot of the contenders aren't actually found in pubs. Ford's makes one of the best, for sure, but the one at the Redwood was just that much beefier and juicier.

            I don't do high end - I figure even a great burger is overpriced when it approaches $20. And price, as we know, is no guarantee of superiority: Julienne's pub-burger is close to my $20 limit, but while decent it was the weakest contender. Even Central Park's $9 burger cleaned its clock, bun and all.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Will Owen
              j
              Jeryy Nov 13, 2007 08:06 PM

              Two new entrees in the best Pub burger sweeps, both in West LA - The Counter on Ocean Park and Lemon Moon just West of Bundy on Olympic (lunch only). Had the Lemon Moon burger on baguette and it was fabulous. Really good fries and exceptional coleslaw - $9:50

              Also my old fave, the SF Saloon on Pico at Gateway. Solid in all ways.

              1. re: Jeryy
                b
                Burger Boy Nov 13, 2007 08:41 PM

                How would you compare The Counter to Father's Office, Pete's, Morton's, 26 Beach, 25 Degrees. Not even in the same class, is it?

                1. re: Burger Boy
                  r
                  rezpeni Nov 14, 2007 09:34 AM

                  I have to say I was really disappointed with 25 Degrees. I had some burger there with Arugala and it came out cooked like Spinach which was pretty gross. Also they charge you extra if you want fries so then you have to buy this big honking thing even when you only want, you know, a few fries. I wouldn't go back.

                  To these lists I would also like to advocate the pub burger at The Village Idiot with its side of tasty balsamic onions.

                  1. re: rezpeni
                    t
                    TravelJack Nov 15, 2007 01:24 AM

                    I second Pie N' Burger! The Counter's burger is ok. The choices of what goes in is interesting. In N Out and Father's Office are also good.

                    1. re: TravelJack
                      burumun Nov 24, 2007 12:59 PM

                      I don't like Pie n burger that much ... Apple Pan's hickory smoked is better IMO. For me best burgers are :
                      Under $10: Apple Pan
                      Fancy: Grace

                      -burumun
                      http://gourmetpigs.blogspot.com

            2. d
              droyal Nov 12, 2007 09:10 PM

              Had the Pug burger a few months ago. Had two burgers at Grace - $22 for the one with truffled cheese. Prefer the Pug.

              1. i
                Iateitup Nov 12, 2007 05:58 PM

                I finally went to TOPS yesterday after months of anticipation, hadn't eaten all day, ordered the Kobe burger and the small fries (even though I'd read the burger was big and so were the fries). The burger was big and the small fries were huge, I got ranch dressing with them, after eating the burger and two thirds of the fries I felt ill.

                Moral of the story- just order the burger unless you're there with your entire extended family, then you can order the fries too.

                1. b
                  broncosaurus Nov 12, 2007 05:34 PM

                  B & R Old Fashioned on Cerise/Rosecrans
                  Houstons

                  1. k
                    KayZee Nov 12, 2007 05:04 PM

                    I like the 26 beach cafe burger and I think that while the cupcakes at the Bluebird Cafe are overated, the burger is an underapreciated gem.

                    KZinCC

                    1. r
                      rezpeni Nov 12, 2007 03:46 PM

                      In Hollywood I'm going to say Lucky Devil's Kobe burger, Pug Burger at Hungry Cat, and for a quickie In n' Out on Sunset.

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: rezpeni
                        t
                        tag heuer Nov 12, 2007 04:04 PM

                        totally have to agree with you about The Hungry Cat. The Pug Burger is the best burger I've ever had. I've was there last night cause I was craving it again. Then I went home and turned on my TV and saw the chef who cooked my burger on that TV program 'Afterhours with Daniel'.

                        1. re: tag heuer
                          Woolsey Nov 12, 2007 05:18 PM

                          I went there last week when a coworker wanted some cheese and wine, and I craved a burger. The PUG burger probably is the best in town, though I've not had the much-praised burger at Arnie Morton's. A neighboring table saw my burger brought to me and asked me, "What is THAT?" I told him, "It's their burger," and he told his friend, "I'm coming back to have that." The meat was less of a patty that a big, slightly flattened ball of high-quality ground beef, cooked just how I wanted it. A perfect burger. (There was tomato, though, probably because heirlooms are out of season.)

                          1. re: Woolsey
                            r
                            rezpeni Nov 13, 2007 08:34 AM

                            Pug Burger is great, but I give the edge to Lucky Devil cause it's equally delicious but way easier to eat.

                        2. re: rezpeni
                          j
                          jamey Nov 13, 2007 09:06 AM

                          completely with you on the pug burger. must have to do with the cuts of beef and the
                          course grind....much as i like nancy silverton, she has nothing on this mix. truly amazing. havent tried lucky devils..whats it like?

                          1. re: jamey
                            ElJeffe Nov 13, 2007 08:41 PM

                            Pug burger is very good but I'd still take a Father's Office burger over it. Looking for a great Kobe beef burger. Any suggestions?

                            1. re: ElJeffe
                              mollyomormon Nov 15, 2007 01:54 PM

                              Actual kobe or would waygu suffice? If waygu works, they serve a good one at the Arsenal on Pico in West LA.

                              1. re: ElJeffe
                                hrhboo Nov 15, 2007 02:16 PM

                                Cora's burger is really really good.

                                1. re: hrhboo
                                  ElJeffe Nov 15, 2007 11:16 PM

                                  I keep on hearing that. Looks like Cora's is a must.

                            2. re: rezpeni
                              Emme Nov 18, 2007 09:13 AM

                              ...and with minimal effort, you could have a pug burger at home... http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/pu...

                              1. re: Emme
                                s
                                sel Nov 18, 2007 03:32 PM

                                Thanks for that!!!

                            3. c
                              Clinton Nov 12, 2007 01:32 PM

                              Don't know what the big deal's about with In N Out? I personally prefer Island's (in Manhattan Beach or Torrance) or even Ruby's in Redondo Beach for burgers. Tommy's is good too.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Clinton
                                s
                                silence9 Nov 13, 2007 09:00 AM

                                The big deal with In N Out is, arguably, the value. About $2.50 for a Double Double. Quality ingredients, simple menu, and overall decent service from employees who seem pleased with their wage and working conditions and don't give the impression that they want to slit their wrists in front of you. I'm 48, and honestly, In N Out is the only fastfood place i can recall wherein the young counter-persons don't give me the stink-eye for having lived beyond the age of 40. This may seem an odd perk, but i like having the person preparing and serving my fastfood actually appreciating my patronage. Perhaps its only my experience, but the staff at In N Out seem very OK with both *their* being the employee and *me* being the customer. Restores just a bit of my faith in those new to the workforce. I'm pleased to support this, via my patronage...

                                1. re: silence9
                                  m
                                  mattesq Nov 13, 2007 11:06 AM

                                  Amen.

                                2. re: Clinton
                                  m
                                  mattesq Nov 13, 2007 11:10 AM

                                  Island burgers are good, but I was alarmed to discover that the burger I enjoyed topped out at approximately 1600 calories (from Island's website). While I am not usually calorie counting when eating out, and certainily not while ordering a burger, 1600 cal in one burger is a lot. Add in some fries (which are good at Islands) and you are well over 2000 calories for one meal. 1600 calories equals about 2.5 Double Doubles. Yikes!

                                3. m
                                  mbh65 Nov 12, 2007 01:05 PM

                                  In N Out, Astro Burger, Father's Office and the Kobe Bistro Burger at Tops on Foothill in Pasadena.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: mbh65
                                    s
                                    sel Nov 12, 2007 09:22 PM

                                    Kobe Bistro Burger at Tops on COLORADO in Pasadena!

                                  2. b
                                    Burger Boy Nov 11, 2007 11:49 AM

                                    Fast Food- In & Out Fresh & Meaty Whole Foods Yanaki's
                                    High End- My Father's Office 26 Beach
                                    Pub- 26 Beach Pete's Cafe
                                    Old Time-Cassell's Texas BBQ King Fat Burger (the OG on Western, it is closed)
                                    I would put The Bucket on the list, but The Bucket was out of beef at 11:30 last time I was ther

                                    1. hrhboo Nov 11, 2007 10:53 AM

                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/429948
                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/452266
                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/450331
                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/338345
                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/458016
                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/456360

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: hrhboo
                                        wutzizname Nov 11, 2007 01:52 PM

                                        ditto

                                        1. re: hrhboo
                                          wilafur Nov 12, 2007 01:07 PM

                                          3rd-ed =)

                                        2. Servorg Nov 11, 2007 10:47 AM

                                          Knock yourself out: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/429948

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