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Best Burger in Los Angeles

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  • BURGER_MAN May 12, 2001 04:17 AM
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I would like to know about where the best burger in Los Angeles is. I have heard about Cassell's and Pie and Burger, but want to hear a wider audience which includes:

people who love the two above
people who hate the two above

and people who have their own deeply ingrained opinions about who has the best burger, that somehow deviate from the aforementioned spots.

peace, love and misunderstanding.

me

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  1. Of course, you jest.

    13 Replies
    1. re: 2chez mike

      Jest? Hardly.

      I live in West L.A. And would therefore most appreciate suggestions from this neck of the woods, but would actually gladly travel up to 50 miles (on a weekend) for a heavenly burger experience.

      Thanks in advance.

      1. re: Burger_Man

        Tommy burgers in Glendale. MMMM

        1. re: Caitlin

          The Apple Pan on Pico Blvd.

          1. re: Buddhapines

            My God, I ate at the famous Apple Pan today - had one of each for their 'famous' burgers'. For the life of me, how can you call this a great burger? They were SWEET. Properly cooked, but certainly not worth eating again.

            1. re: GianniB

              Different strokes for different folks!

              1. re: GianniB

                Well, if one of your selected 'famous' burgers was their Hickory Burger, it would be odd if the hickory sauce _didn't_ contribute to a sweet flavor. Many well regarding burgers around town sport a sweet compote these days, whether from carmelized onions, a fruit chutney, or both. Heck, plain catsup is sweet too, so I guess lots of folks require a sweetness to their burger...

                1. re: silence9

                  You have a point there. Office burger anyone? the much praised Wimpy burger with MANGO CHUTNEY at Gorikee? the burger at Taste? we could go on and on.

                  1. re: kevin

                    father;s office burger might be one of THE most overrated things i have ever come across in LA. shocking really.

                    1. re: cammyt

                      Amen! Truly mediocre.

                2. re: GianniB

                  i must say that i agree with GianniB... though i think everyone that is a burger aficionado should go to the apple pan at least once, simply b/c of the location's historical significance... for me... it's an ordinary, unremarkable burger that doesn't come close to living up to the hype and reputation... and i dare you to go with a friend and order 2 cheeseburgers with sides of fries (no drink), and get out of the place for less than $25 or $30.... little steep for a diner-style place...

                  1. re: HerbyN

                    Hi... Steakburger with cheese is $6.70 and fries are $2, so for two patrons that's $17.40 before tax and tip. But with tax and tip, that's over $22 (with no beverages), so i get your point. Where things get outlandish is the steep per-slice price of the (very good) pies...

                    1. re: silence9

                      incorrect. it's at least 6.50 if not more right now without cheese, with single cheese, 7 bucks, with double 7.35, and fries are either 2.10 or 2.15, the thing is they tack on about a dime or 15cents every three months or so, so you don't notice it, unless you're a regular and happen to have the prices memorized.

                      so it would probably be closer to $18 unless they've increased their prices even more so in the past month and a half.

                3. re: Buddhapines

                  Dude! You go to Apple Pan for the Banana Cream Pies, then you go for the burgers. It's not as much about the best burger loaded with kobe-this and truffle-that, but instead having a classic burger. Nothin more, and nothin less.

          2. haven't eaten at pie and burger. ate at cassells recently. they are all about quality ingredients and a big patty of meat. that's not usually what I want in a burger.
            my favorite these days is LA Best Burger on pico, just east of cresent hights. ingredients are fresh. they mix tastey spices into the patty.

            1 Reply
            1. re: elisha

              So six years later, I reply: L.A. Best Burger! WOW! You describe my old fave burger from... the long gone...L.A. Best Burger at the car wash on Santa Monica Bl at Federal. When you ordered, the nice people (a family I believe) opened up the 'fridge, got out a (recently ground) ball of meat with what looked like parsley and breadcrumbs in there (just like my grandmother made) and they squashed the ball of meat with the spatula into a patty on the grill. Those burgers were so good and their fries were excellent too. I wonder if the same people are Pico/Crescent Heights? Gotta get over there...

            2. Yes Thai for Burgers.

              This was a recommendation in the past that I went and tried. The burger is HUGE and seasoned just right. The meat may be choice. The fixins are wonderful. I think it comes with bacon cheese avo. and grilled onions. The one I ordered didn't have avo. but it was still great!!

              The fries are home-made.

              What's funny about this place is the thai food my wife ordered was just average!

              This was the best burger I've had at any restaurant.

              1. Burger Man, have you tried searching the Chowhound database for Los Angeles burger info? Many, many great minds (and palates) have debated this one.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Lisa Bee

                  Yeah, do a search for the burger map. There are TONS of places listed there!

                2. I love the Pie N Burger and really like Cassells. With those credentials I advise a darkhorse: The San Francisco Saloon. Don't be afraid of the cheesey sandwich names (like the Nob Hill and the Coit Tower). Don't order them either...But the Burger is a fantastic hunk of char broiled meat. Ask to toast the bun and order without mayo (obviuously). It's on Pico nearish Sawtelle. Wnjoy....

                  1. I have tried Pie and Burger, thought it was mediocre. Rick's Burgers in Pasadena on El Molino at Union? is better, but my favorite is Apple Pan. Burger was awsome, the fries were soooooo good, and you can't beat those military chefs. They throw napkins at you after a big, juicy bite, and keep lots of ketchup on your plate.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Michele B

                      Yesssss - said it before, and I'll say it again APPLE PAN!! And since you're in West L.A., it's close to home for you!

                      1. re: julia
                        m
                        michael (mea culpa)

                        On 9/29, there was a thread on this topic mentioning among others Thai American Express in Silverlake. Other threads of late have featured Father's Office in Santa Monica. Hard to beat Apple Pan and Cassel's, for sure. Still, there's Lucky Boy in Pasadena. There's your own BBQ (recently had some antelope burgers supplied by a bowhunter! Really good.). And, Fatburger does as good or better a job as IN N Out--IMHO.

                        1. re: julia

                          Apple Pan for me also!! Better than In-N-Out any day...in fact, it would be just perfect if they would only serve Mexican Coke in glass bottles, now available at Costco, etc. Would make the perfect 1947 Burger/Fries/Coke meal...to go with the "classic" waiters and antique cash register. What a treasure!!

                          As for modern fast-food burgers, McD's Angus Deluxe and Jack-in-the-Box Sirloin Burgers get my vote...these are both top quality, way better than any FF burger in the past. I just don't get the In-N-Out thing---the meat is so skimpy, you can barely taste it.

                      2. My faves would include...

                        Casselles (huge! Excellent quality, comes with as much potato salad you can eat)

                        Fat Burger (I like the King burger.. it has more real estate. Good chili., fries are good too.)

                        Original Tommy's (on Beverly. Damn good, sloppy, and excellent chili)

                        1. c
                          critical mass

                          The best burger will definitely be the one you make at home. Get the best cut of beef you can, get your butcher to grind it, and make some truffle butter, cut it into thick pats & pop it in the freezer
                          When you put the patty together, place a cube of frozen truffle butter in the center. When you grill the meat, the butter will disperse thru the burger. Simple fixins...good bread (maybe a ciabatta) a thin sheaf of crisp lettuce, a nice slice of tomato - that's about all you need. You should be able to find this recipe online if you need the science if it.
                          Good luck.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: critical mass

                            Rose Cafe (chopped onion in the patty do wonders) on Rose in Venice.
                            and Pasha Burger (maybe not technically an american burger, but a damn good kofte kabob that gets called a hamburger on the streets of Tashkent) in downtown LA on 9th (across from CalMart)

                          2. a
                            Anthony Romero

                            The best Burger in Los Angeles is Top's Burger Bacon, Cheeseburger in Pasadena. They have two locations in Pasadena (Walnut and Colorado) and one in Alhambra. Thier portions are huge!

                            1. The best burger in town.....It is in Long Beach next to Boeing on carson and lakewood. The place is called Dales Diner. I spoke with the owner and asked what he did to make it so good. He said it was the mix of the beef. 15% fat and 85% meat. He said he tried all different mixes and this was the best. I have to agree as the meat is what makes it. It is the same size as all the other named places. I recommend getting a regular hamburger and eating it just as it comes the first time there. If in the same area try Glory Days Bar on woodruff and Carson.[.99 cents burgers all day thursdays.] or in Newport Beach try Cassidys bar on the peninsula. A great local bar too on the weekends.

                              1. I am shocked and appalled that I have seen NO postings about my FAVORITE burger place in Los Angeles. Maybe because it is about $10 for the burger. Or maybe it's because you can dine in only. Who knows? But the BEST BURGER that I have come across in West Los Angeles is.......
                                (drum roll please)...........
                                HOUSTON'S RESTAURANT in the Century City Shopping Center. Try the Classic Cheesburger. It is AMAZING!!!

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: Brett
                                  v
                                  vanillacokes@aol.com

                                  Gotta go with the Houston's Burger. Extraordinary. Especially with hickory sauce and grilled onions. You have to love a restaurant that offers firefighters free 'Firefighter Chili' made special on Saturdays.

                                  1. re: vanillacokes@aol.com

                                    How good is the Firefighter Chili?

                                  2. re: Brett

                                    the houston's veggie burger is also terrific.
                                    they make it themselves.
                                    it is not the 'fake-meat' type of burger, it IS a mixture of grains, beans, etc.
                                    it is also delicious.
                                    have them grill the onions.

                                    1. re: Brett

                                      WORD. copy Houstons. best meat, perfect soft, toasty bun, no los angeles freaky fancy add-on bs trimmings, just a fab big juicy burger that will keep you satisfied for days. french fries, yummy and crispy. i have yet to find a burger that comes anywhere close to this one. and i live mere blocks from Apple Pan. no thanks. i will pay the extra $ now and then to have my burger dream come true.

                                      1. re: subu28

                                        Brett and subu28 are absolutely right--HOUSTON'S has BY FAR the best burger I've ever had. Now, I agree with other posters that there are other good burgers in L.A. Apple Pan and Father's Office. Carney's and Tommy's for chili burgers. In-and Out for fast food (I also like Wendy's). These are all good burgers, but Houston's is better.

                                        Another good one I haven't noticed on the board (although not as good as Houston's) is Wood Ranch's Buckeye burger.

                                        1. re: brandygirl

                                          Acting on an old recommendation from JeetJet (I believe -- forgive me if I misremember the poster), I recently tried the burger at Gus's, after not caring much for their BBQ. It's the same thick, rather dense type -- not my favorite type -- as Houston's, but it was quite good, and the meal was better than a similar one at Houston's (also good, however) for several reasons:

                                          (1) As with Houston's, instead of the "los angeles freaky fancy add-on bs trimmings" that subu28 describes so memorably, the hamburger came topped with old-fashioned goodness: in this case, applewood-smoked bacon and onion strings and a sauce that was pleasingly barbecuey in the sense of backyard cook-outs, Dad yelling, "Where's that new bottle of SAUCE, Honey?!", etc. (2) The meat was top quality, even better than Houston's, and not so densely packed as the usual "gourmet" burger. (3) My spinach-and-artichoke-dip appetizer was very good, although I prefer a smoother texture, and the corn chips were outstanding for a non-Mexican restaurant -- much better than, say, the Yxta Cocina chips (manufactured in a shoe factory), which many of us have criticized and which I talked them out of serving me on my last two visits there (instead, frying special chips from their good house-made tortillas). But I digress. (4) The hot-fudge sundae made with Fosselman's vanilla and served with candied pecans was a great, grunt dessert and allowed me to experience the thrill of ordering Fosselman's ice cream in a building with a public restroom. (Are you listening, Fosselman?)

                                          I didn't care for the sweet-potato fries this time, because they were as limp as a six-hour marathoner. And the Mint Julep was so weak I'd give a sip to my three-year-old niece. However, when I complained, the waiter brought me another that would satisfy my 22-year-old niece (and I'd slug the guy who bought her one). Very good service, as well.

                                          So even though I prefer the skinnier, looser patty from Pie 'n Burger, for example, Gus's was quite good and made for much better eating than their pulled pork. Thanks to JJ for suggesting it to Britchky or somebody.

                                          -----
                                          Fosselman's Ice Cream Co
                                          1824 W Main St, Alhambra, CA 91801

                                          Gus's Barbeque
                                          808 Fair Oaks Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030

                                        2. re: subu28

                                          I just wish Charcoal was still around, as I think it easily topped Houston's, but I certainly do enjoy a Houston's burger. Used to have them when I was a kid visiting my grandmother in Washington D.C., but I hear they closed the Georgetown one, but now I have 2 in LA so...

                                          1. re: subu28

                                            houston's also serves a greatt veggie burger. it's homemade according to their secret recipe, and it is the best veggie burger i've had.

                                        3. w
                                          willy the pizza eater

                                          Jay's Jayburger on Santa Monica Blvd.

                                          1. Try 26 Beach Restaurant, the make their own buns and patties, and they cut their own fries. 3100 Washington
                                            I must be the only guy that talks about them, what up with that.

                                            1. My Father's Office

                                              you have to be over 21 but, the burgers and frites are delicious. Even the sweet potato frites are good. Not to mention a zillion beers on tap.

                                              The burger has some sort of hickory bbq with blue cheese. a great combination.

                                              1. There are three general categories of burger: Diner burgers, fast food burgers, and groumet burgers.

                                                The Best Fast Food burger is usually debated between In-n-Out and Tommy's. Depending on your particular taste. They are both phenomenal fast food burgers.

                                                The Best Diner burger is a toss up between Pie and Burger (my taste) and Apple Pan.

                                                But the grandaddy of them all is the debate over the best gourmet burger in town. The reigning champ in this category is My Father's Office. This is by far the most talked about gourmet burger in Los Angeles. Although I was recently turned on to a new burger. A burger that blows My Father's Office away. A place called Nook makes the Best Gourmet Burger in Los Angeles.

                                                The place is hidden in a shopping center in West L.A. and you would never know it was there unless you were told. http://www.nookbistro.com/ Consider yourself told.

                                                Yes, it costs $12. If you are a frugal burger shopper, you might be cringing thinking that $12 is too much for meat on a bun. But the price includes some of the tastiest fries you'll ever have, and a nice crunchy pickle spear. They also bring out boiled peanuts to your table instead of bread, which if you have never experienced boiled peanuts before, you're in for a treat.

                                                They are hidden, but busy. Call for a reservation or wait 20 minutes. It's worth it.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: mctrevor

                                                  i've tried all of those. all. see my note a few entries above re: Houston's. it blows everyone else away. by the way, Houston's sister restaurant is Gulf Stream, right across from Houston's in Century City. They serve the same yummy burger for $1 less i think. go figure.

                                                2. Well said, the burger question is a big one and the only way to attack it is to break it up into catagories. Cassels for me is champ. Its simple, relativly cheap and just phenominal. As for fast food, Fat Burger. Diner burger apple pan. Pie n burger is too far away and too overated. Philly West on Westwood just south of Santa Monica Blvd. is also extremely good, its my local hero

                                                  1. In the valley, I'm fond of Carney's half pound burger. It's huge and the onions and tomatos are great, which isn't always the case at burger joints.

                                                    Steve Doggie-Dogg
                                                    www.hotdogspot.com

                                                    1. not to start a flame (broiled) war, but i went to cassell's again recently, first time in years, and was unimpressed. it's basically a big patty, naked on the bun, you have to dress yourself. i hardly think this counts as a burger, as there is no intrinsic character to it. you may as well prepare it at home. i believe what constitutes a great burger is how they choose to doll it up; mustard and mayo, red or green relish, minced or sliced onion, etc.
                                                      anyway, nobody has mentioned south pasadena's hi life burger, which is a tasty concoction in its own right. along the lines of in n out, but still a unique treat.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: flavorquest

                                                        In W. LA I'll vote for Houston's, 26 Beach Restaurant (second the great fries) and the San Francisco Saloon on Pico between Gateway and Barrington. Fabulous burgers, excellent fries, cold beer - perfect. Plus you don't have to endure the subway-like crush at Father's Office for their admittedly delicious, but tunnel-visioned burger that comes in only one variety, without ketchup, mustard, mayo or anything else. Food fascists!

                                                        1. re: Jeryy

                                                          The Counter on 29th and Ocean Park is very good, the beef actually tastes like good meat, and there are all sorts of toppings to choose from. Apple Pan is aso very good for a no frills buurger.

                                                          1. re: vbabe

                                                            and the topping are high-quality: the blue cheese is honest-to-goodness high quality blue cheese, not some process imitation stuff

                                                      2. The Kobe burger at Mako (lunch only) is the Westside winner. Cheers

                                                        1. I have tried most of the Burgers mentioned here and they are all great in there own ways. I just wanted to bring up a few favorites that have not been mentioned. First the little cheeseburgers at Yucca's on Hillhurst. Sure the tacos are great and cheap but i cant eat there without a burger. Second is Beeps on Sherman Way near the Van Nuys airport. They use real bacon not the bacon flavored paper strips on a Carls burger.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: moradbipbip

                                                            That's an old post -- does anyone else like the burgers at Yuca's? It's very difficult for me to imagine ordering anything other than their cochinita pibil burritos, but I'd try the burgers if they're even half as good.

                                                          2. My favorite is still the pug burger at Hungry Cat, though I quite like the Number One burger at 25 Degrees (customizable, also) as well as the office burger at FO.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: SauceSupreme

                                                              The Pug is good, and their fries are really good. while your in H-Wood head over to Lucky Devils for their Kobe burger, its really tender.if i could quote a fellow Burgrhound "you cant tell where the bun ends and the burger begins"

                                                            2. Not having to work most of last week, I finally made it to Arnie Morton's downtown for lunch to have their lunch-only "Morton's Prime Sirloin Burger" ($14). I had it medium-well with bacon and cheddar, and this is now tied in my book with Father's Office for best high-end/expensive burger. The meat was perfect and so tasty and juicy, the bun was fresh and wonderfully toasted, the bacon came in two huge well-done strips, and the cheddar was like no other cheddar I've ever tasted on any burger - so yummy and melted. And of course the service was top notch as always.

                                                              Best low-end burger for me is still Fatburger, but I have many more I need to try... :)

                                                              Also - I also had last week the special Kobe Beef Burger ($14) at 26 Beach, which was a nice surprise. The brioche bun I ordered for it was wonderful. I hope and am pretty sure that this is a special every day. In general, 26 Beach is easier to get into and more lowkey than Arnie Morton's and FO, so this is a great alternative to those...

                                                              1. I discovered it this year, I love the burgers at 25 Degrees. Cooked to order on a soft, moist, greasy bun, nothing like it.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: holybull

                                                                  And the half-and-half (fries and onion rings) have some tasty dipping sauces, too. It's my current favorite late night spot (open 24 hours).

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

                                                                  1. re: SauceSupreme

                                                                    ever have the burgers at b and r burgers in hawthorne on rosecrans and ceres. what treat and alton browns photo is on the wall eating their monster royal burger with chris conkac (sp) aka hungry detective..

                                                                    1. re: Foodandwine

                                                                      I second the B and R Burger. I had one last Friday and it was excellent. Hand patted burger, the meat was very crumbly and fresh. Kind of like a burger you make at home but 10 times better.

                                                                2. Did anyone mention The Counter in Santa Monica yet? Yum!!!

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: kealoha

                                                                    I second that!

                                                                    1. re: vbabe

                                                                      I'll have to try The Counter again, but I was pretty unimpressed with the bun and meat quality a couple months ago. It was fine, but nothing special and not worth the wait. The focus here is more on the variety of toppings and customization, which are great. But I'd probably only go back on an off hour when I can go in and sit right down without a wait.

                                                                    2. re: kealoha

                                                                      Ugh. I hate The Counter.

                                                                    3. Has anyone checked out The Habit? www.habitburger.com I used to go to the original place in Goleta when it was the best burger in town, but they've done well and expanded all over the state, including northern LA like Glendale and Sherman Oaks. Better then Fatburger and In N' Out, but that just might be my personal taste.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Bunson

                                                                        it used to be fuddruckers if you ask me....fresh vegetables and cheese sauce....yummy....chewy cookies and wedge fries...man! How did they fail?
                                                                        Father's Office burger is all about the meat....not the condiments

                                                                        1. re: Bunson

                                                                          I went to the Habit in Camarillo a few weeks ago and was disappointed that only the Goleta (and maybe Santa Barbara) locations serve chili. The burger is good but not a standout. I like Fatburger better.

                                                                        2. Anyone tried the burgers at Truxton's in Westchester? I'm so hooked on their cobb salad I've not delved into the full menu. I tend to judge a place by it's fries (if the fries are good chances are the burgers are good) and they have some great looking fries.

                                                                          1. I do enjoy Houston's burgers, my grandmother used to take me to the one in Washington D.C., and then when I moved out here, we would go to the one at Century City, and with my family we usually go to the one in Santa Monica. Pretty damn good burgers.

                                                                            I really need to try the Pug Burger at the Hungry Cat, as I absolutely loved their Fish, and want to see what they do with Red Meet.

                                                                            Father's Office to me was a total let down, not only did I not like the place, but I though the condiments on the burger totally wiped out the flavor of the meet. It was too strong. Sure it was big, but too salty, and not enough meet flavor. Actually I wrote about it at my blog. http://www.whaleofatale.net/wordpress...

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: jonahlee

                                                                              I was a bit let down by the Father's Office burger as well, although mine was actually UNDERflavored, which I think starts to reveal something about a possible lack of consistency.
                                                                              I also might catch heat for this, but the 'Kobe' burger at Moe's Tavern on Riverside in Toluca Lake was the best burger I've had in a while. It was just the right texture, perfectly juicy, and the blue cheese used was good quality. There was definitely as much care and thoughtfulness as any other burger I've tried in the LA area.

                                                                            2. I have not tried the aforementioned two but I plan to since lots of people on this thread mentioned it. I have however tried the burger at Salt Creek Grille, and it was extraordinary! They use a delicious super soft Potato Bun. The meat patty was filling, cooked over a huge mesquite fired grill and perfectly cooked to order (medium). The cheese was top quality cheddar and of course I added Applewood Smoked bacon; so good! The other ingredients included Ro Maine Hearts, Red Onion, Tomatoes and Pickles. The Burger also came with a massive pile of Salt Creek Garlic Fries (shoe string kind). The atmosphere was great, the live Jazz Piano was awesome and the service was fantastic. If you do make it to Salt Creek also get the Chocolate Ganache Soufflé, but order it early, it take 25 minutes to prepare, sinfully delicious. Cheers, Saffron_Kid 07-17-07.

                                                                              1. After an absence of 17 years from L.A., I just ate the most incredible burgers at Marix in West Hollywood. Their happy hour "sliders" are small angus beef patties with grilled onions on some kind of incredible buttery mini-buns. Was not expecting such a great burger for happy hour! I'd call these "crack burgers".

                                                                                1. I didn't try it, but the burger at Bar Marmont looked pretty good.

                                                                                  1. As a westsider, I go with the Apple Pan (also pie), Houston's (plus beer) and The Counter (also with beer plus shakes).

                                                                                    I have an Apple Pan question for the board. I usually order my Hickory Burger without lettuce as it's just too big a wedge for me but this leaves the burger a little thin. Has anyone asked for a double burger at the Pan? Do they even do this?

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Cthoover

                                                                                      oinkster!!!! it's in eagle rock off colorado!
                                                                                      best by far!

                                                                                      1. re: Cthoover

                                                                                        Yes they will but I only ordered a double once or twice because a double burger is double priced as in ya pays for two complete burgers!

                                                                                        1. re: sel

                                                                                          This is correct a double burger is the regular price of 6.5 or 7 or whatever else it is now times two, if you want a triple burger it will be times three and henceworth.

                                                                                      2. I can't believe that nobody has mentioned Umami Burger (http://umamiburger.com/

                                                                                        )

                                                                                        By far the winner!

                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: jayspun

                                                                                          There is a simple explanation for that. Umami didn't exist when these recommendations were being posted.

                                                                                          1. re: jayspun

                                                                                            and also that umami isn't that good imho

                                                                                            1. re: peppermonkey

                                                                                              I loved it when I went ... what did you not like about it Pepper?

                                                                                              1. re: a213b

                                                                                                don't get me wrong...it's a good burger... all the individual components are great on their own but for me they didn't really come together...they didn't complement each other like for instance the FO burger's bitter argula temper the sweetness of the compote and the carmelized onions. The maytag and guyere at a nice tang to balance the richness and sweetness. Everything comes together. The umami burger you can taste each component very distinctly but you wouldn't be better or worse off by adding or removing the cheese or the tomato or whatever.

                                                                                                1. re: peppermonkey

                                                                                                  disagree in part. their port stilton is well balanced... i.e. sweet reduced port wine with salty stilton and a tangy pickle; a very tight and thoughtful arrangement of flavors. the so cal burger incorporates a beautifully melted gourmet version of "processed cheese" and is the epiphany of the nostalgic burger. i do have to say that i agree with you peppermonkey when we're talking about the umami burger; while it is better than a lot of burgers, it does not tie the 6 main ingredients together as tightly as it could.

                                                                                                  1. re: jayspun

                                                                                                    That's good to hear. I never got around to the other burgers since I was kinda underwheled with the namesake burger. I will try the others next time I'm around. btw was the truffle burger any good?

                                                                                                    1. re: peppermonkey

                                                                                                      i have yet to try that one, sounds interesting eh? they're also doing an open-face scallop burger (The Seamami Burger); wanna try that too! btw, got a favorite burger spot in the valley?

                                                                                          2. For me, the best bar burger is Father's Office, the best restaurant burger is Houston's/Gulfstream, and the best fast food burger is In-N-Out.

                                                                                            1. Nook is good also.
                                                                                              Houston's is definitely good also...

                                                                                              My wife raves about Father's Office but not tried.....friends tell me umami burger is awesome...

                                                                                              comme ca got good buzz too for its burger...

                                                                                              1. 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!

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: emenot

                                                                                                  there are still other fatburgrers around too, besides the one on 3rd and la cinega.

                                                                                                  1. re: emenot

                                                                                                    Ten year old threads are fun to see which restaurants and Chowhounders are no longer around.

                                                                                                    1. re: emenot

                                                                                                      That's what I usually order, although not with bacon, egg or chili, at the Van Nuys location and I can barely finish it. 24 oz of juicy meat char-broiled as rare as I ask for it, with grilled onions, cheese and mayo only. I just wish they would make a 4x4 like I get at In n Out.

                                                                                                      Still, far superior to that, IMHO, is Boulevard Burger in Woodland Hills. The only problem with it is the buns; they disintegrate from the juice.

                                                                                                      Tommy's completes my list but, just like the others, the innards keep sliding out from between the buns.

                                                                                                    2. now i have an additional comment or two. still love Houston's burger, but alas Houston's is no more in Century City. it seems they had a beef with the landlord. ha ha.

                                                                                                      but right down the street heading west are two yummy burgers, also a bit pricey but worth it for the treat: The Six, a cozy little wine and beer bistro whose menu features "six exciting starters, six savory entrees, six red wines, six white wines, six brews on tap & six desserts." and one of those entrees is a terrific burger on a perfect bun. get the truffle fries with it and your $20 will be well spent.

                                                                                                      meanwhile there is the westwood tavern just downstairs from the movie theaters at pico and westwood blvd. this is a great place too, in the tradition of houston's, and you'll be happy there.

                                                                                                      here's my bad review: umami burger. i finally tried one last week. it came on the plate swimming in its own juices. over the top. the bun couldn't handle it any better than i could, and it fell apart in my hands -- that makes it a nonstarter for me. also, what is that weird little fishy taste in the meat? in a word, ungapatchka. (look it up.) mediocre fries. altogether underwhelming and overwhelming at the same time!

                                                                                                      for cheap burgers you can't, CAN NOT beat five guys in carson. it's the only one this side of washington dc (or might as well be) ... just go.