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Apr 1, 2008 10:46 PM

Steak 'n Shake equivalent in SoCal?

Now I know people love their In 'n Out burger here in the LA area, but I have to say, growing up on burgers from Steak 'n Shake and GD Ritzy's in the Mid-West, In 'n Out burger pales tremendously in comparison. I don't think I have ever tasted a more bland burger. When I see the line of cars stretched out along the building I have to wonder if I am in The Twilight Zone.

Now I know there are *tons* of topics that have been beaten into the ground about "the best burger in Los Angeles" but what I would like to know is if there is anyone here that knows what a Steak 'n Shake burger tastes like and if there is anything similar to it here?

I consider them to be a step above your McDonald's, Wendy's, Jack in the Box, etc. chains.

Dare I say it..they are greasy.

And man, for those of you that never had a chance to eat at GD Ritzy's -- those were the best burgers and hot dogs I've ever had at a chain restaurant. And the shoestring fries were to die for.

I undoubted will die sooner in fact from the amount of times I ate there. :)

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  1. I've never had a "Steak and Shake" burger, but there is a place in Burbank called The Great Grill that has a pretty good burger. I grew up on Bob's Big Boy and love those.
    Hope this helps!

    1 Reply
    1. re: bosanova99

      Ah....Big Boy! I actually grew up on those burgers as well in Ohio. I had them here at Bob's and they are unfortunately different. The special sauced used in Ohio was a variant of Tartar sauce, while out here it seems to be relish. Gotta love those regional differences.

      I saw Bob's Big Boy Tartar Sauce at Ralph's and bought some to put on a home made burger. Blech...not the same stuff at all. :(

      On a side note, I live in Alhambra and there used to be a Bob's Big Boy here. It unfortunately closed and became a Noodle Planet. What an absolute tragedy that was. If I had known it was going to close, I would have eaten there every day that I could. Oh it just saddens me to think of it to this day!!!!!!

    2. I hate to break it to you my man, but out here . . . NOTHING comes close to Steak N Shake. In N out, Ricks, even Yuca's are considerably drier. I would say Yuca's has the best SEASONING . . . Rick's is good for its size and In N Out is a close all around sandwich(and cheaper than Steak N Shake) but they are not the same. Stack burgers are a problem that need to be addressed in SoCal . . . .

      1. If you are looking for something "greasy" in a burger then I suggest you take a taste test of one of the "Kobe" style burgers being offered around town. The original Tops in Pasadena on Colorado Blvd. or The Arsenal on Pico Blvd. in West LA. have burgers which will have the "mouth feel" it sounds like you are searching for. Just don't have them overcooked. Med. rare at the most.

        Tops 3838 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, Ca. 91107 (626) 449-4412

        The Arsenal 12012 W Pico Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90064 Phone: (310) 575-5511

        3 Replies
        1. re: Servorg

          A different kind of "mouth feel," Servorg, believe me. Steak 'n Shake is good, especially with a bowl of their chili, but it's very different from a Kobe burger -- not nearly as rich. To the OP: try Pie 'n Burger -- a bit looser and thinner and a lot more flavorful than most -- and don't forget the pie!

          1. re: sbritchky

            Thanks! I will be sure to try it. You get bonus points for suggesting a place that is not too far away from me as well (Alhambra to Pasadena is *extremely* painless!!!).


            1. re: atrac

              Time your commute and try the burgers at the Apple Pan. I grew up on both P&B & AP and love em

              Apple Pan
              10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

        2. For those who haven't experienced one, a Steak & Shake burger hits the flattop grill as a hockey puck-shaped serving of ground beef about the size of a golf ball -- maybe slightly bigger. It is then pressed down to flatten it and widen it to a thin round patty. After a sear on one side, it is flipped and cooked on the other. For what it is worth, Steak & Shake's burgers were the model for Danny Meyer when he started the Shake Shack in a NYC park. Steak & Shake's fries are the shoe-string variety, about the same thickness as In-N-Out's, but longer and made from frozen potatoes I'm sure. They come out crisp but longer and much softer and more flexible than In-N-Out's. Steak & Shake calls their burgers "steakburgers" and advertises that they are made from ground steak, but then again just about any cut from the cow can be called a steak... There is something about that process of flattening the hockey puck golfball of meat into a flat patty on the grill that is much of the essence of the Steak & Shake steakburger.

          4 Replies
          1. re: nosh

            I haven't been to Steak & Shake, but I have had a LOT of L.A. burgers. From your description (the pressed, thin patty; a bit greasy) there is a place that comes to mind: Doublz, an Inland Empire/Antelope Valley chain. I've been to the one in Santa Fe Springs several times. I'm sure it's different, but it might hit some of the same notes.

            11242 E Washington Blvd
            Santa Fe Springs
            (562) 463-9898

            1. re: BearCity

              It looks like the El Monte location is closest to me..not that far at all. And looking at their online menu, their prices are extremely reasonable (!!).


              I'll be checking this one out too...thanks!

              1. re: atrac

                I had the opportunity to eat at Doublz this evening. Although the burger is not really very close to a Steak & Shake burger, I *will* say that I really enjoyed it quite a bit and will certainly eat there again. It is a greasy burger. :) They also have quite the generous portions too (I could not finish the fries!).

                Thanks for the suggestion! They are now on my radar for future burger cravings!

            2. re: nosh

              Interesting...I'm a big fan of Shake Shack NYC, which has really flavorful burgers. But there are plenty of detractors on the Manhattan Board who pine for the likes of In 'N Out (which I enjoy). I also have been very happy with the burgers at Fatburger here in LA.

            3. "I don't think I have ever tasted a more bland burger. When I see the line of cars stretched out along the building I have to wonder if I am in The Twilight Zone."

              Slightly off topic, but have you ordered your In-N-Out burger animal style? If not, then you haven't really tasted their product at its best.

              3 Replies
              1. re: GuidoTKP

                thats the point. you need the extras to dress up the dry beef. compared to steak n shake, the beef is like sand. and i like In N out.

                1. re: GuidoTKP

                  Well, I'm not a fan of onions my burger (or on anything for that matter). And their variation of Thousand Island sauce is also not really to my liking...again, quite bland...not tangy enough. :(

                  1. re: GuidoTKP

                    These were my thoughts exactly, the animal style(meat patty cooked with a smear of mustard, grilled onions, extra sauce, and pickles, in addition to the regular lettuce and tomato and if ordered, cheese) is quite a bit tangier that the regular. And be sure to order a double double animal style. The double has more ballance than the single.