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New Hole in the Wall Burger, W.L.A.

n
nosh Oct 5, 2008 10:34 AM

OK, got a flyer insert in today's Sunday L.A. Times advertising a new westside burger joint, called Hole in the Wall. Located at 11058 Santa Monica Blvd. at Bentley, it included coupons for either free fries or a can of soda with a burger. The concept appears similar to The Counter, with half-pound burgers of either beef, turkey or veggie sold for $7.95 including choice of bun, cheese, and basic toppings, with premium add-ons like bacon, mushrooms, or avocado available for an additional buck.

Anybody tried the place yet? Unfortunately for their advertising dollar, they are closed on Sundays. They claim their chef has won accolades for best chef and best cupcake in L.A., and promise homemade spreads, ketchup and pickles. I'm looking forward to giving the place a try later this week, but if anyone has beaten me to it, please share any first impressions.

FYI -- By far my favorite burger is nearby at Philly West, the divy bar on the east side of Westwood just south of Santa Monica Blvd. Their half-pound flame-grilled burger is a juicy treat, served on a toasted Philly cheesesteak roll with all the condiments. I also have had some fine big double-cheeseburgers at The Shack, though once the bun was untoasted and way too soft and another time the burger patties appeared to be precooked. Unfortunately not a big fan of The Counter in Santa Monica -- too much of a hassle and they can't cook a charred juicy medium-rare burger to save their life. Enjoy Island's a lot more.

  1. d
    debra Oct 7, 2008 10:09 AM

    I tried HitW last night, the burger was very good, I asked for it med rare, and it was very pink and juicy. They were out of the pretzel bun, but the regular bun was very tasty, although it partially disintegrated with all the juice (burger, tomato..). I thought the burger was very good as a package. I didn't care for their fries, they were crisp, but kind of reminded me of In n Out, sort of -- which I don't care for. I'll try the sweet potato next time.

    The place shares the same address with Winchells, so I parked in the lot, but you'll need to walk around the corner on Bentley, behind Winchells, to find it.

    3 Replies
    1. re: debra
      o
      Ogawak Oct 7, 2008 10:34 AM

      Are the famous cupcakes on the menu? The whole world wants to know.

      1. re: Ogawak
        Servorg Oct 7, 2008 10:37 AM

        I am pretty sure by looking at their ad out of the LAT's that cupcakes are no longer part of the deal.

        1. re: Ogawak
          d
          debra Oct 7, 2008 11:31 AM

          The menu is a check list for burger components, fries, and drinks. No cupcakes listed. They also had a special board, advertizing "fresh brewed iced tea (no powder shit)" --it really says that, no cupcakes.

          What they do have is, is the name of a catering company, flatbushandj, which must own the joint, painted all over the front, (more noticeable than the name of the resto), and a big storage pantry, with (probably) catering foodstuffs, to the right as you enter, but the goods were more like gallon cans of garbanzo's -- not what looked like cupcake fixins.

      2. alkylyou Oct 5, 2008 07:39 PM

        what i want to know is if they sell cupcakes or not. dainties was definitely my favorite cupcakery in los angeles (and i am a well traveled cupcaker). if they do, that would slay the new counter location in my neighborhood. otherwise, it is with a heavy heart that i would stay with the counter, minus cupcakes.

        4 Replies
        1. re: alkylyou
          k
          kjs Oct 5, 2008 09:02 PM

          That's what happened ! i went by there looking for cupcakes and i see this lil burger place ! i drove around twice just to make sure i was at the correct location. decided not to park to go in and see if they also had cupcakes. look forward to a few reviews

          1. re: alkylyou
            b
            Burger Boy Oct 5, 2008 11:08 PM

            Anything would slay The Counter, I like a Fat Burger or a Fresh & Meaty a million times better

            1. re: Burger Boy
              alkylyou Oct 6, 2008 11:53 AM

              i don't know. the last time i hit the counter, i got a perfectly cooked medium rare burger. i've never been to a fresh&meaty, but i know that fatburger could NEVER hit the high notes my herb goat cheese/cranberry/carmamelized onion marmalade buger does.

              1. re: alkylyou
                b
                Burger Boy Oct 6, 2008 11:23 PM

                I respect your experience, but 5 times and the counter only got it almost right 1 time, well it was right they lost my ticket so it took almost almost an hour in a half full restaurant for a cheese burger, fries and a soda.

          2. monkuboy Oct 5, 2008 01:54 PM

            I haven't tried it but my daughter who is attending UCLA has gone there many times - she told me about it several months ago and said it is really, really good. On par with the Counter.

            1. o
              Ogawak Oct 5, 2008 01:46 PM

              sounds like the old dainties cupcake place, which did have great cupcakes. Dainties quit the retail business to focus on catering. If this is them, it sounds promising. And they are indeed behind the winchell's.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Ogawak
                Skorgirl Oct 5, 2008 07:42 PM

                Indeed, it is the former Dainties space. I found this out 4 or 5 months ago when I went there seeking a cupcake and was surprised by the burger joint instead.

              2. Servorg Oct 5, 2008 12:57 PM

                I want to know how they can be "behind" Winchell's Donuts (according to the flyer)? Winchell's is the mini mall with Koo Koo Roo and the NY Pizza place and Yoshinoa Beef Bowl, but I didn't know there were any commercial spaces behind that mall.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Servorg
                  n
                  nosh Oct 5, 2008 01:47 PM

                  I haven't scoped it out yet, Servorg, and I was sorta wondering the same thing. Is it simply just east of that side of that strip mall? Is it sort of behind on the side street like Siam Chan is behind the 20/20 Video off Santa Monica Blvd. at Colby? Maybe it is literally behind the Winchell's -- you use the back door and they set up a bench at their rear entrance?!? Parking in that strip mall is a bear not just during the lunch rush but at other hours as well, so that could be their downfall. They do advertise a "call ahead" and we'll have it ready in ten minutes option -- wonder if that includes drive-by service a la Langer's?

                  1. re: Servorg
                    n
                    New Trial Oct 5, 2008 02:41 PM

                    I have been by but not yet been inside to try it. It is not really all that new; it was open when I went to the Zankou around the other side several months back. You enter the place on Bentley, just around the corner from the front of the mini-mall, where it is set back from the street with a small patio in front. The front is made to look like a tin shack.

                    1. re: New Trial
                      Servorg Oct 5, 2008 03:08 PM

                      Thanks. I really couldn't / can't recall seeing a store front on Bentley, but then again I am usually heading down the street - destination Olympic, and not really looking behind the Winchell's mall as I go by.

                    2. re: Servorg
                      wilafur Oct 7, 2008 09:50 AM

                      sounds like the same folks behind dainties cupcake....and sounds like they are in the same location. kinda makes sense considering the flyer spoke of accolades won for cupcakes.

                      haha, nm, i am just echoing everyone else. doh.

                    3. s
                      sel Oct 5, 2008 12:09 PM

                      Well this sounds promising! Hopefully you'll let us know how it is.
                      I finally did take your advice and tried Philly West a couple of times 7 or 8 months ago and it was quite good. I wish that I could remember their selection of tap beers. I haven't been to The Shack in about 7 or 8 years so I suppose that I should check them out again, I remember enjoying their burger but can't remember the specifics.
                      It is so hard to find places in the greater L.A. area that know how to cook a burger as ordered by the customer and do it right. You don't need a culinary school certificate to find the hot part of the grill, griddle or broiler to sear the outside properly and then continue on to the desired internal temp! But so many places just don't seem to get it!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: sel
                        b
                        Burger Boy Oct 5, 2008 01:06 PM

                        Try 26 Beach in Venice, they know how to cook a burger and they make their own buns.

                        -----
                        26 Beach
                        3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

                        1. re: Burger Boy
                          s
                          sel Oct 5, 2008 07:29 PM

                          I went to the old location close to the beach long before I discovered ChowHound and have taken your suggestion and been to the new location a few times. Although I liked the more 'open' and casual ambiance of the now closed old location, I do like the burgers at the current place. I haven't been for a few months because I've been trying to find new places but most just don't do it for me.
                          The only places that I've enjoyed lately are both locations of Father's Office, Boneyard Bistro (great quality but most expensive burgers that I've had locally), Lucky Devil's, O! Burger, Blue Palms Brew House and Beachwood BarBQ (smoked short rib ground with fresh sirloin). With the exception of O! Burger, all of the places that I listed have a selection of Craft Brews that pair well with a quality burger!

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

                          Beachwood BBQ
                          131 1/2 Main St, Seal Beach, CA 90740

                          Lucky Devils
                          6613 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

                          Boneyard Bistro
                          13539 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

                          Father's Office
                          3229 Helms Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90034

                          O! burger
                          8593 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

                          Blue Palms Brew House
                          6124 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                          1. re: sel
                            b
                            Burger Boy Oct 5, 2008 11:06 PM

                            Smoked short rib sounds AWESOME! They need to open a branch up her at the intersection of Hollywood & Vermont.

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