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Hamlet - Sepulveda & National: Out of Biz

Dropped by tonight to find it shut up tight and with a note on the door saying that they weren't able to renew their lease. I have my doubts that that was the reason, (the last couple of times we ate there you could have fired a canon in the dining room and no one would have been hit), but they had been there since 1969 or so. One more casualty of the sub prime melt down / real estate bubble bursting / recession.

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  1. bummer, the one in bh shut down last year or so and still nothing in its place

    4 Replies
    1. re: jessejames

      so did the one in brentwood, if i'm not mistaken the last remaining one is in Hollywood and the Valley on Van Nuys Blvd or Woodman (?)

      by beverly hills i presume you mean the one in the building near doheny and sunset right?

      1. re: kevin

        BH located at Beverly Dr, south of Wilshire. Sherman Oaks location is Van Nuys Blvd between Ventura/Moorpark

        1. re: Muhlyssa

          The closest that Hamlet comes to having a location in Beverly Hills is Kate Mantilini (started and owned by the original owners of the Hamlet) on Wilshire and Doheny. At least KM still does a great rendition of "those potatoes" (hash browns with scallions and sour cream in the middle). The West Hollywood Hamlet is at:

          9201 Sunset Blvd.
          West Hollywood, CA 90069
          (310) 278-4924

          1. re: Muhlyssa

            clarification: the BH location (that has been closed for at least a year now) was on Beverly Drive, south of Wilshire.

      2. If they were open there's no way I'd ever go back.

        Wrote them a letter I was so mad the last time I was there.

        Maybe the landlord tried to order a meal and 45 minutes later received something she/he didn't order and it was overcooked and just plain nasty.

        I doubt they lost their lease.

        1. Did they leave some sort of hex or curse or something?

          The Hamburber Hamlet in Westwood Village closed years ago -- gosh, it has to be close to a decade. It is a big space, only a block south from UCLA and the hospitals, and it has access to that big parking lot in the rear. And yet it has remained closed, boarded up, and empty for all of that time.

          The Hamburger Hamlet in Brentwood on the west side of San Vicente closed over a year ago, or is it now two? They have a huge space which is easily divisible, and also have an easy parking situation right to their rear/side. Right after they closed, I read about plans for an ambitious replacement -- if I recall correctly a casual venue alongside a more upscale option. Now, nothing...

          2 Replies
            1. re: nosh

              Just walked by there this afternoon. Lots of construction material and assorted pieces of wood and wire on the ground near the open front door. There were a couple of people inside having a conversation, so I didn't interrupt to ask when it's opening. In two windows near the entrance: a liquor license transfer notice from ABC with the name Laurier 2 written into the name of establishment line! Isn't there a Laurier in NYC? Another big notice was a transfer of ownership to the Dusenberg Investment Group. Next time I'll try to sneak inside and get a photo of how close they are to having a usable space. From the looks of the exterior today it's going to be a long time.

            2. Funny, after MANY years of the Hamlet being under our radar, just this Sunday we went to the Pasadena/Lake Ave location. Didn't have burgers (which looked great), but were all happy with soups (onion & lobster bisque) and salads (2 summer scallop salads and 2 Chicken Ceasars for the kids). Kids were happy with their desserts.
              Service was professional and gracious, and while not standing room, their was certainly a nice dinner crowd. I thought there were postings here discussing a new owner who wanted to return the Hamlet to it's former glory.
              We'll be back.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Briggs

                "there was certainly..."

                1. re: Briggs

                  When I was courting the future Mrs many years ago, the Sepulveda and National Hamlet was one of our hangs, after I actually landed the Mrs, the Pasadena became our hang for burgers. Have visited various Hamlets over the past 35 years, and the majority of them have never been the same since the Lewis's sold out, however, the Pasadena location, for the most part has remained consistent. I still like the lobster bisque and a Hamlet burger, and maybe a schooner of beer or a few stiff ones.

                  1. re: ChinoWayne

                    Must be some special good karma or something about the Pasadena Hamlet; I've had only one item that was subpar, a Cajun burger with aioli that had gone transparent and slightly rancid. That's the in-laws' brunch venue of choice. Papa always gets the Benedict, and if the eggs aren't poached perfectly (about one out of every three times) he sends them back, and gets perfect ones in return. It's far from being the best place around for either burgers or breakfast, but it's certainly adequate, and as long as Papa keeps taking us there and picking up the tab I'll go happily.

                    I do really like their fish and chips, too.

                2. "The sub prime meltdown" sounds like it could have been one of the cheeseburgers on the menu there.

                  1. I'll bet they weren't able to renew the lease because they were overdue on the rent.

                    There were plans afoot to sell the chain but they fell through very recently.

                    1. The Sherman Oaks location is still around if anyone needs that greasy cheese bread or fatty lobster bisque. Believe me, I don't say this with any distain, there's a place for both of these things in and probably stuck to the walls of my arteries.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Muhlyssa

                        We were sorry to see it go. If we get over Sherman Oaks way we will have to drop in for nostalgia dinner some night. I have to say that, while I thought Hamlet's cheese bread is okay, I have a once a year urge for the Cheetos style orange cheese toast that they serve at the Smoke House and Billingsley over here in West LA.

                        1. re: Servorg

                          When I was a teenager and first driving, we used to head over to Bob's on Van Nuys Boulevard, when we got a little bit older and more sophisticated, we discovered the Hamlet over there, and that was it for Bob's (although nobody can top a Bob's shake.)

                          Out here in the hinterlands when we get a craving for cheesy garlic bread, our local Black Angess does a very good job.

                      2. I also heard about the West L.A. Hamlet closing. I also doubt they lost their lease. You'll recall they just remodeled the place recently. Why would a tenant spend precious cash remodeling if their lease was expiring? Makes no sense. I think the real reason is lack of customers. I used to go there regularly with my mom, who enjoyed their hamburgers. At the same time of the remodel, they also raised their prices (you can be whenever you see remodeling or a new menu that prices are going up). Last time we went it was almost empty at lunch time. So it seems the only Hamlet left on the westside is the one on Sunset Strip. Brentwood closed, Beverly Hills closed, Westwood Village closed, and now, West L.A. Seems Marilyn Lewis got out just in time. There's still the Hamlet Garden, or rather the 'Gardens on Glendon' in Westwood village. The prices there are quite high in my opinion.

                        We'll certainly see more restaurant closings in the coming months as this recession/depression deepens. Just drive around and look at all the empty store fronts for lease. Pretty tough to make a buck when people have no money to spend.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: philipharrison

                          the hamlet in West LA was actually the first restruant i ever went to as a baby from the nearby student housing for UCLA. i was there 2 weeks ago and it was empty. i basically think it was a resturant that wasnt too classy or too chilis like. it was lost in the middle. too bad. the food wasnt incredible..but it will be missed.

                          1. re: feedthebelly

                            Surprised there has been no mention of the Sunset/Doheny location!
                            Still great atmosphere and doing plenty of business......

                            1. re: shebop

                              i'll have to get to the sunset and doheny one, i still have a soft spot in my heart, if i can find what with all the artery-clogging food, but then again i digress,.

                              1. re: shebop

                                Funny since I assumed that one closed too.

                          2. I think it is hard with such a big space , and the place was never quite full. It seemed they were trying to get more people in at the end , redesign, new menu stuff, magicians,etc.

                            It was a decent place, so in a way it's bad, hopefully they put something worthwhile it's place. Something interesting.