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Jan 15, 2009 08:44 AM

which official hamburger hamlets are still open?

i'm getting a tremendous craving for their patty melts, greasy, heavy goodness. and a cup of classic lobster bisque. and a few drinks to wash it all down. don't get me wrong, the food is nothing all that special, but when nostalgia hits, it really hits.

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  1. I'm unfamiliar with any "unofficial" Hamburger Hamlet's, but you can get your "official" fix at the one still open near the corner of Ventura and Van Nuys Blvd in Sherman Oaks.

    If you're also so inclined their own handy-dandy website lists locations.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ReelMike84

      by official, i think i meant not a hamlet grill, or some newfangled offshoot.

      is the hamlet gardens on glendon related in some way to hamburger hamlet?


    2. There is one in Pasadena and one in Sherman Oaks. The Sherman Oaks one was pretty good. I had a salad there. It reminds me a little of the Cheesecake Factory but with a smaller menu. I haven't tried the Pasadena branch. I don't know if these are official, but they're listed on the website, along with a branch in West Hollywood and three branches on the east coast.

      Hamburger Hamlet
      4419 Van Nuys Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91403

      Hamburger Hamlet
      214 S Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101

      5 Replies
        1. re: kevin

          The Pasadena Lake Ave location is now called just Hamlet.
          Not sure what that means for the poster.

          1. re: MaryT

            they all are now just called Hamlet, as they have diversified the menu to the point that to think of it as hamburger focused loses too many customers.

            1. re: carter

              Do you know if they are still owned by the couple that started them way back when? They always seemed to have operations issues (staffing, service, freshness of produce, etc.) when I tried them off and on in the 90s.

              1. re: MaryT

                Marilyn and Harry Lewis sold out long ago. They do still own and run Kate Mantilini's. The name of the group that bought them out escapes me at this moment, but they ran it into the ground.

      1. was at the Sunset location about 3 weeks ago....was SOOO looking forward to the burger. I had such high hopes of reliving the taste of my youth, every Sunday night family dinner at the Hamlet. In a word...horrible....its true- you can never go home again.

        2 Replies
          1. re: yummyinmytummy

            Same sad experience here too. I used to go to the Hollywood Hamlet at least once a month till it closed, but I really got hungry for the lobster bisque and burgers too so I went to the Sunset location and was extremely disappointed. What made Hamburger Hamlet special is gone for good.

          2. The Pasadena Hamlet is still as good as it ever was, he said, praising with faint damns...but its strengths are, if not riveting, not bad either. I like the fish and chips (I order the steak fries and an extra tartar sauce to dip them); the eggs Bennie are reliably good, and if they overcook the eggs you can send them back and get them re-done right. My last Cajun burger had an oxidized skin over the spicy mayo, but alas that was all they had. It's still our extended family's local brunch spot of choice, and as long as I'm not paying the tab that's OK by me.

            14 Replies
            1. re: Will Owen

              Ah, yes, steak fries and extra tartar sauce, the perfect judge for any restaurant!!!
              Sorry, Will, but I had to.
              Cannot imagine the combination, in fact cannot imagine tartar sauce with anything!
              But there are other favorites on the menu at the Sherman Oaks location near me that will provide alternative solice.

              1. re: carter

                On a similar note, maybe for a different thread, but there used to be a location of a chain called Trophys that I loved near my work in Newport Beach that had wonderful lobster bisque and great pasta dishes alongside good bar food.

                I can't even say if Trophys is still there but when I think of good lobster bisque and I miss the OC, sorry . . .

                1. re: MaryT

                  sounds good, if they are still serving up lobster bisque and are of course open.

                  please report back if you happen to hear anything. nothing like a warm bowl of bisque by the sea shore. as the birds fly by, and the crash of the waves beneath your dangling feet.

                  1. re: kevin

                    If you can't get to the seashore, they do a decent lobster bisque at Fisherman's Outlet downtown.

                    They've also got birds lurking around the patio for French fries.

                2. re: carter

                  Well, Carter, some people can't stand mayonnaise, either; actually, if they offered aioli I'd prefer that, but they don't. As for me, I loathe and despise ketchup EXCEPT on hot dogs, but steak fries if done properly are my idea of heaven. To itch his own...

                  1. re: Will Owen

                    i don't know why but i do love the steak fries at hamburger hamlet, although i haven't try it now in a few years os don't know if it's still up to par.

                    but i did try the fish at malibu seafood and they have exceptional steak fries to go with it.

                    1. re: kevin

                      You guys keep mentioning "steak fries" and just remembered I had really note worthy ones unexpectedly at an Armenian restaurant. For some reason I didn't opt for their rice pilaf, but wanted fries and got some great steak fries.

                      Golden Skewer
                      2212 W Beverly Blvd
                      Montebello, CA 90640
                      (323) 727-2952
                      Closed Mondays

                      1. re: monku

                        These types of places always seem to turn out top notch fries. I wonder why?...

                3. re: Will Owen

                  I agree. We ate this past December and it was very good in all respects.

                  I have enjoyed the Pasadena restaurant for several years now.

                  1. re: rogerinca

                    As Papa, the one member of the family who really liked the Hamlet (and who always paid the tab!) has gone and left us, we will probably go there en famille no more. Maybe when Maman asked where she should take us for my birthday I should have chosen that instead of Cheval Blanc... NOT. But I'll keep checking up on them. Been a long time since my last fish & chips.

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      Just got back from the Hamlet Pasadena happy hour.
                      3pm-6pm in the bar, drinks and appetizers are half priced. Also 9pm-midnight happy hour with the same deal. Had the 16 wing appetizer (apricot and buffalo sauce) normally priced at $12.50... $6.25, can't beat that.
                      Talking to a veteran waiter named Jim who's been with the company for 30 years and he said a new owner bought the chain about a month ago.

                      1. re: monku

                        Good to know about the late happy hour! Finding food and drink after 9 in Pasadena can be frustrating, and we find ourselves coming out of meetings that started too early for supper entirely too often, and too broke for places like Noir (much as we love them).

                        1. re: monku

                          i heard it's the owners of Fatburger that bought the Hamlet chain, but who ever did they made some welcome improvements in quality already. These were noticed at the Sunset location.

                  2. I wondered what ever happened to Hamburger Hamlet. I used to work close to Berendo on Wilshire. There was a Hamburger Hamlet pretty much right next to my building. They were good at the time, around '81. Didn't there use to be one in Westwood Village? Rumor always had it that Paul Newman owned Hamburger Hamlet. I guess it was just that, a rumor.