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Westside Burgers-Counter, Hole in the Wall, Father's Office Tavern, What Else?

Sometimes you just want a nice burger and nothing else will do.

Tavern has a delicious upscale turkey burger with yummy fries with sage, but its like $17-$18. I did not like their pork burger as much, as the ground pork was spiced to it tasted like eating a sausage burger and I have not had their regular burger. Their turkey burger is tops though, although the bun is boring and not tasty.

Counter is a good call, but it's loud and their fries are too good so I end up eating too many

Did not like Father's office burger, the roquefort/blue cheese tasted too strong

Just tried Hole in the Wall. I found their turkey burger a bit too seasoned and did not like the topings (some yellow pepper looking thing). I thought that the regular beef burger was quite nice and the bun was good. Big complaint was their homemade ketchup. Its nice that they do their own, but to me it did not taste good and their food snobby sign next to the regular ketchup talking about how its all unnatural was a turn off. Their sweet potato fries were limp (and tasted bad with the natural ketchup, better with the ranch and regular ketchup).

Where else should I go within relative spitting distance for a burger place with turkey/chicken or veg burger option? Preferably on price point end of Hole in the Wall/Counter, not Tavern?

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  1. 26 Beach, great veggie burger they make in house and they make their buns. I think a veggie, which is huge and a salad or fries is about $12, really worth it and in a comfy environment, I like the booths in the bar area.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Burger Boy

      Strongly second 26 Beach, though I've only had the regular burgers.

      1. re: Burger Boy

        26 Beach, taken more than a dozen people there and it's become one of their favorite LA places to eat for every single one.

        26 Beach
        3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

        1. re: jadekarrde

          They are wack, they have a spicy tuna burger and a kim chee burger. I actuall like the kim chee burger, must be the way it blends with the other ingredients, sor of an umami effect! LOL I crack myself up!

            1. re: mdpilam

              Sorry. They are really good, off the chart!

            2. re: Burger Boy

              I had the spicy tuna burger, very good, very wasabi, but the spice made it hard to appreciate the beef (is it me or did the burgers get bigger like the salads did?), I prefer the California Roll burger. I was going to try the kimchee burger because I love kimchee, but my girlfriend vetoed it because kimchee is 'stinky'.

              I also really want to try that mile high burger with the corned beef. *drools*

              there's also the thai burger I haven't tried...

              I'm wondering what other sushi burgers they're going to come up with, the menu said, "more coming soon!"

              They're definitely taking the Sushi burgers and making it their signature thing. :)

              1. re: jadekarrde

                i had the spciy tuna burger last night and found it to be meh. they were very stingy with the spicy tuna and made up for it by piling in a huge mound of ginger. totally imbalanced. but the spicy wasabi mayo was really good.

                the cali roll burger (sans ginger), mile high and the kobe burgers got raves.

        2. Over in the Mar Vista / Culver City / Marina Del Rey triangle Ronnie's Diner has a very good double cheeseburger that comes with fries or their excellent house made potato chips (my choice) for about $9. It's a great deal. I'm linking the lunch menu here http://www.ronniesdiner.com/lunch.html but they offer the burgers for dinner as well. (Dinner served only Monday through Friday).

          1. 3 Square on Abbot Kinney has a fantastic burger (on a pretzel bun)

            1. Rustic Canyon, and they're actually bringing back Burger & Beer night on Mondays.

              1 Reply
              1. re: a213b

                This is my second favorite burger - after Umami (and before FO and 26 Beach).

                26 Beach
                3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

              2. I like Hal's on Abbot Kinney for their turkey burger.
                I consider their sweet potato fries to be the best in the city.

                1. "Just tried Hole in the Wall. I found their turkey burger a bit too seasoned and did not like the topings (some yellow pepper looking thing). I thought that the regular beef burger was quite nice and the bun was good. Big complaint was their homemade ketchup. Its nice that they do their own, but to me it did not taste good and their food snobby sign next to the regular ketchup talking about how its all unnatural was a turn off."

                  Just a few points about H-i-t-W Burgers. You decide exactly what you are going to have on your burger.

                  From the type of patty (turkey, beef or vegetarian) to the choice of bun (3 types) on to selecting what toppings you are going to have (some part of the standard price and some in the "upgrade" category).

                  So complaining about their home made thinly sliced pickles (which I find delicious) is a little strange, since you had to ask to have them added to your burger.

                  And no one has ever said a word to us in multiple visits about any benefits of their house made ketchup vs commercial ketchup. We generally use both. I've never even noticed the sign, so it's not like it's exactly in your face.

                  In fact the people we have interacted with there have been so friendly and helpful it's one of the things that draws us back (along with the great burgers).

                  Finally, I love both their regular and sweet potato fries.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Servorg

                    So this is kind of a Counter copy cat?

                    1. re: Burger Boy

                      Not really. It basically only has an outside patio (with a few places to eat in a totally downscale little inside area that I wouldn't consider eating in) and is order at the counter and they bring you your food in a brown paper bag. You haven't been? You ought to give it a try. Really pretty darn good place. But the weather needs to be nice so you can sit outdoors.

                      One other caveat. They close early, especially on the weekends, (maybe not open on Sundays IIRC?) so check their hours if you are planning to go in the evening.

                      1. re: Servorg

                        Agree, Servorg, I think HitW has decent burgers, I got the beef with cheddar on a pretzel bun. Made to order, nice flavor, juicy but not greasy. I have to say the fries are the best I've had in a while, they remind me of a small town diner I used to go to back east, perhaps b/c they're made with Kennebec potatoes.

                    2. re: Servorg

                      Maybe its new. I was just there for the first time this weekend. The ketchup sign is in a plastic stand alone holder prominently placed right between the two metal boxes from which you either squeeze out their homemade ketchup or commercial ketchup. Something about no love put into the commercial one, other things on that sign too. I'm all for handmade/homegrown, but not if it does not taste good, and that ketchup did not taste good to me. Also, I went out for a burger and fries, so I was obviously not seeking out a reminder of the unhealthful aspects of the whole venture at that particular time. Anyway, I find that sign to be precious, snobby and, frankly, out of place in a burger joint, even a higher end one that serves red leaf lettuce and offers pretzel buns.
                      ***I thought the little shampoo bottles of ketchup at Tavern were sort of silly too--they've done away with them.

                      I think the pickles are zucchini pickles and they were on my companion's burger.

                      The sweet potato fries we had were limp and not crispy.

                      The lady who took our order was fine, but not much interaction, you just place your order and sit down.

                    3. Hinano and 26 Beach Cafe for great turkey burgers. 26 Beach also has a great homemade veggie burger.

                      1. I am always looking for a great Turkey Burger. Recently went to Umami Burger (not Asian) on Cahuenga in the cool Space 15 Twenty complex in Hollywood. They have other locations, but I recommend this one or the one in Los Feliz. I ordered the Spicy Bird, (off menu- you have to ask for it) It was mind boggling. It made The Counter seem like Hamburger Hamlet. In fact, The Counter is out for me now. It is old school boring compared to Umami Burger. Umami Burger's other Turkey burger is crazy good, too, but you must try the Spicy Bird. It is decadent. I could eat 5 of them. You will love it. 9 bucks. Perfectly cooked and seasoned the way it comes...

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: ralston6000

                          "....you must try the Spicy Bird. It is decadent."

                          I most respectfully disagree. I find the Umami (I've tried several variations trying to capture the hype) and end up feeling this place is the ultimate 'Emperor's New Clothes."
                          I do like the brioche type buns, though.

                          1. re: latindancer

                            Do you have to have a brioche type bun? I won't eat stuff so gluttonous.

                            1. re: sillygoosedown

                              Actually the bun tastes more like a glorified version of a Wonder Bread roll....if there ever was such a thing.
                              It absorbs the blood from their undercooked meat.

                        2. Beacon has an excellent burger! Half pound on a great bun, with Neuske's bacon, carmelized onions, lettuce and tomato on the side and terrific fries.

                          1. It gets no love on this board, and it's not super cheap, but Grande Orange has some awesome burgers, especially the green chili burger. And although Apple Pan has no turkey or veggie they have a nice tuna sandwich and their burger still rules, as far as I'm concerned (was thrilled to see it on J Gold's 99 dishes list, though I would have gone fore the steak burger not the hickory.)

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: la tache burger

                              I tried a burger at Le Grande Orange several weeks ago and it was good. I've enjoyed The Apple Pan burgers for years (thanks to Paul Wallach!) and when I was more of a youthful glutton would have a Steak Burger followed by a Hickory Burger both with everything! Always Iced Coffee w/ xtra cream and a slice of Cream Pie (Cherry, Banana or Berry depending on availability)!
                              I am excited to learn about new places though! So many great burgers in this town!

                            2. Library alehouse burgers are pretty tasty. Their regular is $9 and they used to have a $6 Monday burger night. Not sure if they still do. They come with fries or a salad (plus the free chips) so it's a deal.

                              1. I like the Burger with the works at Real Food Daily. http://www.realfood.com/menu/sandwich...

                                1. I fully agree with your thoughts on The Counter, Tavern, Father's Office, and Hole in the Wall. With that said, I've also enjoyed the burger at Westside Tavern. The meat was juicey and nicely charred, caramelized onions were a delicious touch, and the bun held up and didn't disintegrate. And Houston's...their burgers are consistently delicious.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: a320

                                    Hal's on Abbot Kinney handdown on turkey burgers. Moist flavorful yummy. He wont share the recipe either..

                                  2. I went to the Westside Tavern yesterday for The Cheeseburger. I found both the service and the food to be lacking, so the value was weak. I would not recommend this venue.

                                    Q: What do all of the things listed below have in common?

                                    * How is everything with your meal, gentlemen?
                                    * Can I refill your drink, sir?
                                    * Are you interested in dessert today?
                                    * May I bring your check?

                                    A: They are all questions. They are all things that one typically hears while in the role of customer at a dining establishment. They all things that were not uttered to us during our visit at Westside Tavern.

                                    The Value: Look, Umami Burger and Wolfgang's Steakhouse have set the bar REALLY high in terms of value. We could have gotten great cheeseburgers at either place for the same amount of dough, so the cheeseburger value was not great at Westside Tavern.

                                    The burger at Westside Tavern was competently cooked, but it was cobbled together with ingredients, which did nothing to play to the beef's strengths. It seemed quite clear that The Cheeseburger was the result of the Chef being forced to check the "burger box" on the menu and nothing more.

                                    Burger Review : Average burger for a premium price.


                                    Wolfgang's Steakhouse
                                    445 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                    Umami Burger
                                    850 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                    Westside Tavern
                                    10850 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: TheBurgerBusters

                                      Disagree. Sorry about your experience with the service; it hasn't been mine, though off nights with service can happen almost anywhere. About the burger -- have to disagree, and was just reading Ray Garcia (of Fig)'s recommendation of the cheeseburger at Westside Tavern as a "marriage of simpl, yet high-quality, ingredients." (He goes on.) I take this as confirmation that I am not alone in finding the burger exemplary. I like this far better than Wolfgang's Steakhouse.

                                    2. The burger at Palomino is pretty delicious. I've eaten it at the bar, but I don't think it's on the bar menu anymore. If you ask for it, they'll cook it up for you, though. I'm not sure if it's on the dinner menu...

                                      1. Woof--that house-made ketchup at Hole in the Wall is acidic and foul--it's like chunky vomit. Do not want....ever again.

                                        1. One can safely avoid the "gourmet" burgers at Library Alehouse--they were bland and off-putting.

                                          The Kobe Burger tasted like rust, and the Bison Burger was overly gamy.

                                          La Grande Orange has a far better burger, and it is 6 blocks to the North.


                                          La Grande Orange
                                          260 South Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105

                                          1. When i am in need of a great burger, I head over to Second City Bistro in El Segundo. Huge, thick burger with caramelized onions and a garlic aioli. It comes with a choice of o.k. fries, their fabulous Tomato bisque or house salad. They know how to cook a burger medium rare, which can be a challenge at other burger joints.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: jeffandnat

                                              +2 on Second City Bistro in El Segundo.

                                              Second City Bistro
                                              223 Richmond St, El Segundo, CA 90245

                                            2. Wanted to chime in with unmentioned options:
                                              My favorite burger is at 26 Beach. I like the California Roll burger. It's on the high side, but it has crab salad in it, with avocado, wasabi and ginger.

                                              Umami in the Fred Segal complex on 5th Street is a very good burger, overhyped or not. I mention this place because it's Westside.

                                              I also like the burgers at Hinano, a dive bar in Venice.

                                              To echo Servorg, Hole in the Wall is very good; I have always found the staff friendly. BTW, I never touch the homemade ketchup. I didn't like their sweet potato fries either. But there's a lot to like. You choose what goes in your burger.

                                              Unheralded is the burger at Thompkin's Square in Westchester, a very good gastro pub. A great place to catch a sports event as well.

                                              26 Beach
                                              3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

                                              Fred Segal
                                              500 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                                              Hinano Cafe
                                              15 Washington Blvd, Venice, CA 90292

                                              7 Replies
                                              1. re: Ogawak

                                                I believe 26 Beach has been mentioned in the beginning of this thread.

                                                I also want to add the San Francisco Saloon 's burger in West LA. It's solid and tasty, made to order with fresh toppings. I also like the feel of the old building, reminds me of pubs in Boston.

                                                1. re: Phurstluv

                                                  SF Saloon is a very good burger and they have a variety of different burgers not to mention "build your own."

                                                  They also do a very good turkey burger for non-red meat eaters and while it's totally off the subject, their hot wings are darn good, too.

                                                  For bar food that isn't gastropub food, SF Saloon is a good spot. They even have a parking lot and nice waitresses.

                                                  1. re: PaulF

                                                    SF Saloon also does an excellent "burger in a bowl" that you can either design yourself or have one of their pre-designed ones with greens. I've actually become quite fond of the bowl burgers there.

                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                      Agree, I've done that as well, good choice.

                                                      And despite the fact that they make good french fries and I love french fries, I often get a salad on the side of my burger because their produce is so fresh and tasty.

                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                        It is especially good after dinner at Mori's across the street.

                                                        And I'm not being facetious.

                                                      2. re: PaulF

                                                        I've always enjoyed the SF Saloon's burgers, large alcoholic drinks, and parking lot & friendly staff.

                                                    2. re: Ogawak

                                                      The $3.50 8 oz. bottle of soda is really offputting at Umami at Fred Segal.

                                                    3. while i'm not sure if this fits the initial criteria of the op but i had a very good spicy tuna burger at bld yesterday. i think gulfstream has an even better tuna burger. the tuna at bld was cooked all the way but not dry. the tuna burger at gulfstream is rare.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: cdub

                                                        I believe 26 Beach actually has a spicy tuna burger, that is an angus burger with spicy tuna, ginger, seaweed and wasabi mayo. Now that is a spicy tuna burger, not a spicy tuna sandwich!

                                                        26 Beach
                                                        3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

                                                      2. Perhaps not technically on the Westside, but Westish (on Fairfax), try Golden State. Burger, fries (both sweet potato and regular), and potato salad are excellent. Great lamb burgers on Thursdays.

                                                        The Golden State
                                                        426 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                                        1. I'll throw in Rush Street and Houston's as well.

                                                          Rush Street
                                                          9546 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: PommeDeGuerre

                                                            Gotta say, the burger I had a Rush Street a couple months ago was completely inedible. Stale bun, overfilled, flavorless patty, limp toppings. Gross.

                                                            Houston's is fine, but I could never really imagine why someone would casually elect to go to Houston's unless they had an office lunch or something.

                                                            My vote is for Rustic Canyon.

                                                            Rush Street
                                                            9546 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

                                                            1. re: daftpunkxl

                                                              Amen to that Rush Street and Ford's Filling Station, across the street, both put out some lame and over-priced burgers.


                                                              Ford's Filling Station
                                                              9531 Culver Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90232

                                                              Rush Street
                                                              9546 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

                                                          2. I found out inadvertently that the Cheesecake Factory makes a decent turkey burger. The fries, not so much.

                                                            1. I nominate the Baby's Badass Burgers truck, since they make it to the Westside on a regular basis. It's not great, but it's darn good. It beats the hell out of The Counter, Father's Office, and Hole in the Wall.


                                                              Father's Office Bar
                                                              1618 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA

                                                              1. gotta try Apple Pan's Hickory Burger, head over to Hugo's for its Angus Beef Burger and move east a bit to Cassell's on 6th and Normandie area. Cannot go wrong with any of these.

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

                                                                1. If you like old school burgers, Pier Burger on the Santa Monica Pier. Very similar to Shake Shack in NYC. Coarse ground beef, melty American cheese, fresh lettuce, fluffy bun. They don't have a veggie burger but they do have a pretty good chicken sandwich, and also a fish sandwich that I haven't tried. Good fries, too, and frozen custard.

                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: wienermobile

                                                                      Have to strongly disagree, this very afternoon I had their Pier Burger (double) with everything and added bacon. It was mediocre and that is being generous. I tossed the last half. Cheap factory made patties, didn't taste "course ground" to me, and garbage American process cheese. Maybe it's better than the corporate mega chains but In N Out and 5 Guys are much better.
                                                                      But I'm the dummy because I was parked in front of Father's Office at 5 PM when they opened and I headed down to the SM Pier to try something different!
                                                                      Chocolate Shake was good though.

                                                                      1. re: sel

                                                                        I had Pier Burger a few months ago. Didn't hate it as much as you did, but certainly didn't love it. Haven't had Shake Shack, so can't compare it to that.

                                                                        Speaking of Shake Shack, does anyone like sound-alike Shaka Shack on Ocean Park in Santa Monica. Had it a few times last year, didn't make much of an impression on me, positively or negatively...

                                                                        1. re: PeterCC

                                                                          I have to say that I haven't tried their burgers yet, but I do love the frozen custard sundaes there. It seems to be almost like the real thing or as real as it gets in these parts.

                                                                          1. re: PeterCC

                                                                            I think highly of the Kobe Kahuna Burger at Shaka Shack...medium rare. It's the only burger I've gotten and had it on the order of 4 times now...

                                                                    2. Have heard good things about the burger and vegi burger at honor bar

                                                                      1. Since it's already been bumped: Humble Burger in Westchester; Pono, Burger Lounge, in Santa Monica; all opened fairly recently and have non-beef alternatives as well.



                                                                        Lounge: No real dedicated threads (yet).



                                                                        Soon to open: Stout Burger in SM has chicken and veggie options; Bachi Burger in Little Osaka has chicken, fish, and crab. This according to menus for their existing locations.

                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                        1. re: PeterCC

                                                                          The Lounge thread:

                                                                          And I edit to add that we visited them recently. The burgers were still tasty, but a little sloppy, as in the shape of the burger. Fries were overdone. Want to try their special lamb burger next.

                                                                          1. re: PeterCC

                                                                            I really enjoyed the tonkatsu chicken sando at Humble Potato. The Japanese curry fries were addicting and I am wanting to find an excuse to go back and try their burger.

                                                                            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                              Thanks for the report. I've been interested in this place and will check it out shortly. Really curious about the chicken katsu sando.

                                                                              FYI: tonkatsu is literally pork cutlet. Chicken katsu is an American concoction originating in Hawaii. I don't even know if there is a Japanese word for chicken katsu, although the Japanese are pretty good at copying what the Americans do; I understand they even have California Rolls.

                                                                              1. re: Ogawak

                                                                                You're right, yes it is called a chicken Katsu sandwich on the menu. It was very good. The fries are so addicting I want to make a batch of curry just to have on hand to smother things in....

                                                                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                  The one negative about their chicken katsu sando is the bread, way too much of it. It would be better if it was half as thick, which would allow you to taste the filling to a greater degree.

                                                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                                                    I don't recall how I felt about the bread at the time, but now I'm vaguely thinking I may have thought the same. And I know I wanted more tonkatsu sauce. And more yuzu dressing on the slaw. Overall, a little drier than I normally like.

                                                                                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                      if you had gone back to the counter and asked for more sauce and more dressing, they would have happily brought more out to your table.

                                                                                    2. re: Servorg

                                                                                      Is this in regards to the Humble Potato katsu sandwich ?

                                                                                      Are you getting at the fact that the chicken breast is way too thick ?

                                                                                      Usually, I thought people like a thicker patty and less condiments, but maybe not.

                                                                                  2. re: Ogawak

                                                                                    I've lived in Tokyo since 1977 and Chicken Katsu (チキン・カツ)has always been around. Not as popular as Pork Katsu, but still common for decades. It could also have been concocted in Hawaii, but I am not certain it was invented there.

                                                                                  3. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                    Had the Battle Royale burger today. While I did like it for the beefiness of the patty and the various other ingredients, its structure as a burger is too too high to pick up, hold together and eat. It needs at least three long toothpicks to hold it together while taking a bite. The sunnyside-up egg sprinkled with togarashi is on top with the upper half of the bun waiting to crown it. The egg yolk does what a good egg yolk is supposed to do in this case.

                                                                                    1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                      Yum. So hard to eat, huh? I suppose it would be hard to split in two....

                                                                                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                        It's stacked too high to eat a half, let alone a whole. My son thought he was clever trying that and most of the stuff fell out and he was left holding two half buns.

                                                                                2. Definitely Rustic Canyon and I love their fries.

                                                                                  22 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: latindancer

                                                                                    yeah, that was good. i may just have to go back there for those fries.

                                                                                    1. re: latindancer

                                                                                      I think that the Hungry Cat Pug Burger is about equal to the Rustic Canyon Burger, with a slight edge to Rustic Canyon because of the carmelized onions. Demerit for taking that burger off the menu. Thus, we who are in the know, are savvy enough to order the Rustic Canyon Burger.I don't like this "secret burger". What is up with that? Josh and Zoe are so down to earth. Makes me think that Chef Jeremy Fox will not last much longer with this elitist attitude.
                                                                                      I sure miss Evan Funke.

                                                                                      1. re: maudies5

                                                                                        Speaking of Evan, anyone know the latest on his new place in CC?

                                                                                        1. re: JAB

                                                                                          I was going to say nothing on Twitter (http://twitter.com/bucatola) recently, but apparently last week they tweeted about holding interviews for all positions. Signs of things moving forward but I'm assuming it's still weeks to months away.

                                                                                          1. re: maudies5

                                                                                            I'll have to give the Pug Burger a try, I've heard it's good.

                                                                                            I don't understand taking the Rustic Canyon burger off the menu. You're right, the 'elitist' attitude is a bit much.

                                                                                            1. re: latindancer

                                                                                              Is it about an elitist attitude? Wasn't the burger Funke's baby? He was serving it in the last day of operations of the porchetta truck. From what I heard, Fox was slowly changing the entire menu, as one might expect a new head chef to do, especially if the old menu was mostly created by the outgoing chef. If it can still be ordered off-menu, I don't think they're being coy or elitist, I think it means the burger's on the way out.

                                                                                              BTW I fully admit I might be talking out of my... :-)

                                                                                              1. re: PeterCC

                                                                                                Yes, it was Funke's baby. But it was/is such a wonderful burger and the fries along with it make it one of my favorites in the city.
                                                                                                I ate at Rustic Canyon 3X in a week a couple of weeks ago and truly loved everything on the menu I tried...many items. Fox is good, sincerely.
                                                                                                It'll be a shame, in my opinion, if that burger leaves like dust in the wind. In this case I have to agree with maudie on this one.
                                                                                                A chef who insists on taking something off the menu because it's not something they created, even though the item is well-know and loved, has the potential of being viewed as a little elitist. It's a bold move and, in my opinion, a little risky.

                                                                                                BTW....I fully admit I might also be talking out of my ... :-).

                                                                                                1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                  It seems like a lot of us are talking out of our ..... Today.

                                                                                                2. re: PeterCC

                                                                                                  "elitist" is another one of those words so often misused here on chowhound (and, elsewhere) that it has become, essentially, meaningless.

                                                                                                  1. re: linus

                                                                                                    Okay, I'll bite.

                                                                                                    What word or term would you use to describe a chef who thinks the item (that really is ordered quite often according to the waiter I spoke to) isn't really *his* creation so he's happy to just let it go off the menu?
                                                                                                    "Elitist" wasn't my term used but one I responded to and agreed with. It is a word that I think describes certain situations and people who deserve it.

                                                                                                    1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                      I'll agree about the elitist attitude that crops up at times The best example that I can recall was when Bandera took fries off of their menu because the new chef wanted to go in a different direction. We didn't go back for many months (until they put fries back on the menu finally). That first night when we found out about it I was probably a little on the rude side when I actually half laughed and half snorted at the manager's explanation and I told him that we wouldn't be coming back in that case. He appeared not to be concerned, but obviously we weren't the only customers who voted with their pocket books at that ill considered decision.

                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                        In this case I'd have to liken it to your (and mine) beloved Pann's patty melt.
                                                                                                        Can you only imagine if a new and 'wiser' chef came on the scene and decided the patty melt was not necessary anymore, even though people like me come to Pann's specifically for that item, and took it off the menu?
                                                                                                        Rustic Canyon has a great menu right now. I like the chef's creations. But, in all honesty, I come to Rustic Canyon for that burger and those insane fries. Even though I'm not inclined, for vanity and health purposes, not to eat it on a continual bases, it's nice to know it's there when I want it. Like that patty melt.

                                                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                          This is a case where the "customer is always right", methinks.

                                                                                                        2. re: latindancer

                                                                                                          "pride", "confidence", "prerogative"?

                                                                                                          History shows Fox is adroit with vegetables. Maybe burgers aren't his thing, so he doesn't like cooking them? Maybe when you order the off-menu burger now, you get the grillardin saying to himself: not another gdamn burger?

                                                                                                          1. re: TonyC

                                                                                                            He should create an awesome veggie burger.

                                                                                                            1. re: chrishei

                                                                                                              I would be up for his take on the ertswhile veggie burger.

                                                                                                              1. re: chrishei

                                                                                                                great idea, chrishel. i would LOVE to try his version of a veggie burger!

                                                                                                              2. re: TonyC

                                                                                                                i think tonyc gave a good answer. the definition of "elitist" is there for all to google.
                                                                                                                not wanting to sell a hamburger doesn't fit, to me.
                                                                                                                a chef can sell anything he wants or doesn't want to.
                                                                                                                i suppose if he sold only to rich people who brought their bank statements, or only to (edit) the landed gentry, that would be elitist.

                                                                                                                1. re: TonyC

                                                                                                                  <"pride", "confidence", "prerogative"?>

                                                                                                                  "prima donna"

                                                                                                                  There are two meat options on the present menu and so vegetables aren't all that's offered.

                                                                                                                  1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                    i don't think it makes someone a "prima donna" just because they don't have a hamburger on their menu.
                                                                                                                    or because they won't make you one.

                                                                                                    2. Surprised that Plan Check hasn't been mentioned yet in this thread.

                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: chrishei

                                                                                                        I was going to mention it earlier today but it slipped my mind.

                                                                                                        1. re: chrishei

                                                                                                          I think their pastrami Nosh sandwich is better than the burgers... Though I've only tasted one. But I can't go there and not order the nosh or the butter lettuce salad..... So maybe I'll never know.

                                                                                                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                            I think the pastrami nosh AND the southern fry are better than the burgers actually. But the food in general (including the burgers) has been consistently getting better since day 1.

                                                                                                            1. re: chrishei

                                                                                                              Their pastrami, gravy, and cheese, and pickles fries is great. But super heavy.

                                                                                                              1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                Super heavy? From the guy who eats before he eats and eats afterwards? ;-) I'm petitioning to have your your title of, "Favorite Glutton" revoked...

                                                                                                                  1. re: PeterCC

                                                                                                                    but i think he eats healthier than me, no ? :)

                                                                                                                    1. re: PeterCC

                                                                                                                      Hey! How did my good name get dragged into this fracas?! :-)

                                                                                                                  2. re: kevin

                                                                                                                    For such a small, minuscule portion. In a relative sense of course.

                                                                                                                    It's weird. there's something about the food at plan check that sometimes weirdly fills me up.

                                                                                                                    my apologies.

                                                                                                            2. Hamburger Habit (corner of Sepulveda & National) should be in the conversation. I definitely like it more than The Counter.

                                                                                                              Ketchy's II (on Sawtelle) has a decent burger.

                                                                                                              Marty's (on Pico, a few blocks east of Overland, next to the Shell station) scratches the burger itch for me as well.

                                                                                                              I've never heard of any Chowbuzz on the burger at Hearty Deli (on Corinth, just south of Santa Monica Blvd.), but the one time I tried it - I enjoyed it.

                                                                                                              12 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: J.L.

                                                                                                                Marty's is great for the eponymous Combo Burger.

                                                                                                                Two hamburger patties, cheese, chili, pastrami, and a split open Vienna beef hot dog running shotgun, what's not to like ?

                                                                                                                1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                  The cholesterol guilt afterwards...

                                                                                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                      Venture out to Playa Del Rey and try out the Shack http://www.the-shacks.com/PlayaDelRey... and their double shack 1/2 pound beef patty cheeseburger with either the split, grilled Louisiana hot link or the Portuguese sausage on top of the 2 beef patties.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                        The Shack on Wilshire at 25th just died. I used to like their Wed. special of $2 off all burgers. Their double-cheeseburger grilled a proper medium-rare was a great splurge (calories, not price). Is the Shack in Playa still alive and do they do the same special?

                                                                                                                        1. re: nosh

                                                                                                                          you mean died as in they closed, or just "died" as in the quality went seriously downhill ???

                                                                                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                            Santa Monica location lost their after 20 years to the owner of Freddy Smalls & the Counter. Dont know what he's opening there. Playa del Rey is still open.

                                                                                                                          2. re: nosh

                                                                                                                            Playa is still going as far as I know. I ride by there just about every Sunday in the wee hours of the morning and it looks the same as its always looked, like a true "beach shack" - and I would assume they would have the same specials, but I always get the double cheeseburger "Shack" burger with the hot link rather than the Portuguese sausage option, so I'm not positive sure.

                                                                                                                          3. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                            Servorg, good call on the Double Shackburger. The Hot Link overpowers the normal single patty Shackburger.

                                                                                                                            It's not on the westside, but I like the Double Cheeseburger with a Hot Link at Hawkins House of Burgers in Watts much more than the Shackburger (Single or Double).

                                                                                                                      2. re: kevin

                                                                                                                        Damn, damn, damn!!! Without any guidance from this board, I stopped at Marty's today. I had a burger, and I had a hot dog. Liked them both quite a bit. But, despite "combo" in the name, I never even considered the combo or even inquired as to what it is. Inotherwords, I just fuckin' blew it.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Wayno

                                                                                                                          No worries.

                                                                                                                          Next time, you can just grab the fucking combo.

                                                                                                                          And this is a big fire dept joint, but then again, they are literally right next door.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Wayno

                                                                                                                            Get thee back to Marty's and order the combo.

                                                                                                                      3. Smash Burger corner Overland and Venice in Culver City. Good burger, lots of toppings, $6. Beer and wine. Clean and quick.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: Baron

                                                                                                                          $6 for the too-small regular size, more for the barely adequate bigger burger. Was not at all quick when I went shortly after the opening; I'm sure it has calmed down now. But that also means that a lot of the customers who came at first, like me weren't too excited to return.

                                                                                                                        2. Curious, where does Golden State rank (location not withstanding) worth it or just stay on the westside for one of the above mentioned?

                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: whycook

                                                                                                                            The Golden State's burger is arguably the best in all of LA IMO.

                                                                                                                            1. re: chrishei

                                                                                                                              It is ok, but I have never been a fan.

                                                                                                                              Their fish and chips is some of the best in town though in my humble opinion.

                                                                                                                              1. re: chrishei

                                                                                                                                Golden State is still my favorite burger in LA. The perfect combination of meat, bun and toppings equals one great burger

                                                                                                                            2. Worth mentioning is Rounds solely on their fries alone. They have some of the best fries in town. Burgers are okay, highly advise to customize your own. I find that the turkey burger is actually worth getting over the regular. But man, they have some great fries and a nice and thick ranch dressing too.

                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: A5 KOBE

                                                                                                                                Rounds is the name of the burger joint ?

                                                                                                                                1. re: kevin


                                                                                                                                  Fries are like thicker In n Out but more creamy in the center and that kennebec taste. Ranch is thick and not watered down.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: A5 KOBE

                                                                                                                                    I also enjoy Rounds - you can't beat it for the price. Agree on the ranch too.

                                                                                                                              2. I like Big Jo's cheeseburger with chili, bacon, pickles, tomatoes, onions ketchup and mustard. I can almost pretend it's from Jay's....

                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                    How could I have forgotten? Their pastrami-topped burgers are great! And I love their classic crinkle-cut fries.

                                                                                                                                  2. I second 26 Beach! The Kobe burger is fantastic. And it's a place that has something for everyone, you can get a burger while your heath nut friends eat fancy salad...

                                                                                                                                    I also enjoy "Good Stuff" on olympic in west la. They have veggie/bison/turkey/beef options, and its def on the cheaper end of the scale. Great sweet potato fries.

                                                                                                                                    I don't like the father's office burger either!

                                                                                                                                    Noticed some differing opinons on Rush Street- I've been twice because I live so close and need late night options sometimes with food and liquor. Both times I REALLY enjoyed my burger and sweet potato fries, however when you add in their drinks, its an overpriced meal.

                                                                                                                                    Smash Burger in the culver center isn't mindblowing, but another low cost, convenient option. It's like a wannabe Counter, but cheaper and no wait.

                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: sarahbeths

                                                                                                                                      burger boy, care to share your newest views on 26 beach ?

                                                                                                                                      i haven't been myself in some time.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: sarahbeths

                                                                                                                                        Another fan of Good Stuff on Olympic. I get the "Stuffie #5. It's a nicely seasoned turkey burger with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and avocados on Toasted whole wheat pita. So good.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                                          maudie, where you the one that mentioned the turkey dog there filled with every topping and placed in a french roll ?

                                                                                                                                          also, have you been to the other waiter service, sit-down Good Stuff joints in the South Bay ????

                                                                                                                                      2. Been liking the burgers at Steingarten, great beers too.

                                                                                                                                        Hinano's burger is a damned good greasy barburger, asked for grilled onions!

                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: JJJohnson

                                                                                                                                          Hinnanos is not great and it wasnt too greasy.

                                                                                                                                          But at $5 who is One to complain ????

                                                                                                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                            I really want to try them..... Sounds like they're just good hangover burgers?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                                              Hit that shit up and pleae report back.

                                                                                                                                              And I'm not sure it includes fries, so caveat emptor.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                I'm on it, my friend.....will give you my impressions.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                                                I agree with JJJ and Kevin. They are damned good, but not great and well worth the five bucks.

                                                                                                                                                For some reason, I like the fact that they are cooked right behind the bar, not in a kitchen. When it's slow, the bartender does the cooking, too.

                                                                                                                                                I don't think they have fries -- they have chips.

                                                                                                                                          2. Only three mentions of the Apple Pan in (thus far) 133 replies? On a thread about the best medium cost burger on the Westside?

                                                                                                                                            For shame....

                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: PeterCC

                                                                                                                                                I like it.

                                                                                                                                                But I can see how many don't like it.

                                                                                                                                                Though it must be said: it is extravagantly overpriced.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: reverto

                                                                                                                                                I Love the Apple Pan!! My favorite cheap burger...than there is the leap to the $18.00 burger at Tavern, Rustic Canyon and Hungry Cat. At the middle of the day, I love the Pan. At the end of the day, I like the fancier burgers, maybe because I am having it with a cocktail and that adds to the pleasure.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: reverto

                                                                                                                                                  it's overpriced CAFO'd beef on top of iceberg, all drenched in liquid smoke. add to that there's shat parking and an annoying wait? which part of that sounds "best" of anything? Apple Pan is perpetually battling Pie n Burgers for the most undeservingly praised burger shacks in LA (also applies to Hinano, 26 Beach, ad nausea.).

                                                                                                                                                  pretty sure everyone grew out of these 80s food disasters.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TonyC

                                                                                                                                                    Don't order the Hickory Burger and you won't have to deal with liquid smoke. I prefer the Steak burger. Also, my favorite waiter in Los Angeles, Hector works there and he is enough of a reason to walk to the right side of the counter and wait for a seat.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                                                      I have to say the proponents of the pan probably love it.

                                                                                                                                                      But the detractors will probably hate it.

                                                                                                                                                      I'm sure there's a thread here with a few hundred posts on the pan with about 1/2 loving it and the other half hating it.

                                                                                                                                                      A contentious discussion if you will.

                                                                                                                                                      And I do love me some liquid smoke in its myriad combinations and permutations.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                                                      I like the burger at the Westside Tavern--cheese, sautéed onions, arugula and a slightly spicy aioli. It is always juicy and cooked perfectly.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: reverto

                                                                                                                                                      Not to re-do the yes/no polarity thing but:

                                                                                                                                                      LOVE Apple Pan

                                                                                                                                                      And love Pie n Burger too, though it's been a few years

                                                                                                                                                    3. The Apple Pan conversation prompts this reply:

                                                                                                                                                      I'm not sure what "nice burger" means exactly and many of the recs for burgers in this thread are for restaurant burgers that range in price from 10 bucks and up. Some are well worth the price, of course.

                                                                                                                                                      But the Apple Pan thing reminded me to note that when I'm in the mood for a cheap, greasy but very tasty burger I get the combo at Marty's. The reason that the Apple Pan comments inform this one is that the Apple Pan is just down the street from Marty's.

                                                                                                                                                      Marty's is a stand. You order from a counterman (whose a really nice dude) who is standing next to the grill guy. They have hot dogs (note: the beef dog is much better than the turkey dog, though sometimes I get the turkey dog anyway) with all the different toppings (the dogs are split and grilled -- I like them that way), sandwiches and even some breakfast items.

                                                                                                                                                      Marty's has a variety of burgers, with bacon, with cheese, with (pretty damn good) chili and so on. The "combo" has a hot dog and a burger and a bunch of other stuff on the. (Marty's is "home of the combo" -- so I guess the combo is the signature dish). The combo is the most expensive burger at (I believe) six dollars.

                                                                                                                                                      The place draws a pretty eclectic crowd: parents with their kids, seniors, golfers from Rancho, firefighters from the station next door, folks who work at Fox and so on. It's cash only.

                                                                                                                                                      They also have fries (skinny), onion rings and so on.

                                                                                                                                                      Today I had the turkey dog with sauerkraut, which reminded me to rec the burger in this thread. Sometimes there is a short line at lunch, but it moves fast. They have some parking in the rear as well as some picnic tables and barstools along the building. If you ever head over to Apple Pan for a burger and it's too crowded (or if it is Monday and you forgot AP is closed on Monday -- I did that once a long time ago), then try Marty's for a cheap but tasty burger fix.

                                                                                                                                                      1. Honor Bar has a great veggie burger and I have friends that rave about their cheese burger. The crispy chicken sand is out of this world.

                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                            Next to South Beverly Grill in BH. Live jazz sometimes too.

                                                                                                                                                        1. I love the cheeseburger at Hinano in Venice Beach, next to the pier. (21 and over)http://hinanocafevenice.com/

                                                                                                                                                          Danny's has a mean burger also in the same area.

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. Submariner on Centinella. Just south of Venice serves a great burgers. They also have xlnt Cheese Steaks and on an on. A small family owned place that should get more attention..

                                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: srgx2

                                                                                                                                                              Submariner is the place across and slightly south of Taqueria Sanchez, which is my usual destination if i'm in that area. Never tried it. If I remember I'll give it a try. If they have good sandwiches and wrap them well, it would be a good place to get provisions before a flight out of LAX.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nosh

                                                                                                                                                                You can't go wrong with this place. They have an extensive menu and the food is great and priced right.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: srgx2

                                                                                                                                                                  What have you liked best there? Double-cheeseburger or philly cheese? Fries or onion rings?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nosh

                                                                                                                                                                    Tried Submariner today. Really wanted to like it more -- proprietor taking orders was friendly and helpful. Split a Philly cheesesteak (ordered without lettuce and tomato and the onions and bell pepper grilled). Wasn't great. The meat was sliced slightly too thick and was overcooked. The provolone was stretchy rather than melty and didn't give that unctuous gooiness that a good cheesesteak provides. Also needed seasoning. Split a double-cheeseburger. Patties were thicker than I'd expect at the price, but way overcooked, welldone, not a trace of juiciness. Onion rings were the chopped onion, formed and breaded type, not my favorite. Fries were crispy and good.

                                                                                                                                                                    Might consider giving them another try and requesting medium-rare for either, but with Taqueria Sanchez across the street...

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nosh

                                                                                                                                                                      That's funny. I also tried Submariner today for the first time (I work in the area). I had the double cheeseburger with jalapenos and onion rings. Overcooked, not very flavorful and not worth the calories.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: duck55

                                                                                                                                                                        Do you do Taqueria Sanchez? My lunch there usually is 1 shrimp taco, one carnitas taco, and one al pastor taco. With the free chips and lots of hot salsa, lime, and pico, a filling lunch for about $5.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nosh

                                                                                                                                                                          I'm there about once a week. They're menu is really interesting. I keep promising myself I'll branch out from the ususal, which is a red or green chile burrito. Next time I'll try your taco combo. BTW, Sakura Sushi (next door) is a very good neighborhood spot, but that's a completely different budget category.

                                                                                                                                                              2. Best veggie burger I have ever had is at R+D Kitchen on Montana.

                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                                                                  i believe that the R&D kitchen veggie burger is the same as the Houston's veggie burger.
                                                                                                                                                                  i concur with maudies5 on this.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                    Not surprising, they are both owned by the Hillstone Group

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Thor123

                                                                                                                                                                        Jonathan Gold's favorite veggie burger is also at R+D's

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Thor123

                                                                                                                                                                          Can you describe honor bar further ?????

                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks Thor.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                                                                        In which case I'll hit that shit up since I'm supposed to be on a diet.