HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Discussion

MAY is National Burger Month(?): any suggestions (current please)?

I wanna try at least one a week of (currently) the best burgers in Los Angeles. Nothing fancy/hyped/expensive. I'm talking about good comfort food, burgers that can stand on their own without the overly aggressive masking. Your suggestions would be appreciated...thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. If you factor out fancy, hyped and expensive, you're left with In N Out, Fatburger and at bottom the $1 McDouble. Moving up, you get to standbys like Pie N Burger and Apple Pan. Maybe, Luckyboy and Wolf Burger are in there as well. Then, things get fancy and expensive fast.

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

    3 Replies
    1. re: mc michael

      I agree. Factor out fancy, hyped and expensive and you are left with fast food.

      1. re: mdpilam

        Pie n Burger might not be fancy or expensive, but it's overhyped and overpriced. You might as well just go to in n out.

        -----
        Oinkster
        2005 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

    2. Any particular part of town? There are plenty of stands around that serve an adequate burger.

      Dunno if Tommy's (Beverly Bl) qualifies. Neither fancy nor expensive, gets so much love that it may qualify as hyped.

      I like Big Fat (not Fatburger) on Saticoy west of White Oak in Reseda.

      -----
      Big Fat
      17729 Saticoy St, Reseda, CA 91335

          1. re: selfportrait93

            I'll second that motion. This is really a great review and the ensuing comments are full of great other burger tips.

        1. If you like chiliburgers go to tommys, I get the double chili cheese with extra chili and onions, no extra charge.

          1. One of the better no frills burgers in town is the cheeseburger at Hinano's in Venice.

            -----
            Hinano Cafe
            15 Washington Blvd, Venice, CA 90292

            1 Reply
            1. re: Servorg

              yes! it's hard to discern what any given person might consider a "comfort food" burger, but for me, the Hinano burger is exactly what comes to my mind.

              -----
              Hinano Cafe
              15 Washington Blvd, Venice, CA 90292

            2. Check out "The Crazy Stack" a new mega burger at Hamburger Mary's...Its got 2 half lb patties, mac and cheese, cheese, bacon, avocado and uses 3 grilled cheese sandwiches (on hawaiian bread no less) for buns...

              its the initial review for http://www.burgerspy.com

              with pics

              8 Replies
              1. re: ccognac

                Blue Star has a great burger for about $9. Hand-formed, you can get it medium-rare. That's only about $3 more than Pie n Burger.

                -----
                Blue Star
                2200 E 15th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021

                1. re: ccognac

                  that looks realllly crazy good, like a heart attack on a plate. But some of the best dishes are one. I will have to try that. Thanks.

                  1. re: ccognac

                    That is an interesting burger, and one I'd definitely like to try, but at $20, it definitely doesn't fit OP's criteria.

                    1. re: ccognac

                      Chris, how does Hamburger Mary's "The Crazy Stack" compare to B & R Old Fashion Burgers' "Monster Royal Burger?"

                      1. re: Norm Man

                        I think its a bit more "over the top" as the B and R burger is just a huge traditional burger...The meat is a bit more flavorful at B and R, but at Hamburger Marys the Crazy Stack is about the toppings and "bun-grilled cheese"...I found it very creative and good...just bring someone to help you eat it

                        -----
                        Hamburger Mary's
                        8288 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

                      2. re: ccognac

                        Oh My Friiggin God
                        Just posted it on my Facebook page with a plea of help from 3 others to help eat this monster

                          1. re: ccognac

                            Chris, great to see you posting again. Would love to hear about any new Hungry Detective developments.

                      3. Hole in the Wall Burger Joint fits your odd criteria well.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: toonoble

                          +1 for Hole In The Wall

                          -----
                          Hole in the Wall Burger Joint
                          11058 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                        2. Thanks for the link ipsedixit. That was really helpful. I've been to Father's Office but did not try the burger so maybe it's about time I go back. I was really talking about burgers with truffle/truffle oil, a pate burger, foie burger, etc. But I wouldn't go as far as saying fast food. Just good burgers that need not much add-ons that you need two or more hands to count. But it is also true, comfort food is individual, mollyomormon. And i did completely forget about Hinano....ouch. Will have to go there once. So there, I have two now. ;)

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

                          1. I haven't had it in about a year (?), but Philly West had a good burger, and I thought it was a good value (about $5).

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: mdpilam

                              skip philly west unless you like eating hockey pucks.

                              go for:

                              - hinano
                              - 26 beach
                              - josie (but $28bux)
                              - in n out
                              - arsenal (kobe style burger)

                            2. I like the burgers at Johnny's (The pastrami place) in Culver City. They have a nice charbroil flavor to them.

                              1. Take a little ride and try Sapphire Pantry (next to Sapphire Laguna) on PCH in Laguna Beach. Weekdays only they make an incredible Kobe burger. So very awesome, served with delicious garlic fries, under $12.00.

                                -----
                                Sapphire Laguna
                                1200 South Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

                                Sapphire Pantry
                                1200 S Coast Hwy Ste 101, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

                                1. I very much disagree that Pie'n'Burger is either overpriced or underachieving, but we've had this argument many times before. I will however nominate the burger at Central Park on Fair Oaks as the most reasonably priced expensive burgers around (about $10 last time I had one) and one that's better than many of its $15+ peers.

                                  I do second the nomination of Oinkster's.

                                  -----
                                  Oinkster
                                  2005 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

                                  Central Park Cafe
                                  219 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

                                  1. If you want to do a fun tasting with friend, I recommend The CATCH in Anaheim. They have a 4 lb. all chuck beef patty served on a 14' crispy egg bun with aged cheddar, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and red onion. For the hungrier, try the double...double the cheese and double the meat. Comes with crispy garlic and parsley fries. 14 of us went this weekend, and had a great time. Meat well seasoned, though a bit well done...but please note, we had them bring it out to take pictures and sent it back to the kitchen for them to slice for us. Probably about 10-15 mins of time passed.

                                    1. The Counter in Pasadena had the best burger that I've had in some time

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: foufou

                                        They just recently opened up next door to Green Street Restaurant. I was a little put off by the loud music I heard coming out the door - hey, I'm old! - but I've heard enough good about the chain I'll give it a try. Thanks for the reminder.

                                        -----
                                        Green Street Restaurant
                                        146 S Shopper's Lane, Pasadena, CA 91101

                                        1. re: Will Owen

                                          they will turn the music down at lunchtime by request

                                        2. re: foufou

                                          I just noticed that The Counter opened up on Ventura just west of Laurel Canyon

                                        3. One of the great inexpensive burger joints with a full bar and barely drinkable red wine. Good fries. The Kona burger with cheese, grilled onions and bacon along with tomatoe and lettuce is the way to go. I've had elk burgers, venison burgers and bison burgers. I've had the Kobe and the Wygu. But when I want a "hamburger" Pineapple Hill is where I head to.

                                          -----
                                          Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill
                                          4454 Van Nuys Blvd N, Sherman Oaks, CA

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: Hughlipton

                                            Meet you there any night. My choice has always involved Helen bringing me two vodkas on the rocks and the Acapulco Burger, medium rare. Good evening, good fries, and good burgers, all for about $20 out the door.
                                            Same center as In n Out at Moorpark.

                                              1. re: mc michael

                                                Tastes best "on" Maui Wowie...

                                                -----
                                                Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill
                                                4454 Van Nuys Blvd N, Sherman Oaks, CA

                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                  Thanks for the laugh. Clearly not the same Pineapple Hill.

                                            1. The burger at Rustic Canyon Wine Bar in Santa Monica is amazing. Did anyone say Unami?

                                              -----
                                              Rustic Canyon Wine Bar
                                              1119 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: JAW522

                                                Rustic Canyon's definitely doesn't fit OP's "fancy/hyped/expensive" requirement, and Umami could be considered hyped and expensive (although, at $9 I think it is reasonable). Umami is my favorite burger though, followed closely by FO. Still need to try Rustic Canyon.

                                              2. What about Umami Burger? I've heard good things about that place.

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

                                                1. Second City Bistro in El Segundo has a burger on their lunch menu that is great. Thick medium rare burger with a mound of the tastiest carmelized onions. Comes with a little side salad w/housemade blueberry vinegrette and candied pecans. Enough for two people!

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

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: jeffandnat

                                                    I will "segundo" that recommendation! I've had one of those on each of three visits, and it's definitely one of the best of that breed around. Flat-grilled, which is very much my preference, so the juices hang around and get cooked onto the patty. That salad is brilliant, too, and I like the room and the waitstaff too. It is not dirt cheap, around $15, but it's a complete meal except for beverage, and several dollars less than some inferior offerings elsewhere.

                                                    1. re: Will Owen

                                                      So I waited until the waning days of May to hop into this thread. I segundo your segundo. We went tonight on a last-minute whim. We were hoping to hit a place that might be a little under the radar on a friday night - success... Very nice place as that part of El Segundo is very old-town like and quiet. The space is narrow but it's spaced and laid out properly where one doesn't feel closed in.

                                                      We had the regular half-pound burger with the works less onions (my kids split this one) and I had the 10-oz lamb burger. Both were cooked as ordered (medium and medium rare), and both were superb. Quality ingredients prepared and put together properly.

                                                      The lamb burger had a nice lambiness to it but not overwhelmingly gamey. A good shot of cumin and a red beet chutney were the added flavors. I think lamb lovers would appreciate this one. It appears that Second City Bistro features a rack of lamb on a daily basis - a different rub or marinade daily. So lamb lovers in the South Bay and lower part of the Westside should keep this place in mind. The lamb burger comes with sweet potato fries. I've been pretty disappointed to meh about this type of fry, but Second City's is very very good.

                                                      Great wine list here as well. About 100% over retail, and a good spread of choices and price ranges. We will definitely be back.

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

                                                  2. The best burger for the $$$ is @ Top's on Colorado Blvd in Arcadia. The Junior Cheesburger is to die for and only $2.75. Good char, crisp fresh lettuce and tomatoes with their special sauce!!!

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: superbanker

                                                      It's actually in East Pasadena--Tops.

                                                      1. re: mc michael

                                                        Yes, by about two blocks (dividing line is Michellinda) ... and NOT to be confused with the one on Walnut either! I don't know, some kind of family disagreement, but the two don't acknowledge each other. The Walnut one has decent fast food, but the burgers are nothing special at all.

                                                      2. re: superbanker

                                                        Went to Tops recently and had their Kobe Bistro burger. Still pretty good in my book.

                                                        -----
                                                        The Original Tops
                                                        3838 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107

                                                      3. One of my all-time favorite burgers is Morton’s for about $15 including fries. If you want inexpensive, I’m a firm believer in In-N-Out’s “Secret Menu”. Use it to advantage and you can build yourself a truly outstanding burger on the cheap.

                                                        http://www.bookrags.com/wiki/In-n-Out...

                                                        My typical order, less than $10:

                                                        - 3 x 2, animal style (including chopped grilled onions), medium-rare, raw onion, extra
                                                        toast, extra mustard, no spread, no pickles, light chopped chiles, light tomato, light lettuce
                                                        - Fries, extra well (crispy)
                                                        - Extra large Root Beer Float, Neapolitan Shake or Lemon-Up

                                                        1. Try Oinkster, La Grande Orange, or Golden State.

                                                          -----
                                                          Oinkster
                                                          2005 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

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

                                                          La Grande Orange Cafe
                                                          260 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: PommeDeGuerre

                                                            I've had just one at La Grande Orange, and have no desire for a second. It was large, and the meat was cooked exactly as I'd asked, but the burger was lacking in flavor and the bun dissolved about halfway through its consumption, leaving me with two hands full of goo.

                                                            I do not know Golden State, but I can give an enthusiastic second to Oinkster. The only thing wrong with their burger is the number of other delights on the menu there, and my inability to eat them all at once...

                                                            -----
                                                            Oinkster
                                                            2005 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

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

                                                            La Grande Orange Cafe
                                                            260 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

                                                          2. Try 26 Beach in Venice. 1/2lb burger, home made bun and comes with a salad or fresh cut fries, $12. They also have the over the top burgers you do not want. They have been doing burgers for over 20 years, must be doing something right. Check Out this thread from a couple of weeks ago http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7010...

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

                                                            1. wow...thanks everyone...will definitely have a full MAY burger calendar...which will surplus to more months...they all sound soooo good i need a drool mop just about NOW reading all your recs...

                                                              1. The Oinkster in eagle rock on Colorado Blvd.

                                                                -----
                                                                Oinkster
                                                                2005 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

                                                                1. I don't think anyone mentioned The Habit which started out in SB and now has locations in Torrance and El Segundo. Probably the best, freshest, cleanest fast food style burger around and the onion rings and malts can't be missed. Go to the El Segundo one and chill outside with your friends while you enjoy your feast.

                                                                  And if it's late-night, D-town Burger Bar serves up some satisfying burgers and fries (they sneak in some sweet potato fries in the mix). Here's a link to my pic: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wise-pix...

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: kushnerom

                                                                    good burger, I actually like better than In & Out.

                                                                    1. re: Burger Boy

                                                                      Haven't been to the Torrance location but the El Segundo location is never slow. And I think LAX employees agree with you in regards to In-N-Out. I regularly see LAX cops and airline ground crews there all the time.

                                                                      1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                        There is one in LaVerne, I believe, out by Harvey Mudd. Maybe it is near north Pomona. Whatever, it is on Foothill Blvd. out east of LA.

                                                                        -----
                                                                        The Habit Burger
                                                                        1608 Foothill Blvd, La Verne, CA 91750

                                                                    2. re: kushnerom

                                                                      Burger with cheese to burger with cheese, I like In N Out a lot better. I love the onion rings at The Habit though.

                                                                    3. Wow...thanks everyone...the posts are making me salivate more...i do like the OInkster but have not tried their burgers...the pastrami sandwich is a whole different story now...they are pretty goooood...

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: liawrites

                                                                        Check this out! The new California Roll Burger from 26 Beach, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RK401k...

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

                                                                        1. re: Burger Boy

                                                                          Been meaning to try 26 Beach for a while now. Finally got my chance yesterday. That California Roll Burger was amazing. I had it medium rare on a brioche bun. The wasabi flavor permeates throughout without ever overpowering. Nice slivers of ginger and a good sized glob of crab salad make this perhaps the tastiest burger I've ever had. This creation is executed much better than the Father's Office burger, though the FO burger meat is better. My wife had the Bombay burger which, though delicious, didn't work as well. The fries were perfectly crisp.

                                                                          Dying to try one of the other burger versions or the waffles next time.

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

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

                                                                      2. I miss Crocodile Cafe's burger, when they were in Brea--went weekly.

                                                                        1. Nobody mentioned Boulevard Burger on Ventura Blvd, in Woodland Hills. Few places, if any, will fix it the way I want it; extra rare.They do. Add the grilled onions and cheese and have at it. Messy but superb.
                                                                          Someone mentioned the Habit but the one I tried in the valley was overdone and dry. The place is overrated.
                                                                          The best chains are Tommy's, Chili's, Fatburger and Islands.

                                                                          -----
                                                                          Boulevard Burgers
                                                                          21718 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91364

                                                                          1. Utro's cafe in San Pedro at berth73 has a great handmade double cheese burger. They've been there for many years. It's in an interesting old building right on the water with a ton of stuff on the walls. They have made a couple of movies out there because the place just has a look. Most of the food is good and very reasonably priced but the cheese burger and fresh cut fries are the big pull. Great outdoor seating and cheap pitchers make it a big favorite with the locals and fishermen.

                                                                            -----
                                                                            Utro's Cafe
                                                                            73 Berth, San Pedro, CA 90731

                                                                            1. OK, dining out is a social thing. It's good to get out. And if you're already out, hungry and in a hurry.... But a truly outstanding, world-class, custom-built hamburger is one of the simplest things there is to produce at home, even without rarefied culinary skills. A restaurant burger that equals what one can make for oneself at home is the rare exception, and would easily cost many, many times more what you'll pay for the choicest of meat, buns and select condiments. In-N-Out? In a pinch, maybe. On the other hand, I'll probably never bother trying to replicate the authentic, Chicago-style Italian Beef sandwiches they make at Portillo's in Buena Park.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Riccardo

                                                                                "a truly outstanding, world-class, custom-built hamburger is one of the simplest things there is to produce at home"

                                                                                Especially if you have a meat grinder (or an attachment for your mixmaster), but even that's not necessary with a cooperative butcher. One reason I _viscerally_ dislike bad restaurant hamburgers is that it's very easy to do far better at home. I'm also convinced that many people don't notice the poor quality of certain commercial burgers, because they drown the flavor in condiments and salad fixins. For the last few months, I've been progressing through a long list of recommended spots -- both well-marketed places in their 15 minutes of fame and old-school joints that will be twenty years older two decades from now -- never having more than cheese and a couple of bites of raw onion on the burger, and have been unimpressed with many board favorites. My current old-school leader is Pie 'n Burger, which I encourage the naysayers to try again in simple form. Be sure to get the creamy, delicious hashbrowns on the side and a slice of pie (peach is currently excellent) for dessert. If you're in a tremendous hurry, just put the potatoes and pie in the bun on top of the burger. (Then you'll be less likely to add all that other gunk. ;-)

                                                                                -----
                                                                                Pie 'n Burger
                                                                                913 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106

                                                                              2. JR's BBQ on S. La Cienega is better known for it's barbecued (not grilled) meats, but their hamburger is flavorful and grilled exactly to specifications. It stands on it's own -- no marketing and at $6.50, it's a bargain.

                                                                                3055 S La Cienega (where Fairfax forks off from La Cienega)
                                                                                Culver City 90232
                                                                                310.837.6838

                                                                                -----
                                                                                JR's BBQ
                                                                                3055 S La Cienega Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232