HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Discussion

Plate 38: First Visit, New #1 Burger!

Okay, this may be a bit too much to settle on the basis of one visit, but I swear to you that the American Classic Burger I had for lunch at Plate 38 on Saturday was the best burger I've had in LA County. It was not the biggest by any means, and it was just one pinch too salty for perfection, but the balance of all its parts could hardly be bettered. The brioche bun had exactly the right texture, flavor and firmness; the patty was done precisely to the medium-rare stage I'd ordered, and was juicy, beefy and (as noted) pre-seasoned just that bit too much; the cheddar cheese was very good and of exactly the right amount, and the lettuce, tomato and shreds of red onion were of excellent quality and, again, perfect quantity. It comes on a metal tray, along with a fine Kosher dill spear and a quite substantial wood-handled knife, in case you prefer to cut the sandwich in half, which I did.

Mrs. O had the ham sandwich on croissant, of which she kindly gave me a bite; its contents include arugula, which I enjoyed very much, though that's not to everyone's taste. She loved it. We had just a small San Pellegrino each, since this was a sort of working lunch in a day of serious house-cleaning, and the tab with tip was around $27.

The burger itself is $8.50, and it's a third-pound patty, so it compares roughly with my previous favorite half-pound burger at the Redwood Bar & Grill downtown at $12. Overall, Plate 38's prices seem a little on the high side for a place with Oinkster-type service (order at the register, pay, and take the number to put on your table), but the space is attractive and comfortable, much cleaner than Oinkster and quieter than anywhere else I can think of (No music! No TV! No screaming!). I was pleased to note that items on the lunch menu did not change in price on the dinner menu, though that seems to be more common than it used to be.

Plate 38
2361 East Colorado Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91107
(626) 793-7100

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

Redwood Bar & Grill
316 W 2nd St Ste 202, Los Angeles, CA 90012

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I was there about a year ago, before the fire, and I recall that the burger was 1/2 pound.

    Maybe the fire burned down the size of their patties?

    8 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Ackcherly, ipse, I'm just as glad they've standardized at 1/3. A fat man of 70 has no business eating half-pound burgers (okay, more than twice a year!) anyway, and this is a good size. Fits the bun perfectly (and vice versa), and with or without a side order makes a good lunch with minimal guilt. Just expensive enough to make me an occasional customer, not so expensive I feel like I need to take out a loan.

      I hadn't realized they were open before the fire. I must say that they've rebuilt beautifully, though the heavy crown moulding is totally wrong.

      1. re: Will Owen

        I don't recall, but is the burger is still grass-fed beef?

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Menu does not say, and I didn't ask, but it sure had more flavor that is usual for medium-rare. We were in the middle of a lot of hard and kinda dirty work, so I didn't engage any of the personnel in conversation. I do expect to have ample opportunities in the future, however.

          1. re: Will Owen

            When they first opened, it was grass-fed beef. 1/2 pound, for something like $9. Great bargain. Not always cooked right, but when they did, it was a great bargain.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              So it's possible the fire DID "burn" the burgers smaller … like maybe burn some money they'd not intended to spend? Anyway, as I pointed out, it's possible we just came in there on a day when they were hitting all their marks perfectly, and perhaps next time they won't. We will see.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                I asked the owner, and yes, it's grass-fed beef and it's delicious!! I've tried their classic burger and the smoked one, both are really flavorful.

                I've also tried their lemon pancakes -- one of the best pancakes I've ever had -- moist!!! My only complaint is that they only gave 4 small pancakes for $9 -- pancakes are so dirt cheap to make!

                1. re: chowchow12345678

                  I forgot to mention that their fries are one of the best I've ever had, they're awesome!

                  1. re: chowchow12345678

                    Also, their bagel/lox/cream cheese plate is the best version I have ever had. They deep-fry their capers, for God's sake! ;-)

      2. Plate 38 Place Link (with website) added

        Will, I am jealous that you have this place in your neighborhood. Because I run on a VERY early schedule places that offer an early breakfast (as long as they offer their full menu?) are at a premium over here in WLA. This place has a great looking breakfast menu. If I'm ever out Pasadena way in the AM you can bet I'll be trying out Plate 38...so thanks for posting your very excellent review.

        -----
        Plate 38
        2361 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107

        1. Thanks for the positive review, Will. I got a Groupon for this place a while ago and have not used it yet. Thanks again!

          1. I have eaten at Plate 38 8 or 10 times and have enjoyed every meal including the fantastic hamburgers. The Chef/Owner makes this delight by grinding his own meat and this is why the burgers are so fantastic and you can order the meat rare as it is totally fresh. The review mentioned you had to order at the counter - - not true, they have total tale service I would also mention that although the hamburgers are great (the best I have had out) all the menu items and specials are usually delicious. One of the best parts of the restaurant is that the limited wine list is a real bargain with very nice boutique wines at very reasonable prices.

            -----
            Plate 38
            2361 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107

            2 Replies
            1. re: robtheintz

              Perhaps it's different at dinner, but at 1 pm on Saturday everyone was lined up at the register to order, and we were all given numbers to take to the table for service. The servers were only that; nobody asked if we wanted anything else, and the people I saw who were adding to their meals were going back to the counter to place their orders. There appeared to be just one guy who was schlepping orders for the whole room.

              1. re: Will Owen

                also, will, now they have a chowhound banner with your name on it there. good stuff.

            2. If it is anything like the sanwhich I had there a few months ago, I won't bother. My companion and I were so disappointed in the sub-par food I probably wouldn't ever go there again/