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Burgers with special requests?

My sister's birthday is Wednesday and I thought we'd try Umami Burger. But, from what I understand, you can't "special order" a burger there. My sister loves quality burgers but she's a plain jane who likes her burger with nothing but pickles. Does anyone know if what I heard is correct? And, if so, any other recommendations for high quality burgers in the LA/Valley area? She would not like Father's Office--not a beer fan, and we'll have my 12 year old niece with us.

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

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  1. That's pretty much what the Counter is made for.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      You may also want to try Stacked in Torrance in the Del Amo Mall complex.... it's similar to the Counter only you use iPads to build your burger... it's probable would be fun for your niece.

      1. re: DrBruin

        My complaint with Stacked is that in order to place your order you must use a credit card, even if you are going to pay with cash. I went into detail about this when it first opened, and made a point of letting management know.

        1. re: DrBruin

          Stacked Place Link: added.

          3525 W Carson St Suite #172, Torrance, CA 90503

      2. The Counter is a good choice for you and there are 9 in the LA area. Build your own custom burgers anyway you'd like.

        You might like the Apple Pan's classic burgers and pie in West LA.
        Or Pann's for 50's diner burgers (and the best patty melt in town) near LAX.

        A little more expensive Houston's has a very good steak house type burger. (also a very good veggie burger).

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

        Pann's Restaurant & Coffee Shop
        6710 La Tijera Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045

        Houston's Restaurant
        10250 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90067

        The Counter
        4786 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

        Houston's Restaurant
        1550 Rosecrans Ave Ste A, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

        The Counter
        12117 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

        2 Replies
        1. re: wienermobile

          I agree on the Counter and want to give a shout-out to their Veggie Burger (I get mine in a bowl) which is delish.

          1. re: mocro

            I third, fouth The Counter req and second the Veggie Burger. I am a bonafide carnivore, but here I always get their veggie burger - a thing of pure genius! They make it in-house and it is very special. I actually crave them when I don't crave burgers as a general rule.

        2. Try 26 Beach Restaurant, they have better burgers than all these other places and if you want just a patty with pickles they will deliver it! Burger Boy has spoken! www.26beach.com

          26 Beach
          3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

          1. I didn't realize you can't make "special requests" at Umami. Are you sure?

            1 Reply
            1. re: reality check

              You can take away toppings, but that's it.

            2. If it's literally true that you can leave off ingredients at Umami but not add them, just order a burger with everything left off, and a side of the house pickles to put on the burger. (I've never asked Umami to leave anything off, so call first to make sure they'll do it this way.)

              Otherwise, Juicy Burger in Hollywood* is similar to the Counter with a smaller list of toppings, and imho has better ingredients but cheaper.

              *the Los Feliz branch is temporarily closed as of 7/12/2001.

              Juicy Burger
              6340 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028

              1 Reply
              1. re: maxzook

                The Los Feliz branch of Juicy Burger is now reopened.

                Juicy Burger
                6340 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028

              2. Five Guys Burger & Fries just opened at Westfield Culver City (AKA Fox Hills Mall)... Extremely good beef on their burgers, and they're highly customizable.

                No desserts there, though. But no worries, there's a Red Ribbon Bakery in the same mall (think halo halo & ube mamon cake), and also a Millions of Milkshakes!

                1 Reply
                1. re: J.L.

                  That would be my choice, Five Guys. With the Counter a close 1A.

                2. Absolutely recommend Boulevard Burgers on Ventura in Woodland Hills. Ranks with the best burgers I've ever had.

                  Boulevard Burgers
                  21718 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91364

                  1. The huge number of combinations at the Counter is overkill for what you need. I'd be surprised if 99.9% of the restaurants among the nearly 30,000 in Los Angeles (at least those that serve hamburgers) didn't have reasonable special-request policies. Aside from F.O., I don't know of any place (does anyone else?) that won't at least leave toppings OFF their burgers if, for example, the customer is allergic to bleu cheese or has had enough arugula this week or ... just doesn't like something. (Studies have shown that many restaurant customers are human beings.) I haven't made a special request at Umami, because I enjoy their Hatch Burger as designed, but, assuming they follow hospitality norms, I like maxzook's recommendation -- get your sister a plain burger with pickles on the side. If you have the Hatch yourself, offer her a bite, then be prepared to split another order with her.

                    1. The Shack (2518 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica
                      Marty’s Hamburger Stand 10558 W Pico Blvd., Los Angeles
                      Tommy’s 2575 W. Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles
                      Hinano 15 Washington Blvd., Venice
                      Irv’s Burgers 8289 Santa Monica Blvd West Hollywood
                      Pie ‘N Burger 913 East California Blvd., Pasadena
                      The Apple Pan 10801 W Pico Blvd., Los Angeles
                      Bob’s Big Boy 4211 West Riverside Drive, Burban
                      BBQ King 525 West 7th Los Angeles, CA
                      J N J Burger & Bar-B-Q 5754 W Adams Blvd Los Angeles
                      Outlaws Bar & Grill 230 Culver Blvd, Playa Del Rey
                      Cassell’s Hamburgers 3266 W 6th St, Los Angeles
                      Clearman’s Boat 7215 N Rosemead Blvd, San Gabriel
                      Russell’s 30 N Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena
                      Jake’s Diner & Billard Club 38 W Colorado Blve, Pasadena
                      Twohey’s 1224 N Atlantic Blvd, Alhambra
                      The Counter 2901 Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica
                      Rustic Canyon, 1119 Wilshire Boulevard, at 12th Street
                      Bar Marmont, 8171 West Sunset Boulevard, at Havenhurst Drive
                      Toni's Soul Burger, 1035 South Prairie Avenue, at East Hardy Street
                      25 Degrees Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Boulevard
                      Buffalo Fire Department, 1261 Cabrillo Ave, Torrance

                      25 Degrees Restaurant
                      7000 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

                      Twohey's Restaurant
                      1224 N Atlantic Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91801

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

                      Hinano Cafe
                      15 Washington Blvd, Venice, CA 90292

                      Bar Marmont
                      8171 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

                      Outlaws Bar & Grill
                      230 Culver Blvd, Playa Del Rey, CA 90293

                      Buffalo Fire Department
                      1261 Cabrillo Ave, Torrance, CA 90501

                      Clearman's Restaurants
                      540 N Azusa Ave, Covina, CA 91722

                      Soul Burgers
                      1035 S Prairie Ave, Inglewood, CA 90301