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Tommy's

Which is the original and/or BEST Tommy's burger? I am sure there is a post on here but I cannot find it.

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  1. The first is still the best.... Beverly and Rampart...see history here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original... and here: http://www.originaltommys.com/

    5 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      100% agree. The original is the best and don't forget your chili cheese fries after your Springsteen concert.

      1. re: wienermobile

        Definitely recommend the chili cheese fries as well and ask for extra chili:)

        1. re: mrshankly

          "...as well and ask for extra chili:)"

          I believe that's called "greasing the lily" (g)

          1. re: Servorg

            Ha!!!!! Thanks!!

            More like greasing the liver but I like lily better:)

            1. re: mrshankly

              "More like greasing the liver but I like lily better"

              Thus, we may have come up with the derivation of the phrase "lily livered" ;-D>

    2. I have been to a lot of different Tommy's and have not noticed a difference in any, I always ask for extra chili and onions on my double, no charge. What I have noticed is most now have taken away the hot yellow chili peppers and you have to ask for them, they give you just a few, the new Ventura location still has them out the last time I was there. The original location has a certain nostalgia to it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: malibumike

        I've been to several different Tommy's too and find the original is best. The other locations don't have the turnover of the original, so their food is not as hot and fresh.

      2. As Servorg said, the one on Rampart is the original.

        But for the true "original" experience you have to go after midnight, with a BAC of at least 0.08. 'natch.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          "But for the true "original" experience you have to go after midnight, with a BAC of at least 0.08. 'natch."

          Ha ha...I always thought it was a THC level above 100 ng/ml...

          1. re: Servorg

            Both.

          2. re: ipsedixit

            And order from the stand that's at the outside corner of the lot, not the inside corner.

            1. re: Jase

              Oddly enough, the last time I was at the original location they were shutting down (I guess cleaning up the grill) at the outside location so they made the customers go to the inside location. This happened about 2 months ago around midnight. If any of you went there years ago the crowds were pretty good sized even late at night. Now not so much. I get a craving for either a double cheeseburger or the chili hotdog a couple of times a year.

          3. I grew up going to one out in the Valley near the old Busch Gardens and started going to Rampart and Beverly in college. Along the way, I have been to a few others and the original at Rampart and Beverly is the best.

            1. Thanks everyone! I will try the original. I grew up here and have never been to any of the locatins.

              12 Replies
              1. re: flowergirl

                I've only been in L.A. for 9 years and have only been to the Tommy's in Santa Monica. Can anyone explain what they mean by "best" and how/why the original is better? Ernie says above that the original gets more turnover so the items are fresher and hotter, so could I get the "best" from my local Tommy's by going right after a big crowd of people, when the food would I guess be cooked "fresher?

                1. re: PeterCC

                  I've been to various Tommy's around LA (The real ones, not Tomy's or Tommie's, etc.) Van Nuys, Santa Monica, Fountain Valley, Eagle Rock, and the Original. I think they are pretty much equal, but the late night atmosphere at the Original Tommy's on Rampart and Beverly is part of the LA scene. I get my occasional "Tommy's" fix at the Santa Monica location.

                  1. re: PeterCC

                    Could it be that the ambiance makes people think the food is better because I absolutely feel the food is better at the original. It seems more flavorful in some way. I always remember the food being very hot too, maybe because of the turnover. Memories are a very powerful influence.

                    1. re: SIMIHOUND

                      To me, the Original tastes so much better because of the turnover and other variables like experienced cooks and a well seasoned grill from years of burger making. But overall, I think that you hit the nail on the head, the turnover makes the chili that much better. The chili at other locations are like mud.

                      1. re: A5 KOBE

                        Exactly. Have also noticed the bread is softer and fresher at Beverly & Rampart compared to other locations

                        1. re: Ernie

                          No, it's because you're most likely hungover.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            nostalgia also tastes good.

                            1. re: wienermobile

                              Tommy's breakfast sandwich in the morning hurts. Ouch!#!#

                              It should be illegal to serve any of there food before 11am.

                            2. re: ipsedixit

                              No. If I am hungover, Tommy's is one of the last places I would want to go. I think you mean pre-hungover

                              1. re: Ernie

                                I wouldn't go to Tommy's unless I'm hungover.

                                Some folks go when they are drunk. But I need my faculties in working order when loitering around that area.

                          2. re: A5 KOBE

                            You are right. The chili at the original is not as thick as any other location I have been to. It defines the word messy. YUMMY!

                        2. re: PeterCC

                          The most significant factor IMHO is that the original Tommy's is really old and is piece of LA history. The newer locations look like any generic fast food restaurant and could be converted to a McDonalds or Carl's Junior in about 6 hours.

                      2. There is something really special about Beverly/Rampart. Having said that, I went to a concert at the Gibson Amphitheater a couple of weeks ago and had a burger at the Universal Citywalk location. Tasted remarkably like the OG version. However, the external stimuli is significantly different.

                        1. I have been to the original on Rampart and I understand the charm. But I live in Westwood so now I frequent the Santa Monica location, on the S/W corner of Pico at Lincoln with plenty of parking in the lot shared with El Pollo Loco and a Hawaii place. I get the double-burger w/o mustard -- it could use another slice of cheese. But their fries, nothing special, frozen and mass-produced, are very good when ordered well-done -- a huge order, well salted, and very crispy. Note that their seating, which is covered but open, can get very hot on warm days as the sun shines directly through in the afternoon. Tommy's is an excellent value -- a double-burger with chili and cheese, a very large order of fries, and a good-sized drink comes in around $7.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: nosh

                            The Hawaiian place is L&L, wonder if they'd let me do a loco moco with Tommy's chili instead of gravy. ;-)

                          2. The Beverly and Ramparts one is the best for the following reasons:
                            1. Close to St. Vincent's when you have your heart attack.
                            2. Most likely to get beat up, if you scratch somebody's car by accident.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: tstrum

                              Should your #2 happen see #1 again as a side benefit...

                              1. re: tstrum

                                The armed guards add to the local character.

                                1. re: oldusedcop

                                  Unarmed guards add to the local landfill...

                              2. They're all great. The only problem I have is the way they wrap it squeezes all the chili and cheese out into the wrapper leaving the burger dry on one end.

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: mucho gordo

                                  This is when the magic "palming" technique comes in...

                                  1. wash hands thoroughly.
                                  2. hold naked, unwrapped burger in one hand for eating... preferrably the favored hand (lefty or righty)
                                  3. cup second clean hand underneath burger... also known as the intern hand... since it can't quite hold a slippery burger with efficiency yet
                                  4. bite into burger and reclaim the lost goodness from the back end of the burger into intern hand
                                  5. chase the bite of burger with contents of the intern hand once mouth is cleared of the bite.

                                  No judgement here folks... we're biting a burger shoved with chili and cheese so eating technique is still an art in progress.

                                  1. re: mrshankly

                                    No, leave the burger in the wrapper!!! Eat it. Then, suck the spilled melted cheese and chili from the wrapper. Its like the dessert at the end of your meal.

                                    1. re: jgilbert1000

                                      I love to lick the cheese & chili paper wrapper when you are all done.

                                      1. re: wienermobile

                                        Wienermobile's method is the only reasonable and logical approach.

                                      2. re: jgilbert1000

                                        Absolutely the best way. Just make sure you don't wind up eating the paper. I have the same problem with Fatburger, In 'n' Out and Boulevard Burger. For me , it's a 4-way tie for best burger.

                                      3. re: mrshankly

                                        You forgot the final steps:

                                        6. Start popping the Tums

                                        7. Shower the excess grease off

                                        I love the Tommy's experience, but the guilt (and the fact that I now have my very own cardiologist, just to check in with annually) prevents me from indulging, for quite some time now.

                                        Still, it's awesome to know that it's still there, if and when!

                                        1. re: mikester

                                          I just got back from the Tommy's on Rampart. Left the Bootleg Theater and decided to grab a chili cheese dog. There was only 1 person there eating food (just fries). After I ordered my food 3 more guys showed up, but at 11:10 pm on a Thursday it was a sad sight. The few times I've gone there after a show the crowds have been tiny. I'm wondering if they can continue to stay open 24 hours with such meager crowds. Years ago I remember going there really late at night and both stands had lines.

                                      4. re: mucho gordo

                                        See that's why Jayburger was so legendary. Better tasting chili and it stayed on the burger because it was thicker.

                                      5. I’m so glad to see this post, Sometimes, I don’t think LA appreciates what they have with Tommy’s. My wife and I each got a Tommy Burger and Dog to fortify us for the 7 hour, Interstate 5 drive home. After a long weekend of good restaurant dining (LA has way better breakfast options than SF), Tommy’s got our digestion back on track. I took both my mother and my in-laws to Tommy’s in their 80’s; they all complained but ate every bite, I noticed. One wobbly night 44 years ago when there were lines down the block at noon before all the franchise stores, I thought I would be home-free at 4:00 a.m. only to encounter lines of catering trucks ahead of me. Of course, it’s Beverly & Rampart for us.