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Burger Wars in Santa Monica

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As many of you probably have already read or heard, Hole in the Wall Burger Joint has moved from its West LA location behind a Winchell's to the large Universal Music Group's complex at 2200 Colorado Boulevard. Much better location, with more seating plus a patio. Appears to be the same menu as before. Burgers made to order, the way you want them, with lots of choices of bun and condiments. Mine came out perfectly medium rare, as I ordered it, on a fresh brioche roll. Still using the Kennebec potatoes for their fries, which were as tasty as I remembered. Good lunch crowd, not sure how they will do at dinner time, though the complex has apartments/condos above. Cash only, but they do have an ATM inside.

Along with that, Stout Burgers & Beer is coming to the former Thai Dishes spot on Santa Monica Boulevard between 2nd & Ocean. Looks like Umami will be getting some competition after all.

http://losangeles.grubstreet.com/2013...

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  1. Off-topic: article linked mentions Wendy's replacement of Arby's on Lincoln and the removal of the great Ten-Gallon-Hat neon sign. I'm never sad to see an Arby's go, but I do feel a twinge of nostalgia-tinted sadness to see the cowboy hat go.

    12 Replies
    1. re: lastofthepirates

      The Santa Monica Arby's 35-foot tall neon hat was too big for the neon sign museum in Glendale and has been sold to The American Sign Museum in Ohio. Too bad.
      http://www.signmuseum.org

      1. re: wienermobile

        Agreed. Though I am originally from oHIo and can confirm that they might enjoy a giant fast food sign a bit more. Still haven't made it to Glendale's neon sign museum. Adding it to the list.

      2. re: lastofthepirates

        Agree, I watched that Wendy's go up in about four months. Will miss those stuffed tater tots at Arby's but also glad I don't have to go all the way down to Culver City if I'm in the mood for a Wendy's fix.

        But as for serious burgers, I can now name about a dozen decent burgers on the Westside now, ranging from low brow (Big Jo's, Norm's) to high end (Rustic Canyon, Blue Plate, BP Oysterette, Hillstone, Maison Giraud, Chez Mimi).

        1. re: Dirtywextraolives

          Interesting you mention Norm's for burgers. Never considered it before but would you suggest it for a low brow greasy spoon?

          1. re: lastofthepirates

            I have not tried their burgers recently, but it seems they have jumped on the bandwagon of large, gussied up burgers, and it probably is not a bad spot to get one, if one is not inclined to spend more than $10 for their burger.

            1. re: lastofthepirates

              If you are looking for more of a "low brow greasy spoon" burger experience then Pepy's Galley or Ronnie's Diner or Hinano's would all be better options than Norm's.

              1. re: Servorg

                We're big fans of Pepy's patty melts. It's not traditional but good bread, thick juicy patty cooked to order, cheesy and nice grilled onions. Side of steak fries comes with the order. The tomato can be hit or miss. But otherwise it's a very satisfying diner meal.

                1. re: Jase

                  I have yet to go there, but have been wanting to for a bit, I will definitely keep it in mind, thanks!

                  1. re: Jase

                    Still hoping to try Pepy's soon. But I doubt it will live up to that patty melt at Pann's that Servorg turned me on to. That was one righteous patty melt......

              2. re: Dirtywextraolives

                A Wendy's so close where I can get a Frosty after eating at or picking up from Bay Cities Deli. Fantastic!

                1. re: nosh

                  Yup, it's true! You can practically walk from one to the other! I almost tried it the other day, except BCD was so full there were no seats to eat and an actual line waiting for outside seating to open up!

                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                    Look, I love Bay Cities. I don't mind waiting in line -- it is a fun, foodloving crowd. I usually order from the hot side anyway. but I recognize their problems -- the parking lot during prime times, especially. And for me, I require that my drinks have ice. So a good pairing -- grab a sandwich or dinner plate from Bay Cities, go get a drink with ice and maybe fries from Wendy's, and a Frosty after. Up to now I have taken my sandwich and supplemented and ate at Tommy's with their fries (well-done) and drink.

            2. Hole in the Wall is expanding the menu: got a chorizo-egg burger which was tasty, which I never saw at the old West LA location. Milkshakes are not ready yet though. They have a cool bright orange reusable bag that I can't wait to use around town.

              2 Replies
              1. re: thranduil

                Oh yes,, that is a new one, must have been one of their specials or did they add it to their laundry list order form? Their special last week was a pastrami burger that sounded great, but I wanted to try my standard to make sure they lived up to my standard.....

                1. re: thranduil

                  I just fucking love to walk around town with a bright orange reusable bag. Sign me up!

                2. And to make matters more interesting, Burger Lounge is also coming to Santa Monica, not sure when. They are currently under construction in the middle of the block on Arizona, between third & second...... With all these new burger places to try, I am going to have to step up my work out routine..... Just in time for spring.

                  1. Just tried the new Burger Lounge on Arizona and Second. Coming out of a movie with my kids, racking my brain for a decent meal that would NOT involve moving my car or succumbing to a place on the promenade.... I saw the lit up sign, and it was a sign! They were open! Alleluia!

                    Short menu, you order at a counter and they bring it to your table. Friendly and competent service. Grass fed beef, plus veggie options, even a kids meal. They had a special Elk burger with pork belly on it, but decided I would go with the namesake for comparisons sake. Got the Lounge burger with organic cheddar (whatever), lettuce, tomato, grilled onions & 1000 island dressing. Onion rings on the side. Very tasty, juicy burger that came out about medium, which was fine as I didn't specify medium rare. I was too worried about getting my kids' burger orders right, which they did. Both kids inhaled their burger and fries, stating they were very good. They also have salads and a few other things on the short menu. Best part? They serve wine & beer. Amen.

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                      1. So what is the #1 absolute best place for an infrequent-burger eater (with great fries too!) to indulge this weekend - there is an old thread, but so many new places have opened -

                        Burger Lounge, Rustic Canyon, Unami, Fathers Office, The Counter - willing to drive (albeit not too far).

                        thanks for the suggestions.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: whycook

                          I assume you're talking about this old thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/691159. It's had a lot of activity lately, so if you skipped over it just because of the thread start date, check it out.

                          I wouldn't say they're the best, but I've enjoyed the specialty burgers at Burget Lounge. They had a greak elk burger previously and now I believe it's lamb. Their turkey burgers are good too.

                          1. re: PeterCC

                            thank you, i did go back there and review. now to figure where to have my bi-annual burger fix.

                          2. re: whycook

                            FO and rustic.

                            1. re: whycook

                              Golden State
                              http://www.thegoldenstatecafe.com

                              1. re: whycook

                                I assume you mean on the west side?

                                I really loved the burger at next door by Josie in SaMo on 24th and Pico. By far the juiciest and best flavor, but not the most happening area in town.

                                Umami is good and has a slick place plus you're not far from the 3rd st action if you want it. Hole in the Wall is definitely decent, but a bit off the main areas of Wilshire-broadway. I really like Burger Lounge because they serve wine, in a fast casual atmosphere. If you like customizing it then I'd go with The Counter, Burger Lounge or Hole.

                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                  thank you - not sure where we'll end up going - but the list has been whittled down.

                              2. Tried Hole in Wall, perhaps I was expecting too much, but honestly, it was just a burger, nothing special - for me and my BF it ranked beneath Umami and Fathers Office. Time to check out some of the others! At least there are plenty to try!