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Smash Burger Culver City

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Went today for lunch. Mixed Feelings. Parking lot (next to CPK, west of Overland south side of Venice) crowded. Line to order. Much longer wait (they give you a beeper -- mine didn't go off, I would have waited if i didn't recognize the party before me getting theirs and go up on my own). I ordered a double-size bbq-bacon-cheddar which had onion strings -- $6.99. Burger was smaller than I expected for a "double" at that price, maybe a quarter-pound. It was indeed tasty, the smashing process made for a good sear char, so the burger had a lot of crusty goodness. I liked the bun and the generous onion haystack strings. But I could only find a seat on the patio, and the sun made it hot. Simple french fries ($1.99) and fountain drinks ($1.99) were on the expensive side so I settled for water. I am signing up for their online offers, and would go back -- non-rush times -- for a 2-for-1 burger or free side or milkshake. But at twice the price and so much more time, a double-double at In'&'Out or a bigger burger at Hole-In-the-Wall or The Shack will rank higher on my rotation.

Note-- Moderators, I know Smash Burger is a chain. But it is brand new to L.A. My review is very focused on this one new location, and i beg you to keep this on the L.A. board.

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  1. I was a bit underwhelmed when I stopped in a couple weeks ago. Classic Smash Burger was good, if unremarkable. The haystack onions were way too salty and the shoestring fries didn't grab me (and they, too, were salty). There are just too many better options that I can't put this into the rotation.

    1 Reply
    1. re: AndrewF

      I was there last week and had a somewhat opposite experience: the burger was tatsy but also tasted over-salted while the smashfries were shy on seasoning (especially the promised garlic and herbs). Worth another try once they settle in but there are better burgers around.

    2. They opened at 4 pm, Dec. 30. We were there for lunch the next day. They were friendly and attentive, even hovering, which wasn't bad since we also had the problem with the beeper. The staff noticed we were without food and checked immediately.

      I have no idea why they chose Culver City over someplace a little more central to LA.

      We've eaten at the Smashburger in the dining wilderness of Boise, ID. Culver City is better, both were good. After all, this is a $5-6 hamburger joint, not Mortons. The fries were underseasoned, but still good.

      We'll go back whenever we're south of Washington Blvd.

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        1. Never been to a smashburger. That said, your opinions seem much more related to the atmosphere than the food.

          2 Replies
          1. re: MonMauler

            I like the ones in San Diego--although you're right, when you add up fries and a drink, you're in the 11-12 dollar range, which, for a place like this, pushes the edge of value for me.

            Here in SD, we have some good local options at that price point, like Burger Lounge.

            1. re: MonMauler

              Bingo.
              I went to the new Tucson Smashburger with two friends from work last Thursday. It was crowded as hell and very badly laid out, I thought they didn't use the space well. You had to stand in line to order and basically help form a wall around several table of diners, so you can't help staring at their food some. Then you had to mill around while waiting for your food. An unintentional voyeuristic experience
              The line led to a bunch of people milling about, looking to play musical chairs with the tables. There were several tables outside, but it was raining, which throws everybody for a loop here anyway. I felt like I was crashing somebody's party, trying to sneak some food, which is absurd since we ordered and paid for it.
              The fries were at best, average, but that's a very subjective thing so I won't go there right now. My burger was tasty, but it skeeved me out to see the grease dripping out of the back end. It was almost running out in a stream, I don't think that's necessary, or even acceptable.
              I probably won't be back any time soon. If I do I may order something else. We have a few good local burgers within a mile of work. And I won't eat there if it's the mob scene we experienced there last Thursday.

            2. I would not consider $1.99 to be "expensive" for french fries.