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Farewell to my favorite Chili Cheeseburger, Tommy's on Lincoln to close

I just learned that Tommy's on Pico and Lincoln is about to become a Starbucks (I think that makes 18 in Santa Monica, alone) - they're on a month to month lease, and so that's that. It's my favorite hangover chili burger, and when the fries are well-done, they're a crispy delight. I'm sad over this news.

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  1. If you haven't tried Big Tomy's on Sawtelle and Pico they are a perfectly good substitute for that particular craving...and the great thing is they are open 24/7/365 so when the itch strikes you don't have to worry about scratching it.


    7 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      But they are a bit greasier if that can be said.

      1. re: kevin

        A distinction without a difference.

      2. re: Servorg

        Big Tomys: better than Tommy's in every way.

        1. re: Butter Fight

          We live a lot closer to Big Tomy's and have eaten their food too many times to count, but I went to the Santa Monica Tommy's enough to know that I agree with you.

          1. re: Servorg

            While I am undoubtedly fooling myself that it's any healthier for me I've taken to getting the "California burrito" with chicken instead of my usual "double chili cheeseburger" with avocado added (as I did last night). My wife still gets the dcc (no tomatoes) as her entree of choice...

            California Burrito chicken or asada, jack cheese, fresh guacamole & pico de gallo $4.89

            1. re: Servorg

              You're eating healthy now ???????

              1. re: kevin

                No one who is a patron at Big Tomy's can ever be mistaken for a "healthy eater"

      3. Say it ain't so.

        I grew up making Tommy runs at this location.

        Usually a few chili cheese dogs, a mess of fries, and a large biggeee Coke to wash it all down.

        1. Sad. From "Topps" to "Tommy's" to..... Starbucks? Tommy's was my replacement when Toms #5 (and Topps) folded.

          What hath thou wrought Santa Monica?

          1 Reply
          1. re: cagey

            I like Tommy's but I really liked Topp's even more. It's been a long time since they've been gone but their pastrami dip was one of the best and it was very reasonably priced back then.

          2. This is a horrible development. The chili burgers were good, and the fries (I agree) were great when ordered well-done. A Starbucks there is unneeded and stupid -- the parking in that minimal with the Pollo Loco and the Hawaii BBQ is tight enough. Where will all the Samohi students go for a cheap lunch or snack? (They came on foot.) Servorg, gotta disagree -- been to that Big Tomy's and their burgers are thinner, not nearly as good, and more pricy -- no comparison. This is a loss in my rotation.

            1. I guess you're gonna have to take a trip to the original Tommy's on Rampart like I do twice a year.

              1 Reply
              1. re: wienermobile


                It's a nice dessert after a sushi dinner.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  I will second that. Hat please come to the Westside.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Johnnie's is close enough to what The Hat is IMO.

                    1. re: chrishei

                      Close enough as in Pluto is close enough to the sun to stay in orbit?

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        I'm actually meh on both, so Pluto can go about w/ its non-planet status lol.

                      2. re: chrishei

                        The Hat is way way way better in that junky fast food pastrami genre.

                        1. re: kevin

                          Just like the sun is way way hotter and bigger than Pluto.

                          1. re: kevin

                            I'll say this: at least The Hat is appropriately priced. Johnnie's charges like they're Langer's.

                            1. re: chrishei

                              which is quite hilarious since Johnnirs ain't no Langers not even close.

                        2. re: ipsedixit

                          No. They don't. Over priced over hyped fast food.

                          1. The loss of even one Tommy's is too much. Hopefully they will reopen in a close enough location.

                            Nothing I love more than a pint of Tommy's chili w/cheese to go. No onion, no pickle, no tomato.

                            1. Big Jo's is better IMO and isn't far.. always sucks to see a favorite go though

                              1. I don't believe it's a done deal yet; tho it seems the owners of that strip mall aren't negotiating with Tommy's to extend their lease. They seem to have plans to renovate the entire mini mall. There also seems to be something of a negative reaction from the neighborhood and even Santa Monica High School nearby as well as the local free paper.

                                I personally have loved the original Tommy's since I was a kid and enjoy having this one in our neighborhood. I may be the only one, but I crave Tommy's much more than In N Out.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Ogawak

                                  This is good news, if accurate.....I'm hopeful.

                                2. Last time I was there, some 20 years ago or so, It was like 2:00am and went to get out of my car and some gun fire erupted. That was that for me!

                                  1. Starbuck's is a Fuckin plague!!!!!

                                    11 Replies
                                    1. re: lapizzamaven

                                      Yes! They are! We have no less than three in the sleepy village of the palisades, two are no more than an eighth of a mile apart.....sofa king ridiculous....

                                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                        But Strawbucks is so delicious and convenient.

                                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                          Love your euphemism, sofa king clever indeed.

                                            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                              What's a Sofa King ?????

                                              I thought this was chow hound , not couch hound ?????

                                              Well, then again, if one gorges themselves a little bit too much they may just be a corpulent portly yet dignified couch hound.

                                              damn, this is hard.

                                              1. re: kevin

                                                In other words "So kevining ridiculous...."

                                        2. re: lapizzamaven

                                          No, Starbucks is a business that would close if people didn't go there all the time. But they do, so Starbucks exists and thrives.

                                          1. re: moreplease

                                            So if you don't like Starbucks displacing our favorite local places, stop going to Starbucks people.

                                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                Why don't you like Strawbuck's ?????? :)

                                        3. I know this is crazy but the chili burgers always tasted better to me at the original Beverly & Rampart location. And it had to be from the Shack on the corner not the one in the building. I know I'm nuts.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: wienermobile

                                            Nope. That makes perfect sense.

                                            It is the original original after all.

                                            1. re: kevin

                                              Do you remember at the original location there used to be self service coolers and you could grab a bottle of soda? This is going back to the 1980's. I assume that doesn't exist any more and you are forced to get a cup of fountain soda?

                                              1. re: bringiton

                                                At the original Tommy's on Rampart you still take cans (no longer bottles) of soda out of the cooler...

                                            2. re: wienermobile

                                              I completely agree, and I actually have a wacky theory about that. Because the shack is space-challenged, they store their buns for the day outside, in the sun. That gets them a little bit pre-cooked, which allows them to hold up better to the mess that is a Tommy's burger.

                                              Could also just be that the grill at the shack is the older, and therefore more seasoned, one.

                                            3. Does anyone know if Tommy's plans to reopen somewhere
                                              On the Westside? I was heartbroken to see it gone. Like every other reasonable eating place i frequented in Santa Monica, it's gone. The Shack is gone, Polly's is gone. I was born in this city and all that's left are the signs!

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: dottiann

                                                At least Tommy's and The Shack are still available within a fairly easy drive of Santa Monica (especially The Shack).

                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                  Good point, Servorg. The Playa version of The Shack has a better vibe, too. Haven't been for a while, but maybe should go. I think they have a night, too, when the burgers are discounted.

                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                    Is the Shack reopening? I thought the place was torn apart.

                                                    1. re: bringiton

                                                      Servorg is referring to the Playa Del Rey location.Freddy Smalls has the Santa Monica location, but with the chef having left, I dont' know what their plans are.

                                                  2. re: dottiann

                                                    I spoke with the manager of the Santa Monica Tommy's and he said they were looking for another location.

                                                    1. re: Ogawak

                                                      Well, that is good news. They closed down the Shack on Wilshire and got to deal with that nightmare which is Santa Monica Regulations. They started working on the space about a month ago, but it's supposed to be another over priced Tapas spot. Just we need, i guess they couldn't put another Starbucks so close to 2 other ones. Starbucks is a plague, the on on Pico makes 19-19 replacing regular businesses! And yes, i can boycott but will it bring anything back?