Umami Burger, Hamburgers, Santa Monica and Various Locations, CA

Umami Burger
500 Broadway,
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 451-1300
Mon-Sat 11:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Sun 12:00 PM - 10:00 PM



I am a huge burger guy, and have been my whole life. I just love a good burger, but my needs are pretty simple and many frou frou burgers leave me cold. There are of course exceptions, like the amazing Pug Burger at Hungry Cat, but Umami Burger is not an exception for me, as I was not at all impressed.

This Umami Burger is in Fred Segal in Santa Monica with ample parking and some outdoor seating.

I am not one for Cheese on my hamburger, as I am allergic, but I wanted to try it how it was supposed to be, so I went for the Manly Burger with beer-cheddar cheese, bacon lardons, smoked salt onion rings, house ketchup and mustard

And honestly I was not impressed. Between the cheese and the huge bacon chunks the burger was way too salty and I lost the taste of the burger itself. Not horrible, but not someone I would try again.

Kelly had the Truffle burger with Truffled Aoili, truffle cheese and truffle glaze.
And honestly to me the truffle oil completely overpowered the meat and made it taste to me like a portabello mushroom. Not bad, but not too burger-y!

The shoe string fries were good and I enjoyed the different ketchup and dips to try, though the ketchup seemed too sweet to me.


After all the hype I had heard I thought I would like it more, but I was not too impressed. Too frou frou for me.

Give me grilled onions, lettuce, dill pickles, ketchup and mustard and I would be happy (though a good guacamole burger is great sometimes).






Comments

Horseless Carriage Restaurant @ Galpin, Diner, American, Breakfast, North Hills, CA

Horseless Carriage Restaurant
15505 Roscoe Blvd.
North Hills, CA 91343
(818) 892-3707
7am - 9 PM




Kelly and I had wanted to try this place for a long time, as we had heard good things, and we had tried before, but the parking is pretty limited, but we finally made our way here.

The place is tiny, with a counter and a row of booths and some seats outside, where we sat, as we didn't want to wait for a booth.

The service was good, and so was the food. Decent diner food.

I had a very decent diner hamburger, the Galpinburger which was a large 1/2 pound burger with fries, coleslaw, lettuce, tomato and pickles. A bit pricy at $10.95, but as I said a decent diner burger.

Kelly had some sort of crab eggs benedict, which was delicious and huge, and quite tasty.

And we got a hot fudge sunday for desert and they split it into 2 dishes for us, and it was heaped with fudge above and below the ice cream.

Enjoyable, though a pain to park with decent food and a huge menu.
Comments

Beeps Fast Food, Diner, Breakfast, Hamburger, Van Nuys, CA

Beeps Fast Food
16063 Sherman Way
Van Nuys, CA 91406
(818) 781-0830
7am - 9pm



My wife and I had passed this place quite a few times and always wanted to try it out, and finally did. It has very little parking, and even less space inside. Just a few booths by the counter you stand to order from, and a few seats outside. With some 50's albums hanging and playing.

We were very excited by the menu and cheap prices, but were not so impressed by the food or the service. We waited sat in cheap plastic chairs outside (no booths were available) and waited a long time for our food, though not nearly as long as the couple next to us who ordered before us.

I got a Steak and Cheese Sandwhich and fries, and was very unimpressed. Low quality and very very greasy meat that was not very tasty.

Kelly got an original breakfast special, 2 eggs, bacon, and sausage with toast and home fries for $4.99 and found it OK, but nothing special.

We were going to get some ice cream when we left, but we waited for a while in line and gave up and left.

We would not go here again.
Comments

The Counter, Custom Built Burgers, Various Locations, Los Angeles, CA

TheCounter
The Counter, Custom Built Burgers
Various Locations in California and around the country.

A delicious higher end build your own burger chain, with signature burgers, and various types of fries (from Sweet, to chili cheese) and even fried dill pickle chips.

The burgers are delicious and can be had in 1/3, 2/3 or the monstrous 1 pound and are cooked to order including a deliciously rate medium rare. Then you get a choice of cheese (blech, I know it is only me). 4 Toppings including Sautéed Onions, then premium toppings (including Chili, a Fried Egg, Fried Onion Strings and Homemade Guacamole and Sautéed mushrooms) , a sauce from a huge list and a type of bun.

There are so many combinations you could easily have a different burger each time you go.

The Counter is a delicious and higher end burger chain, with a higher price to go with it, but well worth it for the taste and customization options.
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The Hat World Famous Pastrami, Various Locations, Los Angeles, CA

The Hat

The Hat World Famous Pastrami

Various Locations around Los Angeles

, CA.

A fast food institution from around LA since 1951 when the first stand opened. I actually can't believe it took me so long to eat here.

I tried the signature Pastrami Dip (Roast Beef with Au Jus), which was delicious, though like most food on the menu just covered in fat and grease. Seriously fatty pastrami here! With condiments in little packages to make it easy to go (but it is way too messy to eat in your car).

Tasty, but certainly not deli level pastrami, but still good and worth checking out.

A Los Angeles Fast Food institution, though better than some (like Tito's Tacos which I was not very impressed with) and better than most nationwide chain (except maybe 5 Guys).
Still you will feel this in your gut for a long long time!

Comments

Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Various Locations, CA

FiveGuys

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

Locations, all over

.

A delicious $5.00 higher end fast food burger, made to order, which huge and delicious orders of fries (and malt vinegar). The menu is simple, with different types of burgers (many of which with 2 patties), hot dogs, veggie and grilled cheese (the burgers without the burger), regular or cajun fries, and a ton of burger toppings, which you order with the food and they make. And I love the pickles!

Made to order so it takes a little while longer, but well worth the wait, dare I say it even better than In N Out?

And the fresh made fries are fantastic, and come in a huge paper bag. Great with the balsamic that they have there.

If you like burgers you will certainly like the quality of Five Guys. It is still fast food (no medium rare here), but the best quality fast food for a slight premium.

And they have peanuts for you to munch on while you wait, though they are way too salty.

Comments

The Hungry Cat, Seafood, Hollywood, CA


The Hungry Cat

1535 Vine St.

Los Angeles, CA 90028

(323) 462-2155


GOOGLE MAP

And a new location in Santa Monica.

100 W. Channel Road (@PCH)

Santa Monica, CA 90402

(310) 459-3337



This is easily my favorite restaurant in Los Angeles, and by extension anywhere!

The Seafood is absolutely sublime. Perfect flavor combinations. And the menu seems to change up at least a few times a year to keep it fresh. The service is great, and they have reasonably priced bottles of wine, as well as incredible (if expensive) mixed drinks.

Food ranges in price from $17-$30 and then there are incredible fresh oysters, uni, lobster and other seafood that can be gotten in reasonably priced platters (especially for parties). If you like oysters don't miss out, as they are always delicious here!

My wife and I also love to go to their price fix valentines day dinners with feature incredible fixed menus with a few choices, as well as tasty tidbits from the chef that are always mind-blowingly good.

Honestly this is my go to restaurant for my birthday, because I always want to eat here!

I am born and raised on Marthas Vineyard Island off the coast of Massachusetts and I have to say we get the best swordfish, as it is harpooned, and you get it fresh that day, instead of long-lined where it drowns. Well the hungry cat swordfish I have had blew it out of the water. All the fish is amazing though! They have lobster rolls that are the first I have had to come close to the Vineyard as well!

The Hollywood Location is tiny and hidden on Vine, across from what used to be Borders, and has very few seats, a bar and a raw bar. You park in the structure on the other side that is also for Bed Bath and Beyond.

The Santa Monica location is larger, with a big bar, but even though it is right across from the ocean is pretty enclosed (as it is right on the PCH), though I hear they might be using the upstairs as a dining room as well which should have a good view. Here there is only Valet parking.

The service is always great and very helpful.

For years we heard about the Pug Burger, with blue cheese, bacon and avocados, but never had it because of the amazing seafood, but this year we decided to try it and we were blown away. I can't believe how amazing it was. EASILY THE BEST BURGER I HAVE EVER HAD! Every bite is a flavor explosion! This is an amazing burger! Wow! WOW WOW!!!!!

I can't recommend this restaurant any more. It is my favorite restaurant in the world. You will not be disappointed!

(OriginallY Publish on March 16th, 2007)

Comments

Charcoal, Hamburger and Steak, Hollywood, CA

Charcoal
6372 Sunset Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323)-465-8500
Sun-Thu 11am-Midnight
Fri-Sat 11am-1:30am
Brunch Saturdary and Sunday 10:30am-3:30pm


GOOGLE MAP


••••THE HORROR!! IT SEEMS CHARCOAL IS GONE! CLOSED FOR GOOD! SO SAD, THE BEST BURGER IN LOS ANGELES GONE AFTER SUCH A SHORT TIME!!!!!••••


Located at the South East Corner of Sunset and Ivar, with parking in the Arclight parking garage (remember to validate) for some reason I had a much different impression of this place than what it was really like. And with the quality of the food, I am so surprised that there weren't more people there at 7:30 on a friday night, because the food is damn good, like maybe better than Houston's good. And the menu is very reminiscent of Houstons. This burger and steak place is well worth checking out. ••• Not only that but right now they have a 1/2 price deal, Monday through Saturday, 3 PM to 6 PM, and it is about half the menu. What a great deal! •••



Charcoal_Burger.jpg


I course I went for the standard burger, with no cheese, because I am allergic to cheese and I think it covers the taste of meat a bit. And I order it medium rare, and this was as medium rare as can be, obviously cooked on a flame, and absolutely delicious, especially for $8.99! That is a deal, this is one of the best burgers in LA.


My only complaint is the kitchen screwed up out fries so the sweet potato fries were on my plate (blech) and my fries were on Kelly's place, but that was easily remedied.



Charcoal_Steak.jpg


Kelly got the $11.99 steak and frites Medium, and it too was excellent. A great price and quite tasty.



Charcoal_Dessert.jpg


For dessert we tries the chocolate lava cake with ice cream, with a hint of raspberry, which was just like a smaller version of the excellent chocolate dessert at French 75, but only $7 and a much more normal sized portion.


The strangest thing is their wine menu, they only have 4 bottles, 2 white and 2 red, and the bottle we got was $32, way out of price for the meal. So wine with dinner is strange. It does look like they have a nice full bar though.


The service was also very good, though it did break down a little at getting the check.


••••


This place is fantastic, with really good prices. Why isn't this place packed all the time? Is it because it looks too expensive, because it is really reasonably priced. Why not give it a try?


The half price deal has to be because they don't have enough customers, which I can't figure out, because this place is totally awesome!

Comments

101 Cafe Coffee Shop, Diner, Hollywood, CA

6145 Franklin Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028-5220
(323) 467-1175
Daily 7am-3am


GOOGLE MAP


This is kind of a hip version of a diner, at least food wise, that plays some decent music, though the place is as dark as could be in there. There is a parking lot just east on Franklin, but it is usually full, so Kelly and I walked over there. The service is decent enough, and the food is decent as well.


IMG_0061.JPG


I had the Hamburger and fries which unfortunately for me come with a mix of sweet potatoes and regular potatoes (as I don't like sweet potatoes, but delighted Kelly who doesn't like regular potatoes). THe burger itself was decent, not bad, but not amazing. A pretty good griddle burger, and would be worth eating again.



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Kelly got a cheeseburger, and enjoyed it as well. The dressing is pretty good too, though I prefer Ketchup and a little mustard, which they had at the table.


•••


A decent Diner in Hollywood, not amazing, but pretty good.

Comments

Mel's Drive In Hollywood, Hamburgers, Diner, Hollywood, CA

Mel's Drive In


1650 N. Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 465-2111
Sun-Thur 6:30 AM- 3AM
Fri-Sat 24 Hours


GOOGLE MAP


I actually didn't realize this was a chain until I looked at the web site, I had just passed this 50's style diner so many times, that Kelly and I finally decided to go. The service was decent, and so was the food. The place is kind of fun, and their is a little museum attached even, and there are jukeboxes at each table, but they are 25¢ instead of the 5¢ at Johnny Rockets. Still this place was not bad.


IMG_0057.JPG


I had a Famous Melburger with Fries, a 1/3 lb groudn chuck with a sesame seed bun, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo and pickle chips. A decent griddle burger, and tasty fries, though neither was amazing.



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Kelly got the Old Fashioned Buttermilk Pancakes with an egg and ham. And look at that slab of ham! Wow, that was some thick and tasty ham. And the pancakes were good and fluffy. Not amazing, but decent.


••••


Decent enough, though nothing too special.

Comments

Pie N' Burger, Hamburger and Pie Restaurant, Pasadena, CA

913 E. California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91106
(626) 795-1123
Mon-Fri 6am-10pm
Sat 7am-10pm
Sun 7am-9pm


GOOGLE MAPS


I really wanted a burger today so I googled best burger's in Los Angeles and came up with the Citysearch Best Hamburgers 2007. The Audience winner was Father's Office which I hated, but the Editorial winner was Pie n' Burger, and Kelly was interested in the pie, so we took Chelsea and went. The place is a little East of Lake Avenue in Pasadena on the North side and has a few parking spots in back, but you will probably have to find street parking. It is a tiny, funky little place with a long counter and a few tables in the back, and a menu on the wall that has only had the prices change since this place opened.





The burgers are top notch for a burger on a frialator, it is still pretty juicy, but that might be the thousand island dressing and the amazing grilled onions, and the heaps of pickles and lettuce all wrapped in wax paper, but as messy as can be. And even worse once you put the ketchup it needs on it. Quite tasty. Sure, not my favorite medium rare, but still quite delicious. I would certainly have one of these tasty burgers again.


We also got an order of fries, which were OK though a little overdone.


And of course we had to try the pie, so we had one piece A La Mode, though they saved me half since I was out of Lactose pills. We had a boysenberry pie, and it was delicious. Tasty and fantastic, and freshly made. And they make tons of kinds. In fact I will certainly have this again once I lose some weight.


The service is good and they give you heaps of napkins and quickly replenish your drinks. This place is a trippy looking old place, one of those really funky LA dives that are so wonderful and so make Los Angeles. This is a must try for lovers of burgers and pie. Delicious!!!

Comments

Bob's Big Boy, Hamburgers, Burbank, CA

Bob's Big Boy


4211 Riverside Drive
Burbank, CA 91505
(818) 843-9334


GOOGLE MAPS


The earliest still standing Bob's in the country, and one that still has it's 50's look, and even has 50's style drive up one night a week. The place is always packed, and there is usually a wait, but it is cheap. The burgers are OK, but again are not juicy, but fried, so not that great, just decent, as are the fries.




I usually get the Big Boy Combination, which 5 ounces of beef in 2 patties, with lettuce and special sauce on a bun with fries and a side salad. It is cheap and decent, but pretty damn dry as all fast food burgers are.


Cheap and not bad, though not too good either. I do want to try the drive up sometime though.


Worth it in a pinch, but not something to seek out.

Comments

Johnny Rockets, Hamburgers, Burbank, CA

Johnny Rockets


52 Hugus Aly
Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 793-6570


GOOGLE MAP


A decent fast food burger place set up as a 50's diner (though started in the 80's) and even including a nickel juke box at every table with a whole slew of 50's music. Sure the burger is a bit dry, but it is tasty, and you get to put on your own ketchup.




What I really love are the lemon coke's with real lemon, and real cherry cokes as well. And if I ate shakes, I am sure I would love their ones with real ice cream, as they look delicious.


This place is pretty tasty for once in a while, though it doesn't satisfy the need for a real juicy burger. Still one of the better fast food burger places.

Comments

Fatburger The Last Great Hamburger Stand, Hamburgers, CA


Fatburger


Well, unfortunately I won't be having any Fatburgers again any time soon, or anything but salads and veggies, as I am now almost 50 pounds overweight, youch, but this was a pretty damn good way to kick start me into a diet. I have always enjoyed Fatburger, sure they aren't juicy burgers, as they are on the griddle, but with all the toppings, they still seam juicy, and I love the addition of the choice of thin or fat fries. These are damn good fast burgers, and the Kingburger is just plain impressive. Still it cost over 10 for a Kingburger, fat fries and a large soda.




The Kingburger is a 1/2 pound of fresh never frozen lean beef, with mustard, relish, onions, pickles, tomato, lettuce and mayo, which I usually get no tomato, and then slop some ketchup on it, and chow this thing down. For fast food it is pretty damn good. The normal fatburger is the same, though with 1/3 pounds of meat.


And they also have Boca burgers which are pretty good, turkeyburgers and even a baby fat. Tony had a BBQ Burger, which he was not too impressed with. This has Bull's Eye BBQ sauce, four strips of bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, two homemade onion rings and swiss cheese, which just sounds wrong to me.


You also get really sick and add bacon, egg, chili and cheese.


I always get their delicious fat fries. Awesome.


They serve Coke, and have real hand scooped ice cream shakes, which Ia m sure are evil, and even a root beer float.


I have loved Fatburger for some time, but I think they need to go back to their amazing GET FAT ad campaign which had to have been around 97 or 98, which had me laughing around town, and dyeing for a fatburger.

Comments

French 75, French Restaurant and Hamburgers, Burbank, CA

French 75
3400 W. Olive Avenue
Burbank, CA
(818) 955-5100


GOOGLE MAPS


Kelly and I decided to get a nice meal in Burbank, which isn't always an easy task, as Burbank seems to have more fast food than it does good food, but right near her house are 2 places that are both expensive and good, both Morton's and right next door to it French 75. You have to park valet, for $5.50 (youch), but the place is really amazing. It looks straight out of Moulon Rouge. The bar is amazing, and the whole place is dark with red velvet and old French posters around the place. Our waiter was a bit strange, but the food was pretty great, and the people next to us got a chocolate soufflé which we quickly ordered, so we could get it after the meal. Wow.


•••


Amazingly we went back not a month later. I signed up for their mailing list and got a $25 gift certificate, so we went back. I had the same, but Kelly didn't.




We both started with appetizers. I got the Oysters on a half shell, which were only OK. A little too fishy. The sauce was tasty, but it needed a lot of it, because of the slightly fishing taste. Kelly got the French Onion Soup, which was tasty, but a bit on the sweet side.


And for dinner. I have to say, it was not what I though I would get. I though tI would get steak, but something else on the menu drew my attention. Lately I have been looking for a good juicy hamburger, and have not been able to find one of late. Well I decided on their Bistro Burger and it was fantastic. It was an 8 oz Ground Angus sirloin on a toasted brioche bun with a french secret sauce, and I got it without cheese or bacon. It came with some amazing thin pommes frites (or you can get potato chips or a green salad) and it is a huge order of fries, and comes with a large tub of ketchup, some lettuce and an onion. This was medium rare, juicy and fantastic. I will have this again!!!!


And I had it again and was equally impressed. That is a damn good burger all the way around.


Burger




Kelly had the sliders, also with Pommes Frites. She got French Sliders, which are 3 small burgers, with ground sirloin, roquefort sauce and fried onion beignets, and another big thing of ketchup. She really seemed to enjoy this, and am sure she too will have this again.


Sliders


And the lovely desert, oh the desert. Damn was it was good. It was the hot Callebaut Chocolate Souffle, which they pour chocolate on, and then break the middle and put some nice cool Cointreau Cream in it, and then pour the rest of the chocolate, and oh my god is it to die for! Damn this is good! The other items sound good, but I don't know how you could ever get past this! Wow!


Of course we had the soufle again, and it is amazing. Just an evil evil desert!


Chocolate


This place place was great, and I would certainly go back again.


••••


On our second visit Kelly had the Seared Scallops with Corn Mushrooms and Bacon Saute with a brown sugar vinaigrette. I can't speak for the corn and rice, as I skipped it because of the bacon, but the scallops were huge and perfect, they just melted in your mouth. Fantastic.


Scallops


Kelly also had a butternut squash soup with shrimp, which literally has little shrimp in almost every bite, and was also quite good.


The wine list is extensive, but pretty pricey, so we got wine in carafe's which are 1 and a half glasses of wine for $15-30. The first time we have a Rosé that was OK, but the second time we had an Australian Penfolds "Thomas Hyland" Shiraz which was delicious. Not an expensive wine, but tasty, better than Yellowtail.


•••••


I am sure we will return and bring more people! Not hungry cat good, but a cool looking place and pretty damn tasty.

Comments

In-N-Out, Hamburgers, Burbank, CA

In-N-Out
All over California
761 N, First St.
Burbank, CA 91502


GOOGLE MAP


The famous only on the West Coast fast food Hamburgers, has the shortest menu you will ever see in a burger joint, and they do make damn good burgers, though still fast food (IE thin and dry). Still they are pretty dan good, though don't come with ketchup on them (you must add it), but do have Coke and Dr. Pepper on fountain. And if you like milk shakes, there's are amazing with real ice cream. If you are an east coaster you must check this place out, though this one is not my favorite as different from the others the fries (which I always thought took some getting used to) are exceptionally dry and overcooked here, giving even more of a stale Cape Cod Potato Chips flavor. Decent burgers though.




Now the normal fries at In-N-Out already taste like stale potato chips, but they are fresh from potatoes made on location, and they grow on you, but this one makes them extra crisp, which is just plane nasty. Too dry and crispy, I like my fries to have some give, though Kelly (who hates potatoes loves them).


Their standard is the double double, with 2 patties, tomato, lettuce, spread, buns and I get it without the American cheese. I must say they taste pretty damn good, and when I worked in commercial production were a favorite for second meal, though the spread kind of scares me.


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A Package of Spread which I have never seen before this visit.


A pretty good fast food burger, though I am looking for something better now days (better than any fast food), and this is certainly one of the better fast food burgers.

Comments

Daily Grill, American Restaurant, Burbank, CA


Daily Grill

2500 Hollywood Way

Burbank, CA 91505

(818) 840-6464


GOOGLE MAP


At the Marriott Hotel near the Burbank Airport, this place is fairly expensive, and has OK food, though actually they have pretty incredible hamburgers. I used to love the Daily Grill, when we used to pick up Nicoise salad's with rare Ahi Tuna, and it was fantastic. Unfortunately the menu seems to have changed, and everything on it is incredibly expensive. The service is decent, and fast, but the menu is pretty pricey, and there was not too much I wanted on it.




Kelly had specifically wanted not to have a burger, but we both agreed on the hamburgers this time, and I have to say they were pretty good, though they really needed pickles. The Burger is a huge 12 oz angus beef burger, and comes with chedar cheese, 2 onion rings on it, served with tasty as can and a huge thing of cole slaw (which I am never a fan of). The burger was huge and juicy, and actually very very tasty.


To drink I had a lemonade, which was also tasty, though not as good as Paul Newman's Lemonade.


I was impressed by the burger, but I have to say I am not sure I would return to this place again, especially because it is so pricy.

Comments

Father's Office, Pub and Restaurant, Santa Monica, CA


Father's Office

1018 Montana Ave.

Santa Monica, CA 90403

(310) 393-BEER


GOOGLE MAP


I have been reading about this place like crazy, with a huge write up in both Los Angeles Magazine and also FOOD AND WINE magazine, and had been dying to try out this bastion of beer and burgers, which has won tons of award and accolades all over the place. This is one of the hippest places in town, and the line outside, and lack of parking add to that image. The place has a ton of beers on tap, with many obscure beers, as the owner/chef is trying to make beer the new wine. The place is tiny too, and you literally have to wait like a hawk to try and get a seat as soon as people get up, and then sneak in, and then you must order from the bar, and they will bring the food to your (though you get your drinks at the bar).


Now I really wanted to love this place, but I have to say I was a bit disappointed.




The beer was pretty damn good, but the place is beyond packed, and it is loud as can be in there, actually obscuring conversation. The menu is filled with beer, with only a very small section devoted to the food, and of course we all had to try the award winning Office Burger.


The Office Burger is made from Dry Aged Beef, and has caramelized onion, applewood bacon compote, gruyere, matag blue cheese and arugula on it, and it is absolutely huge, and for a bit more you can get fries with it, but instead we got one full order of fries and one order of sweat potato fries, both Al A Carte (literally in a small shopping cart). The fries were fantastic. The burger, not so fantastic. The burger is huge, almost the size of 2 burgers in fact, and it was cooked medium rare like I like it, and it is very, very flavorful, almost too flavorful. And I don't know which item on it did it, but it is really salty, I mean excessively salty, and the caramelized onions make it very sweet as well, so it has this strange salty sweet to it. And since you can't get ketchup, or any substitution, this is is how you are going to have it, and it is way too much. Most certainly not the best burger in the world, or the best in LA. In fact I think I could do better on a grill myself, and would rather chose my own toppings than have it be this salty!


The t-shirts for sale say it all, the logo is F.O.., which stands for Father's Office of FUCK OFF, and to me it stands for FUCK OFF! The place is nuts, and impossible to find a seat, and the food is way too strong, and you can't get anything but how the chef wants to do it. Kudos to him for having an ego, and pulling this place off, and opening another in Culver City, but I will never be returning here, as I was seriously not impressed!

Comments

Topz, Hamburger Restaurant, Toluca Lake, CA

Topz
10119 Riverside Dr.
Toluca Lake, CA 91602
(818) 766-9066


GOOGLE MAP


I had been looking forward to this place, which bills itself as having the LEANEST BURGERS IN AMERICA for a while, since one of the producers I have been working with mentioned it to me. And I have to say I was very disappointed. I was not too impressed at all, though I did like the syrups and formulas you can add to your soda, though they can't be good for you, and don't make up for the unimpressive and borring hamburgers and fries this place serves.




I had a 1/2 lb. Black Angus Burger on Wheat Bread which includes leaf lettuce, onion, tomato, pickles and their secret sauce, and an order of their Aero Fries, which are air baked with sea salt, and have only 14g of fat, compared to 22 in their normal fries. You can also serve your own ketchup and mustard, as well mayo, and they also have a garlic ketchup I was quite excited about, but honestly it had too much garlic in it, pretty much killing the taste of the ketchup completely, might as well just be a garlic spread.


The burger was OK, but nothing special. With a name like topz, I was thinking I would get to chose toppings, something like Fuddruckers, but it has nothing of the sort, you just get to put on your ketchup and mistard. And yes the burger was OK, and I guess it was lean, but it didn't taste that good at all.


The fries, they may have been low fat, but I am sure that is why they were so mediocre. These fries suck. What a waste! And the garlic ketchup was way too much, it overpowered them. I used some on my hamburger, but will stick to normal ketchup thank you.


Kelly, meanwhile got some sort of mini burgers order, which was very weird. They had cut a patty in quarters, and gave her 2 of the quarters, but on a strange bread. This didn't look so hot.


They also had a Pepsi Soda machine with Dr. Pepper, and a few different syrups you could try and add, and on the wall they had some recipes to try. Personally I added vanilla and cherry to my Dr. Pepper and it was excellent, the best thing there, but with that much sugar it must have been absolutely horrible for me. And I was hoping for a plain soda to mix the syrups with, not already created sodas.


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Pretty much this place is a let down. Not very good. If you are going to go for the calories of a burger, why not get a better one than this. And hell most places are. I like Carl's Junior burgers better than this (though I do know they are not low calorie).

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Fuddruckers, American Hamburgers, Burbank, California


FUDDRUCKERS

221 N. San Fernando Blvd.

Burbank, CA 91501

(818) 848-4856


GOOGLE MAP


Right in the heart of Burbank with the old AMC 14 parking right next store (meaning depending on when you go it, parking can be a pain to park), this place is all about Hamburgers and they do them very well. And even better you get to put on your own toppings. Lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, jalap

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Alcove Cafe & Bakery, Los Angeles, California

1929 Hillhurst Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 644-0100 GOOGLE MAP I was on my way someplace else when I spotted this place, and it's cute outdoor seating, and saw it was totally packed, so I decided to give it a try. The restaurant is mostly outdoors with all their seats under umbrellas in a nice shaded courtyard with trees and flowering plants (there are a few inside, but with all the people in line, it is a little nuts, so you had better try to find one outside, and bring your sunglasses, and remember their are also places to sit along the side, and remember the chairs are not too comfortable, nor are they or the tables well balanced). To order you go inside, and order at the counter, they quickly give you your drinks, and then you take a number to your table, and your food is delivered fairly promptly. They have an excellent selection of breakfast foods, scones and the like, coffee, and excellent all fruit smoothies, and the lunch menu is pretty fantastic as well. The line itself also moves pretty quickly, and gives you time to check out the menu as you wait to order (and remember to grab your drink before you go to your table, as the drinks come at the counter).


Alcovesign


Alcovefront


The breakfast was excellent, with good scrambled eggs with your choice of additions, 2 toppings and one cheese, and you can add avacado, prosciutto or smoked salmon for an adidtional charge (I had avacado, goat cheese, mushrooms and spinach). On a second visit I had their amazing huevos rancheros, with 2 crispy tortillas, topped with black beans, fried eggs, tomato salsa, avacado and sour cream with oven roasted potatoes. The tortiallas were red and blue, and this was huge and fantastic. I also have tried the Alcove Burger, which has tomato, carmelzied onions and arugla, with either delicious fat yukon gold french fries, or monstrous onion rings or a side salad, and was also quite delicious. The portions are good, and the prices fairly reasonable. This place is great.


Huevosrancheros
The Huevos Rancheros. Damn they are tasty. The little metal container has a tomato based hot sauce, that is pretty mild, the plastic has sour cream.


Chickenquesedilla
The Chicken Quesadilla. Damn are the portions big, and tasty too.


The only thing that was a little too much, was my girlfriend Kelly got the brie and apple panini with carmelized onions, and honestly it had too much brie on it, which is not something you would normally have to complaing about. Not bad, but a bit much on the cheese side.


To drink I always go for one of their amazing fresh fruit smoothies, which are not up on the menu, but on the always changing chalk board with their specials. They also have some amazing looking deserts and baked goods, different coffee's and espresso, and fresh squeezed OJ. This place has some great selection.


Lately I have been getting the Juevos Rancheros, which are actually a variation with black beans, colored tortillas and a side of potatoes, and are so damn good I love them. They are amazing!


I have taken many friends from out of town here, and they all loved it. This place is really special and I couldn't be more glad that I found it. I have actually been back many times, and liked everything that I have eaten.


There is really nothing to complain about this place, except the uncomfortable and sometimes broken chairs. I actually saw one family have their kid fall through the back of one of the chairs twice before they decided to change their chair with their small child's. And the tables are old as well so they are not all levelled very well.


Parking is Valet in the back, and their is Village Gourmet Cheese & Wine Shop in the back, which i have to try out sometime, as I have been in the shop in the front (which is attached the restaurant) and everything looks amazing, so the rest of their wine selection is probably pretty good, and they also have wine tastings.

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Jonah Lee's Los Angeles Food and Restaurant Blog