Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Best Cheeseburger in Los Angeles

Johnny Rockets, Ventura Boulevard

Swung through Johnny Rockets at about 11 at night a couple weekends ago -- good stuff. I've reviewed it before -- a 9, I think -- and it's a 9 again. I had the #12 -- of their two basic burgers, the #12 is the better. The description off their menu is:

Tillamook® Cheddar cheese, fresh lettuce, onion slice, pickle, mayonnaise & our tangy "red red sauce®.

I order it without onions -- don't like onions -- but otherwise unaltered. The red relish is the difference on this burger -- it's surprising how many of my favorite burgers have red relish on them. Johnny Rockets other mainstream burger, "The Original," has chopped onions and green relish. It's pretty good (an 8) ... but that red relish is worth a point.


Fuddruckers, in the Sherman Oaks Galleria

I like the idea of Fuddruckers. Make your own burger sounds like a good deal ... but Fuddruckers is usually a disappointment to me. The last time I was there I had possibly the best burger I've ever had at Fuddruckers -- an 8. They offer a variety of basic burgers -- 1/3 lb, 1/2, 2/3rds, and 1 lb. Since the meat's not that great, I usually order the 1/3 lb, well done. It worked out this time -- a bigger than usual chunk of iceberg lettuce, two tomato slices, a lot of pickles, and a little bit of the green relish, with just a little mayo and some ketchup. An 8 -- and the best burger I've ever had at Fuddruckers, which usually ends up disappointing me. The normal score is around a 5.


The best Cheeseburger in Los Angeles remains a 3-way tie between Pie'N'Burger, The Crocodile Cafe, and the Apple Pan, with Apple Pan being the most consistent of the 3. I've reliably had 10s out of Crocodile and Apple Pan, and I've only eaten once at Pie'N'Burger. Club 26 on Washington Boulevard I've eaten at 3 times; it's had 2 9s, and 1 10. It'll make the cut if I get another 10 the next time I go down there.

Not reviews as such -- have fed my kids burgers from McDonald's, Burger King, and In'N'Out in the last month -- that's a lot of burgers for us; despite my -- obsession might be a fair word -- on this subject, we don't eat a lot of burgers; they're bad for you. When we do, we try to make them good burgers.

Despite this we got a pile of burgers from McDonald's (20 or so) and another pile from Burger King, on successive weekends, to feed crowds of kids.

To my surprise, the McDonald's cheap burgers are better than the Burger King cheap burgers. Neither of them are good, but if you're looking to buy 20 burgers for $20, McDonald's would be my choice right now. A 3 for the McDonald's Burger, a 2 for the BK. I think I reviewed BK higher than that, in the past. Maybe the ingredients or preparation have change?

Amy mis-ordered at In'n'Out, so I got a Double Double and a regular cheeseburger -- I almost always order 2 cheeseburgers at In'n'Out, and this reminded me why. The Double Double was good -- an 8 -- but the regular cheeseburger was a 9. Better proportions of lettuce, tomatoes, to beef and cheese. The Double Double just felt heavier.


Sean Fagan said...

I had a craving for a good hamburger the other weekend. We went to some place called "The Counter." Interesting place, and the burger was very good -- but the bun was too small for the size I got, and fell apart. (I darned near called you up to ask what a good burger place in the Bay Area was, but I didn't think you'd really know.)

Steve Perry said...

Back when Mickey D's first opened -- before your time -- you could buy ten burgers for a dollar. Kind of like a circle of leather, but, when money was tight ...

When we lived in L.A., the original Tommy's had the best burgers, but that was almost forty years ago.

Dan Moran said...


At the Counter, I usually like the Old School. (Beef, Tillamook, lettuce, tomato, skip the onions, pickles and red relish.)

It's a pretty consistent 9, medium rare without onions. It does, however, fall apart.

When we lived in Mar Vista we used to walk down there for lunch -- about a 2 mile walk. Just about worked off the burger.

The Peanut Butter milkshake at the Counter is the best peanut butter milkshake in the world.

The Fried Dill Pickle Chips are to be avoided. They're merely very bad all by themselves, but when you accessorize them with the special dipping sauce, they're the worst thing I've ever put in my mouth.


CitySearch does a pretty good burger roundup for most cities -- I usually check it out when I'm on the road.

Val's in Hayward I've eaten at -- first rate. I didn't rate it (don't rate burgers unavailable in L.A.) -- but it might have been a 10. It was a 9, anyway.

Subrata Sircar said...

I'm not nearly as picky about burgers - I like good ones, but I still try to treat burgers as either treats or fuel. That being said, I do like the Counter's (Palo Alto) burgers - it's nice to be able to customize things and get a slightly different experience, backed by good meat, each time.

We're going again this Saturday :<)

jbz said...

I liked Fatburger better than In 'n Out when I was there in '00; I also really liked a place on Pico called the 'Mo Better Meatty Meat Burger' which is now closed, unfortunately. :-(

Josh M. said...

I enjoyed reading this post. Come visit my burger review site and tell me what you think.