Archive for Vin S.

Classic Burger No. 3, Redondo Beach, Ca

Posted Saturday October 17, 2009 10:31AM

Categories: Classic Burger No. 3, pub/diner burger, Redondo Beach Ca, Vin S.

Classic Burger No. 3, Redondo Beach, Ca Address: 622 Torrance Blvd., Redondo Beach, Ca, 90277
Visited: Friday October 12, 2009 6:30PM
Ordered: Bulgogie Burger (x1), Onion Rings (x1), Root Beer (x1)
Total Cost: $6.26
Photo from Yelp, by Joan S.

Vin S.’s Review

The Experience

Last month, I reviewed Classic Burger, my favorite local diner. Their burgers are just fine, though each one on the menu is basically the same, just maybe with one different topping (avocado, bacon, etc.). Having tried one, I know what most will be. Except… they do list a Pastrami Burger. Does that mean there is pastrami on the burger? Or some sort of alternate pastrami patty? I returned to Classic today, with full intent to try this.

However, as I parked and walked in, I noticed a sign on the front window, announcing Korean Style BBQ burgers and tacos. What!? Now, I’m an LA guy. I’ve had the famous Kogi tacos from the travelling van, and think they’re delicious. (Haven’t tried their kimchi quesadillas yet though.) Regardless, I was surprised to see my local diner advertising this. All thoughts of pastrami went out the window, and I ordered the bulgogie (sic) burger. The guy taking my order seemed slightly confused, it must be a brand new item. I showed him the handwritten "specials" menu on which the bulgogie burger was listed.

You can read my atmosphere experience review on my prior post. I’m docking some points for the local diner jumping on an LA hipster bandwagon (esp. because Redondo Beach isn’t exactly LA).

Experience rating: 4.01/5

The Burger

As I said, most all of the burgers at Classic taste the same. Very good, but not much variety in tastes. That’s why the bulgogi was an intriguing turn of events. However, in the end, there was almost no distinction between this bulgogi Korean flavor, and the usual Classic hamburger. Perhaps this is because they are still learning to make it, I may give it another shot some time. But for the most part, this was a Classic hamburger, with lettuce and onion mix, with what I assume was a bit of bulgogi mixed in. I could barely taste it, if it was (and it sort of looked like there was something in there to make it a slightly different color). I do like the regular burgers here, they’re a good size and taste fine. But I wanted something a little more unique, something bulgogi to stand out, and I just didn’t get it.

Burger rating: 2.12/5

Bottom Line

Average rating:



The Burger Stand, Los Angeles, Ca

Posted Wednesday September 30, 2009 10:14AM

Categories: Los Angeles Ca, pub/diner burger, The Burger Stand, Vin S.

The Burger Stand, Los Angeles, CA Address: 3413 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, Ca
Visited: Tuesdey September 29, 2009 5:43PM
Ordered: Double Cheese Burger (x1)
Total Cost: $5.95

Vin S.’s Review

The Experience

So some sudden changes in plans found me driving home from work on a different route than usual. Specifically, I found myself driving straight down Crenshaw Blvd. While I oftentimes do not take the freeways home, I also must admit, I do not usually take Crenshaw. I’m not sure what area of LA this is — I don’t think it’s quite South Central, it’s just south of the 10 at the Crenshaw/Jefferson intersection. It’s all LA to me. So what to do on a relatively unfamiliar route home? Find a burger place, and review it!

The first place I saw after deciding on finding a burger was the aptly named, The Burger Stand. I pulled over immediately. Now, don’t get me wrong — this place is not for everyone. The style, the location, all that, are surely offputting for a lot of people. I’m sure it’s out of most peoples’ ways, unless you happen to find yourself heading down Crenshaw for some reason. While The Burger Stand is in a building, and not technically a stand, there is no restaurant part, you walk up to the window and order through the glass. The pretty ladies at the grill then spin your food out to you in one of those rotating bulletproof window things. A guy was relieving himself in the alley in the back. There was a pay phone (!) next to the order window, and a bunch of mannequins modelling on the sidewalk next door. Not everyone would dig this atmosphere, which is either pretty irrelevant, or very strong, depending on your point of view.

Me, I dug it.

Experience rating: not for everyone, but if you like that sort of thing — 3.77/5

(Docking .5 points for lack of chili. See below.)

The Burger

I had trouble deciding today what to order. While there wasn’t a ton of menu items, there were a number of options. The burgers were broken up into normal, king and double. I’m not sure what a king is. I ended up asking for a double chili burger, but damn–they were out of chili. What? So I just went with a double cheese burger. Other topping options included egg or bacon. (Or the egg bacon chili monstrosity.)

And let me tell you, this was the best burger I’d eaten in a long time. It was basically too big, that’s for sure. But is that a flaw? I did ask for a double, so I can’t complain at least. The two meat patties were gigantic, and quite tasty. The meat probably overwhelmed everything, but it was so good, I don’t mind. The patties tasted like they were just ground right there and grilled and definitely not frozen or anything like that. Superb.

Also the toppings surprised, which were a sort of lettuce/onion/mustard/pickles mix. I’m not usually a mustard fan–I don’t hate it, but it’s not something I usually turn to. I found the mustard and pickles gave the massive amounts of meat a real nice bite. The spiciness was just right, and very tasty. The only flaw in the toppings was maybe the cheese, which wasn’t overly noticeable among everything else. On the other hand, the bun was also unmemorable, but in my mind, that’s good. Too much bread is overwhelming and I don’t like that.


Bottom Line

Average rating:



Trimana, Los Angeles, Ca

Posted Wednesday September 23, 2009 10:27AM

Categories: fast food-style burger, Los Angeles Ca, Trimana, Vin S.

Trimana, Los Angeles, Ca Address: 735 S Figueroa St. #117, Los Angeles, CA
Visited: Monday September 21, 2009 12:15PM
Ordered: BBQ & Cheddar Burger (x1), cup of water (x1)
Total Cost: $6.33

Vin S.’s Review

The Experience

I return for my series of reviews of the burgers at Trimana at the downtown Los Angeles food court, 7th + Fig. Nothing really changed about the experience as in my first review in the series. Again, I think the wait is a little too long for a food court situation. Granted, Trimana is usually the most crowded place in there (besides that excellent Greek place), but still it irks me. It usually takes just a little bit longer than I want.

Experience rating: 3/5 – it’s a food court, don’t expect ambience

The Burger

Regular What the Burger?! readers will recall that my experience with the #1 was disappointing. And I know you are waiting to see if things improve, and I’m happy to report that they do.

First, I’ll note that I skipped the #2, which was the same burger as the #1, but with cheese. Fine, that’s probably an improvement, but not exciting enough to try. I proceed to the #3, BBQ & Cheddar. Initially, I was hesitant, the menu also indicates that this comes with grilled onion and bell pepper. I, it should be noted, am not a bell pepper fan. I’m not totally anti — I’ll eat them but only if burger reviews require it. The burger came and immediately I could tell it was an improvement over the sad and unhappy appearence last week. And was it! OK, that’s a bit too much excitement for this burger, but after last week, it fits.

Best of all was that the added ingredients added quite a bit to the taste. Especially with the stock lettuce, tomato and pickles to balance out the bell pepperse that I’m not fond of. There was maybe slightly too much BBQ sauce for my taste, but not to a degree where I will penalize the rating. All in all, I was pretty satisfied with the BBQ sauce, the cheese, and the toppings.

All in all, good flavors and quality toppings = just fine. Still the weak point in Trimana burgers is likely the meat and bun, but with the right toppings, this can be overcome.

BBQ & Chedder Burger rating: 3.68/5

Bottom Line

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Norm’s Restaurant, Los Angeles, Ca

Posted Thursday September 17, 2009 6:43PM

Categories: Los Angeles Ca, Norm's Restaurant, pub/diner burger, Vin S.

Norm's Restaurant Address: 470 La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, Ca
Visited: Monday September 14, 2009 6:45PM
Ordered: California Burger (x1), Onion Rings (x1), Lemonade (x1)
Total Cost: $11.17
Photo from Yellowbot, by Erron Silverstein

Vin S.’s Review

The Experience

Norm’s is a well-known LA diner, with a big menu, a handful of locations all around So. Cal., and lots of signs saying it had been around for 60 years. I’d never actually been to one, and on Monday night, I found myself suddenly without dinner plans (Roscoe’s trip with a friend fell apart last minute), and then as I wound back down through LA, I was outside Norm’s and hungry and decided to go in for a burger.

I reckon I would have appreciated this setting more at a late night time; as it was, it felt just like any old normal old diner. The waitress was friendly, it was just the right level of busy, but nothing about the experience stuck with me. I do remember thinking, "what is taking so long?" a few times while I was waiting for my food.

Experience rating: 2.41/5

The Burger

I did briefly consider ordering something else besides a burger, but nothing else really appealed and I thought, might as well get a review out of the night, right? There are 6 regular burgers on the menu, as well as 4 fancier ones which cost a little more. Each burger is 1/2 pound, with lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onions and Norm’s Special Sauce. I went with the California Burger, which also had melted Monterey Jack cheese and avocado. The burgers also came with fries or onion rings, and I chose the latter.

I’m writing this a couple of days later, and in reminiscing about the burger, I find I am mixed on the Norm’s burger. I quite liked the meat (a good size, which really let you taste it). The wheat bun I chose was also good (you could also get egg or sesame). I also quite enjoyed Norm’s Secret Sauce*.

However, the extra stuff I ordered which made the burger "California" were a big letdown. The avocado was buried, and added nothing. I barely noticed the cheese. I might get a burger at Norm’s again, but I probably wouldn’t get the California.

*the dirtiest Whattheburger sentence ever writ!

California Burger rating: 2.41/5

Bottom Line



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