Top 5 Hamburgers

Here is how we roll in Cali:

Father's Office, Los Angeles
Hodad's, San Diego
In-N-Out, Baldwin Park
TK Burger, Costa Mesa
Jalama Beach Grill, Santa Barbara

How do you roll?
This best burger OP has gone off the rails, but that's cool by me since catering, F&B, fine dining, hotels, etc. were my life for thirty + years. Following up on the sushi posts ,my late wife and I used to rent in Calabasas and we really dug Shibuya over by the post office. Very special, no shortcuts taken sauces/dips/salads and of course their fish. This was back in the mid-1990's. I haven't been back to that area in ages, but an old acquaintance in L.A. tells me that most every place I loved has gotten pricey since my stay.
Byegolly, probably so, but Phillipes the Original still has 25 cent coffee and In-an-Out will cost you a five spot.
No fan of In & Out. On a travel stop verses Mickey D's they win out (unless you want breakfast). Commendable for "no freezers", but little else there to get excited about. As another poster mentioned, it's the condiments that add what taste those burgers do have. No juicy medium rare, no taste of the grill, no thickness to the patty. A cabal of attorneys have deemed those qualities risky food service practices - better to overcook food than risk one food borne illness lawsuit. I'd rather pay a little more for a thick, grilled, juicy (not steamed off on a flat-top) indulge in saturated fat. Going inside an In & Out I feel like I'm visiting people at a tabernacle with that squeaky clean image. All they need are the Mormon pamphlets on the counter to firm up the experience.
Byegolly: I like the cheese and grilled onion residue off the wrapper of a double double. :)
Come on, I'd crush burgers at In N'Out before I'd destroy burgers at Carl's Jr any day, and I love Carl's Jr. Yes, there's a doctor's office clinicality to the interior; but I don't see a lot of bicycles out back, so I think we're safe from the Mormon thing.
I don't see a lot of Brothers working there though. Hmmm...
I had my first Double-Double back in '78, so I know it's not about the lawyers, because we just laughed at guys that said they were going to sue us back then and beat them up some more. I was a big Tommy's guy, and didn't think the In N'Out was a big deal either at the time. The only thing different from today was the fries. They were shoestring. Better for a rabid case of the munchies, IMHO. The shakes have never been spectacular, and I know this is heresy; but I never thought their lemonade was that good either.
...But saying In N'Out isn't good is like saying a great bagel shop that gets all the fundamentals just right is just OK because they don't do anything "different". What's different is the integrity of the essence.
(Hey, since this thread has been hijacked so many times---Lebanese food?---and speaking of bagels, what about Jewish delis? I always liked Mort's in Pacific Palisades; but Shep's on Pico was good, and Art's in 90210 was pretty good too. Weby's on Ventura is gone :( Brisket and pastrami, add swiss and cole slaw with Russian dressing on an onion roll...OK, enough of that)
Even my beloved Carl's Jr has gone to a freaking microwave, and that stuff that's supposed to pass for eggs (Ya, In N'Out, breakfast would be nice. Bacon seasons the grill very nicely), so keeping your integrity for more than thirty years speaks volumes to a company's sense of vision. Even the afore mentioned Mc D's was a lot better when they used to throw stuff away all the time, and everybody knows it. Make it fresh. Keep it for 10 minutes. Throw it away if no one shows up to buy it. God I love America!
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