Fun On a Bun

West Hollywood's got a new kid in town! Shake Shack, the well-known New York burger joint, has finally taken its place on Santa Monica Boulevard and La Cienega. Enjoy the outside patio with the magnificient Magnolia tree and get ready for a superior burger experience! The original NY menu items are on the LA menu too, and yes, they taste just as good. Prepare yourself for a line up at the register though, as this place is over the top crowded! We love the Smoke Shack Burger ($6.84) with Niman Ranch bacon, cheese, and cherry peppers. Regular burgers start at $4.29 with add-ons like bacon at $1.55. Crinkle cut cheese fries ($3.99) are outstanding, crispy, and hot. Of course you can't miss the shakes, I mean that's what we came for! At $5.29, they are super big and frosty! We had the Chocolate Malted ($.55). For a delicious fast food snack, Shake Shack is where it's at! Shake Shack 8520 Santa Monica Blvd. West Hollywood (323) 488-3010. Hours Daily: 11:30 am-11:00 p.m.

Voted the number one hamburger in New York, bareburger has finally spread its wings to the west coast. Right here on Main Street in Santa Monica, diners can enjoy free-range, pasture-raised, humanely raised, antibiotic, gluten, and hormone free delicious burgers. The full bar makes it all the more enchanting! Sit down and enjoy an exotic cocktail like Charo's Kick ($10) a combo of tequila, mezcal, lemon, and orgeat (sweet maple syrup) or a Kiev Kooler Slush ($10) made with vodka, limeade, and ginger. Check out the wine list; it's pretty impressive too. We like the Tiamo Pinot Grigio ($8/glass) and the Edge Napa Cab ($12). Draught beers are prety cool too. We love the "end of the world" Unibroue Fin Du Monde ($9) from Canada. It's fruity and malty. Our favorite bottled beer is Almanac Azacca Hoppy Sour ($20) with a blend of kiwi and papaya on sour blonde ale. But it's the burgers we long for. Order a patty first. For $8.50 you get an all beef patty. For $1.35-$2.85 more get adventerous with a bison, elk, wild boar, duck, or sesame ginger beef burger. Step two is choosing a bun. We love the onion brioche but you can make a collard green wrap if you're really looking to stay healthy! Choosing cheese from vegan cheddar ($2.80) to colby, aged cheddar, blue, pepper jack, manchego, queso fresco, gouda, and pimento ($1.35) is your next big dilemma. For me the bacon process was the hardest. I picked brisket bacon ($3.85) which is similar to a pork belly. This thick slab literally made the burger pop! Veggies are no added charge but exotic choices like stout onions will set you back $.75. Sauces and Spreads from mayo to tomato fig jam ($1.75) are plentiful. Sides include onion rings ($4.50), sweet fries ($4.25), and French fries ($3.50). Eight different salad options are available and range from $10.95-$16.95. Try a Banana Foster Shake ($5.95) with vanilla ice cream, bananas, and caramel sauce for dessert! Bareburger 2732 Main Street Santa Monica (310) 392-2122 Hours: Sun-Thurs: 11:30 a.m.-10.m. Fri/Sat: 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.

Recommended: Burgers and fries

Am I the only one who goes to Koreatown for a great burger? Apparently not! Judging by the line of people waiting at the classic 6th Street burger joint yesterday, everyone loves Cassell's. Open since 1948 (a few blocks away, originally), Cassell's has been a long-time favorite of natives. The new location, inside the Hotel Normandie, features classic vintage signs from the orignal Cassell's and Cassell's original crossfire broiler, grinder, patty press, and recipes! If it's breakfast you're after try the Classic B'fast ($7.99) with two eggs any style, shredded hash browns, and your choice of toast. Add bacon, sausage or ham for $2. A Triple Stack of Buttermilk Hotcakes with vanilla butter and maple syrup will set you back $6.99. For lunch you must have a burger. We love the Cheeseburger ($8.99 for 1/3 lb. and $13.99 for 2/3 lb.) Meat is Colorado Angus whole chuck and brisket ground daily with choice of sauce, tomato, onion, lettuce, tomato, and pickle on a Parker House bun. If you must (and I must), add bacon for ($2). The Patty Melt ($10.99/$15.99) is crazy good. Of course I snagged a bite! A house ground premium beef patty with swiss or cheddar is grilled with onions and served on toasted rye. Fries ($2.50) are golden brown and served in a paper bag, nice and hot. The malts, ($5.75) oh the malts! Mc Connell's ice cream! Need I say more? Thick and rich. Eat the malt with a spoon or sip to your heart's desire! Who says K-town is only good for bbq? The rebirth of Cassell's Hamburgers was possibly one of the best days of my life! Cassell's Hamburgers 3600 W. 6th Street Los Angeles (213) 387-5502. Hours: 7 a.m.- 11p.m. daily.

Recommended Dishes: Burgers, Patty Melt, Tuna Salad, Malts.  

Hopdoddy got its start in Texas and with so many burger bars popping up, Hopdoddy's really stands out with the fresh ingredients and huge portions. The beef and brisket burgers are ground in house all day and buns are baked there too! If you're not feeling the beef you can get a tuna, turkey, lamb, chicken, bison burger, vegetarian black bean, or even a corn patty too. Fries are beyond amazing, milkshakes extra thick, and the best news, a full bar with house made Limoncello! We stopped in at the Playa Vista location at the new Runway. We started with some Truffle Fries (5). For the record, I must say; these are truffle fries I would hold in esteem with those of The Lobster or any other truffle fries I have raved about! Try them! You must! A Vanilla Bean shake ($5) was delivered next. Yep, you guessed it. It was thick and frosty with a pile of whipped cream that only this blogger could appreciate. Now for the sandwich. I had the Classic Burger ($7.25) with angus beef, red leaf lettuce, white onion, beef tomato, sassy sauce and the addition of bacon. It's a "juice-running-down-your-arms" burger. This is your fair warning! My husband, Mr. I Hate Burgers, enjoyed The Thunderbird. ($10) Chicken, applewood smoked bacon, avocado, and lots of substitutions! Service was excellent too! The bar was hopping at 1:30 on a Saturday afternoon. Grab a Ballast Point Sculpin ($8) or a Hey, Neighbor! ($8), a  Bloody Mary with Beer and Tomato juice and spicy house blend and sit yourself down with some Google types, EA gamers, or maybe even some LA Clippers! Hopdoddy Burger Bar 1120 W. Jefferson Blvd. Playa Vista (310) 410-2337 Hours: Sun-Th: 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. Fri-Sat 11 a.m.- 11 p.m.

Recommended Dishes: Burgers, Truffle Fries, Milkshakes, Chicken Sandwiches 

I've been devouring burgers at Malibu Mutt for years and each time it gets better and better! While some may think of the "mutt," as I call it, as a fast food restaurant I beg to differ. First of all, service is anything but fast. But that's okay, because the burgers are terrific! Located in the Malibu Country Mart, make your way through the papparazzi, and order up at the window. Then grab a picnic table (with your dog, if you like) and watch the kids and nannies play in the park. They call your number when your order's up. Start off with some steak fries, but beware, they're addicting! The Western Bacon Cheeseburger is my favorite. A huge juicy burger is served on a wheat or white bun with tons of cheese bacon, grilled onions, tomato, and lettuce. Add pickles for an extra flavor burst! Any of the burgers are delicious and cooked well. This is definitely one of my all time favorite Malibu haunts. Malibu Mutt 3835 Cross Creek Road, Malibu. (310) 456-1211. Call for hours.

Recommended: Burgers and fries 


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