Archive for the 'Burgers' Category

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The Munch Box – Los Angeles (Chatsworth)

The Munch Box - Chatsworth

Instead of driving straight from Pasadena to Thousand Oaks for a family gathering a few weeks back, The Astronomer and I took a roundabout route through Burbank then to Chatsworth for doughnuts, burgers, and more doughnuts. We rarely, if ever, travel this far north and west, so we wanted to make the trip worth our while.

What was really terrific about this jaunt was that it felt like a legitimate road trip even though we never left county boundaries. The vastness of Los Angeles never ceases to impress me.

The Munch Box - Chatsworth

My heart welled up with pure joy as we approached the bright yellow building on Devonshire Street. The Munch Box has been around since 1956 and is on the Cultural Heritage Commission‘s list as one of the best surviving examples of Googie architecture.

Today, the stand is owned by Buck Barker, his wife, Claire, and their two children, Julie and Andrew. Mr. Barker bought the eatery in 1985 from his uncle, John Kent, who was the restaurant’s original owner.

The Munch Box - Chatsworth

The menu hasn’t changed too much since The Munch Box first opened 57 years ago. While many diners were downing dogs this afternoon, The Astronomer and I stuck to the hamburgers; it was what we were in the mood for.

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{swoon} Double-Double, Animal-Style, Grilled Whole Onions, Medium-Rare Patties, Chilies

In-N-Out Burger Secret Menu

I took a walk on the wild side last Friday night while road tripping from L.A. to The Bay. Instead of my usual In-N-Out order, a Double-Double with grilled onions, I crammed every “secret menu” add-on I could think of in between the two delicately toasted buns. After enduring rush hour on The 405 and odious feedlots along The 5, this gal demanded some serious entertainment of the edible variety.

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{swoon} “The Chronic” at Mom’s Burgers

Mom's Burgers - Compton

Joyce “Mom” McLaurin opened Mom’s Burgers over three decades ago to bring simple yet immensely satisfying fast-food style fare to the neighborhood. Stroll up to the window to place your order, and then wait for a gentle tap on the Plexiglas window to signal when it’s ready to be picked up.

Waits can be a bit long since everything is made to order, so call ahead for a curbside pickup or better yet, bump to the slow jams blasting from the speakers or partake in an impromptu game of chess. Both work up an appetite quite nicely. Once the goods are in hand, grab a seat at one of the stools along the counter or at the umbrella-shaded tables hidden beside the building.

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Umami Burger – Pasadena

Umami Burger - Pasadena

In the span of less than five years, restaurateur Adam Fleischman has expanded his “fine-dining fast food” concept Umami Burger across Los Angeles and into San Francisco and New York City. Just last week, an outlet popped up in my Pasadena stomping grounds, taking over the space formerly occupied by Naga Naga Ramen. My cousin Phil and I swung by last Thursday evening to scope out the latest addition to our neighborhood.

Umami Burger - Pasadena

The Pasadena location has a full alcohol license, which means plenty of beer, wine, sake, and liquor to keep burger-goers hydrated. Even though the cocktails sounded mighty enticing, especially the “Perfect Pear” with vodka, honey, lemon, and mint, I opted for a bottle of fancy pants cream soda instead. Phil went for a gin and tonic, his most favorite drink in all of the land.

Umami Burger - Pasadena

Like my dear Astronomer, Phil isn’t much of a pickle guy, so I cleaned house on the “House Pickles” ($5) solo. From the selection of beets, shitake mushrooms, bread and butters, cauliflower, okra, tomatoes, kimchi, and spicy cucumbers, I was most impressed with the curried florets and properly funky kimchi.

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