Is It Still There? Hamburger Habit ("'Best Hamburger In Southern California' - KABC 790 Talk Radio")

Is It Still There? Hamburger Habit (“‘Best Hamburger In Southern California’ – KABC 790 Talk Radio”)

Hamburger Habit

Time and chance recently conspired for me to drop in on an old Westside joint, Hamburger Habit, at Sepulveda & National Blvds. for the first time in good long while.

This mini-mall anchor is a mishmash of past dead eras, a 50’s-style diner with a huge signage bearing the endorsement from an AM radio show that went off the air in the 90’s. Other random out-of-time flotsam on the walls: an August 1981 issue of Los Angeles–a portly late great Orson Wells on the cover–displayed not for containing an actual review, but simply for mentioning H.H. in a three-line listing in the directory of restaurants. Also, a screenshot of AOL circa 1997 displaying a 97.50 LA DHS rating.

In addition to infringement-skirting sandwich monikers such as the “Mikey Mouse Special” (grilled cheese) and the “Archie Bonker” (polish sausage roll), the menu has one bizarrely out-of-tune innuendo zinger: “We squeeze it everyday! Orange juice… that is!” They also serve a decent lentil soup as a side; try and find that at a typical burger joint.

The burger itself is serviceable and smallish. It’s that kind of steaky chuck type of burger and too much bun. And a far, far, far galaxy away from “Best hamburger in Southern California.” There’s no way they mean that literally in 2012. Assuming Southern California includes the O.C. and San Diego, this place doesn’t come close to sniffing the likes of a 50/50 burger or a Hodad’s down the coast, nevermind the Father’s Offices or Umamis up here in L.A.

But that’s not what we’re here for. It’s time to play IS. IT. STILL. THERE? So, is it still there? IT IS STILL THERE! And that’s how we play IS IT STILL THERE?

If there is an old joint in town you would like us to check out for IS IT STILL THERE?, let us know and we’ll try to check it out and let you know IS. IT. STILL. THERE?