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Extraordinary Burger at Unusual Place


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Extraordinary Burger at Unusual Place

nosh | Sep 21, 2006 12:50 AM

I was looking for a place at lunch today to watch the baseball game and have a cheesesteak. Stopped into Markie Mark but left quickly as they were doing loud sidewalk work right outside and their air conditioning was off.

Decided to stop into Philly West, on Westwood just south of Santa Monica Blvd. Stepping out of the men's room, I noticed flames from a grill lapping at a beautiful charred piece of meat, which at first glance seemed to be a steak but turned out to be their burger. After sitting at the bar, I had one of those Carl's Jr. commercial moments ("Should I get the cheesesteak? Boy, that burger looked good...") and the bartender recommended that I try the burger 'cuz I've already had their very good cheesesteaks. Ordered it w/o mayo, and tried to get her to specify "medium rare but with a good char" to the cook but she said that's how he makes them anyway.

The half-pound oblong burger came very pink in the middle and drippy juicy, served on their cheesesteak rolls and garnished with grilled onions, lettuce and tomato, and American cheese. What a treat! Really hot off the grill, tasty, charred taste melding with the meat and juice caught by the fine roll which had a firm chewy crust. Wow! This is about the best burger I recall having in L.A.

A recent thread talked about Houston's, which paled by comparison, and the Counter elicits much controversy -- I liked mine ok but it was overwhelmed by the toppings. Way better than the Shack, which I like, or Mike's hockey burger, which I also like. My cheeseburger ran $5.45, and a coke refilled three times was $1.95, so my total was $10 after a two-buck tip. I found street parking out front, but they also have some parking in the rear.

Now I don't know if they have the same cook at night or even if they fire up the flame grill when they mostly serve cheesesteaks. But this was really good.

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