This seems to be the year of the burger — or rather the gourmet burger. From its beginnings a couple decades ago at Father’s Office in Santa Monica to The Counter, Umami Burger and the just opened Burger Kitchen on Third Street, as well as gastro-pubs across the city, the burger has become quite the star. But with this star stature comes some fairly big league prices. The exception being In-N-Out, and of course, the iconic Bob’s Big Boy. As for the other chain fast food joints — they don’t count.
Finding a good quality, well-priced “regular” hamburger joint is almost a thing of the past — especially one with an “A” rating. One of the few standouts is Jack’s Classic Hamburgers in North Hollywood, located at Riverside Drive and Camarillo, off Tujunga. This tiny stand once called Coldwater and Riverside home before Hugo’s Tacos took over a few years ago. It’s not quite a destination stand, but the perfect place to go when you are in the neighborhood — and the highest price on the menu is $4.25.
A ¼ pound hamburger on a sesame seed bun is $3.25. Add .25 for cheese. Also offered: Bacon Cheeseburger ($4.25), Chili Cheeseburger ($4), Turkey Burger ($3), Pastrami Burger ($4.25). Jack’s also cooks up a good Garden Burger. All burgers include lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions (ask for them grilled or else you’ll get it raw), mayo, mustard and ketchup. Craving it the In-N-Out Way? Ask for Thousand Island. They have it on most days.
Owner Jack can seem a bit gruff, but it’s just a dry sense of humor in that Oscar Madison way. He’ll ask what you want on your burger after it’s grilled up and ready to go. And you won’t pay until just before you have food in hand.
The burgers are freshly made and seemingly larger than you get at most stands — extending as big as the bun. They have that homemade, well-seasoned grilled burger flavor. If you want a bigger burger, make sure to get the double.
Burgers aren’t the only items on the menu. Breakfast and Mexican Food are also popular. The Egg Sandwich is strangely addictive and it’s only two eggs on a toasted sesame seed bun ($3.25) — or even better — the bacon and egg sandwich with three strips of bacon ($4.25). Trying asking Jack for some added cheese and he might just say yes. The Breakfast Burrito is a combination of eggs, bacon, potatoes and salsa ($4.25). Regular burritos, tacos and quesadillas are also offered from $2.25-$4.25.
Alternative sandwich choices include a BLT, Tuna, Chicken Breast, Grilled Cheese, Hot Dog and Corn Dog.
Fries are fresh and crisp. Onion rings are thick and tasty, but if you’re one who likes a thinner onion ring, go for the fries.
Jack’s Classic Hamburgers has a few tables with umbrellas outside. It’s cash only, but a Citibank ATM is available inside the 7-11 just a few steps across the parking lot.
And the biggest deal at Jack’s? Free soda refills for the price of one soda. You can’t really go wrong.
Jack’s Classic Hamburgers 11375 Riverside Drive., North Hollywood, CA 91602 (818) 761-4590 Phone orders welcome. Open seven days a week. 9:30 am- 5:30 pm
Karen Young is the Editor/Publisher of MY DAILY FIND. Email Karen@mydailyfind.com