Friday, September 21, 2007

Tribute to Burger Stand Week on What's To Eat LA: Irv's Burgers (a small ode)

8289 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046
Mon-Fri 7:30AM-8PM
Sat 8AM-7PM
Sun Closed

To wrap up my week we have our, beloved of many, hamburger stand called Irv's Burgers. Many know the story, and for those of you that don't you can click on their page and read about the drama they've gone through in the past to now have come out (mostly) on top. To make a long story short though, Irv's was about to be turned into a coffee shop and people gathered in one voice to rescue this little underdog. Letters were written and emails were sent and Irv's got saved. Why would people really care all that much about a burger stand? Why would people actually be compelled to do something when it's just a little hut that makes burgers and fries?

This woman. Her name is Sonia Hong (owner of Irv's) and people like her don't exist. She may be one of the only people in LA that I know that expresses genuine non-stop cheerfulness. Does she have glum days? Possibly. But, I would never know it cause whenever I see her she reminds me that the potential for people to be incredibly full of love is possible. She is a bit of happiness personified. When you show up you'll notice that she talks to everyone as if she knows them and has known them for years (often she does), calling them by name, and the one's that she doesn't know by name she still treats like family...with enthusiastic sweetness and meekness. She is one of the few people that understands that a huge part about what makes people come back is "you". No other business can get another Sonia cause there's only one of her, and she is Irv's.

As for the burgers she puts together, she is a master. The kind of person who can walk away and talk and come back right on time to flip it. She just knows...cause she's been doing it that long. Notice the plate. They all come like that. When you taste it you realize it really was just for me. Also, an odd fact is that she uses the picture to identify the person who ordered it (yes that's what I look like in case you're least on that day) . A customized burger that always knocks you down. The patty was put together fresh, as well as fresh ingredients for everything else, but really that's the most I can say about it. The mystery of Irv's is shocking, cause there's no real understanding of "why" it tastes so good by the looks of it. She has some kind of magic going on that makes her simple burgers taste so good...almost too good for how simple they are. Maybe they're done better by some magical means, like maybe the laws of physics cease to exist in her kitchen. Bottom line is that people come back for this amazing burger and to be around her. It is a testament to her and to the burgers that are so beloved that she had enough people rally to her aid when she needed it most.

There's an actual eating area that's covered (which rocks now that we're about to start getting some rain) and parking is street parking which can sometimes be menacing in West Hollywood but it's well worth it. Or if you don't feel like going out, you'll be shocked to know that they deliver. They are THE ONLY burger stand I know that delivers. Bless them for this.

To many people reading this, this is old news but to those who don't know or have never heard of Irv's please go on down and be amazed. You'll not only feel at home, but you'll be at home having a burger that is a thing of terrifying deliciousness. Sonia, if you're reading this, may you live to be 100 and have Irv's to show for it the entire time.

Free Refills: No
Entree Price Range: Burgers run from $2.91 to $4.58 but just get the #1 combo for $5.08

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Blogger H. C. said...

Great round-up of the unique burger joints around L.A. -- and I feel shamed to say my only tribute to this week took place @ a Jack in the Box. (To my defense, they lured me with coupons... and I had a deep-fried twinkie, yes... that's it) ;)

September 22, 2007 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Aubrey said...

Awww don't feel bad. The weather seems to be keeping a lot of people in this week. Considering that all these places are outside no less of course is another variable to consider when combined with the weather. But deep-fried twinkie...I must admit you sir are a brave soul or must cleanse your arteries on a ritual basis haha.

September 22, 2007 at 11:51 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

I love the "Tribute to Burger Stand Week" articles you've been writing. I can't wait to try some of these places out next time I'm back in LA.

September 24, 2007 at 3:19 PM  
Blogger Aubrey said...

Glad to hear. I'm very thankful for the places we've got here in LA. I really don't think enough people take advantage of how good we have it here.

September 24, 2007 at 3:26 PM  
Blogger H. C. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 29, 2007 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger H. C. said...

Went there this past weekend... that place is indeed something special from the "Just for You" burgers to the hyper-cheerful Sonia who seems to know all her regulars! I can see why the folks of WeHo fought so hard to kept Irv's alive!

October 29, 2007 at 11:00 AM  
Blogger Aubrey said...

Told ya ;)

October 29, 2007 at 1:17 PM  

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