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Pier Burger: Bang for your Burger Buck @ the Santa Monica Pier

When my radar first picked up Pier Burger I got seriously stoked. I grew up on griddled, stacked burgers ala Steak n Shake and I still have dreams about finding a shining example of this burger in the Southland. I can't knock In n Out for its value but I am looking for a little more in the beef department.

Pier Burger is as close to a Shake Shack as we have in LA. Frozen custards, concretes and that griddled stacked burger of my Wonder Years. A beef patty dainty enough to double without raising eyebrows, cooked well done but far from dry, ooey gooey american cheese, a subtle green leaf lettuce knows how to make an entrance unlike his dopey cousin, iceberg, and "a sauce" that plays with thousand island but seems to skip the relish or any hint of worcestershire.

The meat is a good quality so the price is more than fair. I went with the Pier Burger (cheeseburger with the house toppings) but you can add the bang for your burger buck by doubling the beef load, and 86ing the cheese, play with adding bacon (for a modest 75 cent upgrade) or live a little and get the Pier double - at $6.50, it is a working man's treat.

Skip the fries, they looked better then they were. Skip the shakes and custards, they aren't were the money. You are here for one reason and one reason only:

The patty seems a bit thick for a stackable burger but as a single the balance of protein, dairy and carb, along with the rest of the toppings is bliss. And that bun is as good as it looks; flaky buttery crust meets a give and chew only freshly made bread can deliver. The review in the LA Weekly sites that Pier Burger is part of King Seafood, a restaurant group that is also behind Water Grill (one of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles) and Ocean Ave Seafood, which would explain why what appears to be a simple burger stand has standout ingredients. Pier Burger has a bun that would make half the burger joints in town green with envy and most of them are charging double. I could easily crush more than one, so my future visit I do see a double down.

The Bottom line: $4.92 for a Pier Burger (cheese and everything else). I'd suggest going double vs adding fries to the meal but with the double no cheese for $5.75, bacon in the wings for .75 cents, and the full monty for $6.50, Pier Burger definitely delivers some bang for your burger buck

Pier Burger
30 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Neighborhood: Santa Monica
(310) 587-2747
http://www.pierburger.com

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