By Charly SHELTON
Burger places are a dime a dozen. From fast food to greasy hole-in-the-wall burger joints to high-end, fancy restaurants that serve burgers, you can have a hamburger just about anywhere. But to find a really good hamburger is difficult. Each person may know, maybe, three or four places where they can get a really good hamburger and they swear by those locations. When friends come in from out of town, you take them to one of these places because “You’ve got to try this burger. It’s the best in L.A.” And while The Stand in Northridge may not be the absolute best burger in L.A., it definitely ranks among the top.
With locations in Encino, Century City, Woodland Hills and the aforementioned Northridge, The Stand serves up burgers and dogs with a decidedly L.A. feel. The open, bright interior of the restaurant is perfect for sitting around with friends and enjoying a nice lunch in natural light without having to be outside and hot. The shuffleboard next to the window entertains guests while they wait for their food and the craft beer, wine, milkshakes and frozen custard keep them there long after the burger is gone.
I was invited a few weeks ago to sample what The Stand has to offer and I really enjoyed it. They gave me several different dishes from their menu and they were all pretty good. Nothing absolutely blew me out of the water but I definitely enjoyed their cheeseburger and their frozen custard. It’s a very well made burger patty, and that’s what’s at the heart of every good burger. I think it really comes down to which toppings you choose. I chose the cheeseburger, which is just cheese on a burger and that’s it. But some of the other burgers have more exotic toppings, like the El Capitan – a burger topped with braised short rib, pickled peppers and onions, fresh guacamole and chimichurri sauce. My dining companion Sabrina ordered that one and it was impressive. There was a little too much going on for me with too many different flavors to really enjoy the burger as it is on its own, but she thoroughly enjoyed it.
I am a burger purist, though, and I don’t really like that kind of overloaded burger. Give me a good, solid bacon cheeseburger any day and I’ll be happy. And that’s what The Stand can offer; I just neglected to choose the right toppings.
The location I went to in Northridge is out of the way. I’m only out there maybe three or four times a year, and there are other places much closer to home if I get a hankering for a burger, so I don’t know that I would necessarily drive 30 minutes for The Stand. But I am in Century City and Woodland Hills more often. The Stand has a good, solid burger and offers enough different kinds of toppings to please any diner, so I will add this to the rotation of cool restaurants to take people when they come in from out of town.
I hope to visit one of the closer locations soon, hungry for more.