By Charly SHELTON
Where can you go in La Crescenta to get a good burger? Montrose has Montrose Bakery and La Cañada has North Shore Burger. But La Crescenta? Tee’s on the Green has served great burgers and local craft beers for the last four years, but it’s a hidden gem. Nestled along the putting green inside the Verdugo Hills Golf Course, this one-time lackluster snack shack to service golfers has come under new management and changed directions.
What was once a convenient place to simply grab a beer while golfing just because it was there has evolved into a destination for foodies seeking great hand-packed burgers and specialty house-made sauces. Owner and manager Tiffany Casper worked at the former snack shack restaurant after high school in less than appealing conditions, always saying she could run it better. When the restaurant shut down in 2009 and the opportunity came up to put her money where her mouth was, her family encouraged her to go for it. She, along with her staff and amazing chef, have transformed the space into a bar and restaurant where one can spend an entire evening sitting in the tree-covered patio area on the green. Summer evenings are a perfect time for relaxing outside while enjoying a craft beer from Golden Road Brewery and a specialty burger, like the Hot Mama.
Served on a fresh toasted jalapeño cheese bun from a local bakery, this spicy burger is thick and juicy, cooked to perfection and topped with jack cheese, peppers, onions, lettuce, tomato and jalapeño sriracha mayo.
If spicy isn’t your thing, the barbecue bacon cheeseburger is a classic burger with bacon, barbecue sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion and an onion ring. The onion rings are beer battered and remarkable. My dinner companion who doesn’t like onion rings said she liked these. A first!
Add on to that the fresh house-made sauces like their ranch dressing, the aforementioned sriracha mayo and, the piece-de-resistance, a secret sauce that really is secret. Most restaurants that use “secret sauce” have the same formula – relish, mayo, ketchup and mustard … the basic secret sauce from back in the day. Tee’s secret sauce is a family recipe that Tiffany has decided to bring into the restaurant (along with her mother’s famous tuna salad). Containing “at least 15 ingredients,” this recipe is made under secret conditions with only one person allowed in the room while it is being made – she who makes the sauce, one of only three women who know the recipe.
Try as I might, I can’t find the right words to describe it. One bite it tastes like secret sauce, the next it tastes like cocktail sauce, the next its onion – you discover a new aspect to the flavor with every bite. By the end of the fries, you are finding the tiniest nubs left just so you can have more secret sauce without actually drinking it.
Tee’s on the Green is a great little hidden gem – a diamond in the rough (pun intended).
Tee’s on the Green is located at the junction of Tujunga Canyon and La Tuna Canyon at 6433 La Tuna Canyon Road on the border of La Crescenta and Tujunga. They’re open daily.