Hoppdoddy, El Segundo, a little long


#1

Hopdoddy, curious name curiously great cheeseburgers:

The Point is another novel addition to the El Segundo “gentrification” from small-town bedroom community (sandwiched between LAX and the rest of the affluent, beachy South Bay) and an urban, corporate epicenter catering to Silicon Valley-esque companies and its younger proponents who work there. The mall itself is of the anti-mall ilk complete with grassy areas to lay out on your beach towel while staring up at another in the countless iterations of Mendocino Farms instead of well you know tranquil waves and a bountiful sky. (Mendocino joins a coterie of primarily restaurants/eateries from North Italia to ShopHouse to another Peet’s Coffee and a third in the collection of Superbas, or is it a fourth ?).

Hopdoddy is also part and parcel of a chain, but by way of Texas, beef country central. It’s full name: Hopdoddy Burger Bar. A burger bar usually conjures images of cruddy burgers too cute by half, twee fries, and saccharinely sweet milkshakes.

However, if you’re already there you might as well give it a chance since it’s not a local chain. A Texas import might just be interesting.

You order the classic burger since the menu touts its beef as being black angus beef that’s house ground daily. A classic comprises lettuce, tomato, Tillamook cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, and avocado on buttered egg bun.

The burger that arrives is quite diminutive, verging on the dainty, reminiscent of a baby burger from Fatburger. But then slice the burger in half which begins to drip juice with sheer abandon. You bite into the burger and the beefy goodness just can’t cease to build up. For lack of a better word, this is one tasty, tasty burger. The cheddar cheese adds an extra layer of richness and saltiness to round out the beefy intensity. The avocado cuts the richness does to manageable style even though avocados usually are quite rich on their own. And the caramelized onions just hint at a decided sweetness in a contrapuntal interplay with the savory burger and is cooked a point (though how ironic considered the eponymous The Point as the moniker of this post-post-post modern mall for a decidedly pre-dystopian society).

You take another bite. You are happy. Content. Cordial. A fleeting moment, in a pastoral reverie, were all might just be right with the world.

There is a circular bar where myriad of local, craft beers are served on tap in schooners (yes, ice cold, frosty mouthed schooners), which is ultimately my favorite way to quaff a beer, or five. You might just be delirious by now.

And this is thanks to a Texas chain of a fucking “burger bar”.


#2

I’ve been meaning to check them out. Thanks for the review!


#3

I noticed they also opened another location in Playa Del Rey. Same center as the Whole Foods and Landmark theatre.


#4

fwiw,
went there with a group of 6, one of which didn’t eat beef (me).

we all waited on line to get an assigned table.
we all waited on line to place our orders.
after all this waiting, come to find out that they were out of veggie burgers.
there was really nothing for the one non-beef person to eat.
our entire party, decamped and a good portion of everyone’s lunch hour was wasted.

so, if you have someone in your group who doesn’t eat meat, i’d suggest trying this place at dinnertime when you will have more time to regroup if the one veggie item is not available.


#5

Hi kevin,

Great review! :raising_hand:

Eloquent and informative. We need more of your reviews like this, LOL. :wink:

So how did you like this burger compared to Morton’s or Belcampo?

And did you try Golden State’s Burger yet? :smile:

Thanks.


#7

Yeah, it’s a chain. It’s a fancier Smashburger. :/// I keep waiting for the sign of the 800 Degrees to come in!! It’s still listed on their site.

–Dommy!


#8

I had a darn good spinach salad last weekend at the Playa Vista location and it was packed with a line out the door. I found the burger ok but on the small side. Had the lamb burger but nothing still comes close to the one at The Golden State.


#9

For me, if were in the El Segundo area, I would take the 105 and go down to Eureka Burger instead. Much better everything.

–Dommy!


#10

Dommy, you hit up Hopdoddy a few times ??? Hmmm, I might have to try Eureka Burger.

But I have to say I really did enjoy that burger.

Or maybe the goodness of that burger didn’t quite match the surroundings.


#11

Yeah, its probably a horrible place for the vegetarian minded.


#12

Yep, i’m not sure if they opened the other joint in Playa Vista just yet ??? I’m presuming its there with the new luxury movie theater and other sundry fucking joints ???


#13

I’m excited to try it. Went to what is I think the original location in Austin last year and I really enjoyed the burger. Size is just right for me, big enough but I’m not left uncomfortably full. That lunch was also my introduction to green chile queso fries, which I’m looking forward to sampling again.


#14

Playa Vista location is open…


#15

I tried the ahi tuna burger a while back. The tuna was nicely rare, and the nori chips provided a great, salty textural contrast, but the teriyaki sauce and wasabi were a bit much. I’m sure it would be much improved if the sauces were dialed down. In my experience fusion dishes tend to go overboard on the sweet and spicy.


#16

I’ve only been to the Austin location, but thought they were good and nice beer selection. Much more of a “real” burger flavor than Umami Burger and much broader beer selection than Super Duper. I’d welcome a branch in SF, despite the belief by some that the burger/beer scene is saturated.