Shake Shack is rapidly expanding across LA, first with a location in West Hollywood, then the recent Glendale opening, and now with a Hollywood branch due to open this Wednesday, October 12. Today, the newest location opened its doors for the first time for friends and family with plenty of convivial vibes and a sunny patio.
Here’s everything we ordered:
This is a good burger. Minus the soft potato bun, it tastes pretty close to what you’d get at a backyard barbecue. I appreciate the nice crispiness of the actual patty itself and the obvious quality of the meat, but my main takeaway was the size. An equally appropriate name in my opinion would be SnackBurger, which is largely responsible for the gluttony that ensued.
There are those who love soft, chewy bacon, and those who prefer the crispier variety. I’m definitely part of the later, which meant this burger had improvements to be made. Personal preferences aside, I think it would have benefited from a little crunch, as the malleable bacon sort of left this burger feeling rather one note.
Do you love Chick-fil-A’s signature chicken sandwich? Then you’ll probably love this, as the two are nearly identical. The Chick’n Shack does have some advantages though, thanks largely to the antibiotic-free meat that is supremely juicy due to a buttermilk marinade. Enhancing the final product is a very herbaceous mayo and shredded lettuce to add freshness to the meaty concoction.
One of my favorite Shake Shack items has always been this take on a Chicago-style hot dog. Like the Angus beef patties in the burgers and the antibiotic and hormone-free chicken used in the Chick’n Shack, the quality of the meat here is really what sticks out. The Vienna beef hot dog is just as snappy as you would hope, and is nicely dressed with relish, onion, fresh cucumber, pickle, tomato, celery salt, and mustard.
What’s especially cool about the LA Shake Shacks are the concretes (Shake Shack’s ultra-thick frozen custards blended with mix-ins) with local inspiration. The first concrete we tried was the Tinseltown Toffee, a blend of chocolate custard, peanut butter sauce, chocolate toffee, and Compartes dark chocolate chunks. Definitely the most decadent of the bunch.
The aptly named Sunset Grind is spun exclusively at this location with vanilla custard, Stumptown coffee beans, marshmallow sauce, and Cofax spiced crumb donut. While the amount of sugar and full coffee beans in this treat means it needs to be kept far away from children, it is quite a nice thing to order for yourself, especially because five percent of sales from this one is donated to Project Angel Fund, a local community organization that offers freshly cooked meals to those debilitated by critical illnesses.
LA Pie Oh My
Did you ever make ice cream soup as a kid? I certainly did, and this custard, my favorite of the the three, brought me back to my first explorations in the culinary arts. The simplest of the custards, the LA Pie Oh My is a straightforward blend of vanilla custard and a seasonal Rucker’s Pie. This one was apple, and was a clear reminder as to why the pie maven is queen of her craft.
It should be noted that it took my friend and me two ShackBurgers, one SmokeShack, one Chick’n Burger, one Shack-cago Dog, one order of cheese fries, and a sampling of the concretes to get full. These burgers just aren’t as filling as their rivals at In-and-Out, and come at a premium. Even a normal-sized order, say a double ShackBurger, regular fries, and a milkshake, will run you a whopping $16.37.
However, there is no doubt this Shake Shack will fare incredibly well in its new location; located in the Eastown Apartments just one block away from Hollywood and Vine, this will surely become a popular hub for locals and tourists alike. And that certainly is justified, as the quality of ingredients is hard to beat in a fast casual setting.