Hamburger Hamlet has its roots in the original Hamburger Hamlet, an upscale burger joint opened in 1950 by actor Harry Lewis and his wife, Marilyn. Much like the studio system and rampant anti-Communist paranoia of that time, however, that Hamburger Hamlet is no more. In its place is a chain of restaurants that have retained the original's commitment to quality food, A-list service, and morose Act III soliloquies. The new Hamburger Hamlet's menu, overseen by executive chef Tony Zidar, updates much of the original Ham Ham fare while expanding upon the available eats. Still on the roster are burgers with beef, turkey, or veggie patties, such as the all-American classic cheeseburger ($9.95–$10.95) or the avocado-topped Marilyn Burger ($10.50–$10.95), all served with regular, mesquite, or garlic fries. On the new menu, however, are entrees such as a pan-roasted chicken served with spinach and garlic-parmesan fries ($16.95–$17.95), a barbecue meatloaf sandwich with garlic mashed potatoes on its arm ($10.95–$11.95), and a California market salad loaded with nuts, vegetables, chicken, cranberries, and goat cheese ($13.50–$13.95). Chocolateers and fudgeistadors will hit pay dirt with Hamburger Hamlet's ultimate hot-fudge cake ($8.95–$9.95), just one of the several rich desserts offered.
At Handy J Car Wash, newly gleaming rides slip back out into traffic. Their windows take on the cold shimmer of a mountain lake, and bodies undergo a beautiful transformation like a butterfly becoming a proper gentleman. The technicians watch the cars leave, returning tire dressing, yellow carnauba wax, and Scotchguard to their storage places.
Using Autologic computer diagnostics, Sherman Oaks Exclusive’s factory-trained technicians can spot any number of automotive issues—whether an engine needs to be replaced or just requires a quick oil change. In addition to improving performance, the staff can spruce up a car’s cosmetic side with upholstery replacements, car wraps, flashy new tires and wheels, or racing stripes made of lipstick. Sherman Oaks Exclusive also showcases rows upon rows of domestic and imported rides that feature low mileage and glossy finishes.
The technicians at Go Green Auto Spa cleanse sullied chariots and conserve H2O by using less than a quarter-gallon of water on each vehicle they service. With help from an eccentric car-wash inventor, Go Green developed rechargeable machines that add eco-friendly soaps and waxes to water and reduce excessive runoff. The auto spa’s four detail packages all couple hand washes with an interior vacuum, and augment services with an array of add-ons including upholstery shampoos and hand-rubbed wax that defends against weather and delusional cattle branders.
At Fashion Square Car Wash, winner of the Los Angeles Daily News Best Car Wash from 2010-2013, staff members dedicate themselves to more than just beautifying vehicles inside and out. With every wash, they make a small donation to the customer’s choice of charity, such as The American Cancer Society or City of Hope. As customers avoid the heat in the wash’s shaded waiting area or liquid-nitrogen-chilled gift shop, the technicians set about scrubbing exteriors until they gleam and vacuuming interiors until they’re spotless. Premium washes also include such first-class extras as Blue Coral polishes, Rain-X window treatments, and Black Magic tire dressings. Oil changes incorporate a 22-point inspection.