Every year, millions of cows come to Hollywood from the cornfields of Iowa with the dream of making it big as production assistants and weather girls. Today's Groupon make starlets of starry-eyed bovines with $30 worth of upscale burgers, entrees, and more for $15 at Hamburger Hamlet. This Groupon can be used at Hamburger Hamlet's Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, and West Hollywood locations.
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.
The décor of each Hamburger Hamlet differs between locations—the Sherman Oaks and Pasadena Hamlets opt for a warm and open feel in their respective dining spaces, while the Sunset Hamlet's red booths and chandelier lighting are so evocative of old Hollywood that you can practically smell Robert Mitchum's ghost, making it a great place to share memories from that time you went golfing with Guildenstern, Rosencrantz, and Bing Crosby's cat.
Hamburger Hamlet was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and the Los Angeles Times loves the eatery's nostalgic charm. Citysearchers give the West Hollywood location 4.5 stars, more than 65% of Urbanspooners like the Pasadena restaurant, and Yelpers give the Sherman Oaks Hamburger Hamlet three stars:
- Seating is swift, all staff are courteous, smart and funny, and the food is great. We are always seated in the Tap Room, which is open, warm, and full of red leather boots and high backed chairs. The clientele is always interesting- in an old hollywood kind of way. Young, old, hip or not, everyone seems fascinating here. You could suggest this place for a business lunch or a date and everyone is going to love it. – pandyland, Citysearch