Cheap burger – yes and no. Great-priced burger! Excellent value burger. Low-cost burger. But the thing is, cheap means shoddy — and this is not shoddy. So, when you search for a great priced burger in Santa Monica, CA, you may not find this recommendation of Shaka Shack Burgers. But I hope you find Shaka Shack!
Freshly prepared, cooked when you order it. Real food. Great price.
For two days this summer, I lived in Santa Monica a bit over a mile half from the sand. The first evening, I met a neighbor who gave me the low-down on the area I was excited to call home for part of July. “And there’s a burger shack down the block he said, motioning toward the main street, Ocean Park Blvd.
The next evening I walked down there and found myself drawn to this beach-shack-looking corner of an otherwise typical LA corner mini strip mall. Shaka Shack Burgers gave the corner a nice feeling, nice personality. I was looking forward to actually trying a hamburger there.
There were about 5 people in front of me. I noticed that each knew exactly what he or she wanted. One man was picking up and paying for a called-in order that was perfectly timed for his departure. Each enjoyed what I felt to be a genuinely friendly exchange with the woman at the counter.
I loved this. The woman didn’t strike me as a waitress or salesperson smiling because the boss requires it. There wasn’t a scripted greeting or set of queries. I sensed she had actual pride in the various types of burgers, fries, etc being offered and true appreciation that her customers were choosing her place.
My turn to order.
“For here, please, if you have a restroom I may use.” She said yes and I was happy to be able to enjoy the full experience of eating there.
The various toppings and veggie burgers sounded good, but I decided to start out with the basic offering:
- The Shaka – 1/3 lb. Angus patty, lettuce, tomato, secret spot sauce — $6.95
- Hand Cut Fries – Plain — $2.95
After ordering, as I walked around the back, past the people eating and chatting at the outdoor tables, I caught a glimpse of the bags of fresh, huge potatoes, some being prepped for fries, and I suspected I was in for a french fry treat. I liked the kitchen and the looks of the two chefs there.
Returning the indoor restaurant area, someone’s order was being stated. I looked over. I don’t recall the actual words but the proprietress very nicely said something like: Not yours. We’re still cooking yours. Again, I was impressed. They really make it fresh! My meal was ready within a good, fair amount of time.
Fabulous freshly made fries
The fries are so perfect. Real potatoes, freshly peeled. 100% natural.
Looking at them, you can see they were just sliced from whole, fresh potatoes.
Perfectly cooked and oh so nice when hot! Not bad when they cooled off, too.
As I don’t drink soda, rather than make it a combo, I had an order of fries. This is a slightly larger serving than what comes with the combo. It was a lot of fries! I’d say two people can easily share an order. Even three!
I came in hungry having eaten only two hard boiled eggs all day, and it was now 8pm. Yet, I couldn’t even finish the fries. Really, I shared them with another first-timer who had only ordered a burger.
The Shaka Burger
Grass fed beef, cooked to order when I ordered and served on a toasted bun.
I don’t know what they put in the Shaka’s secret spot sauce, but it was good! It had a bit of a kick to it. Together with the juiciness of the burger, it was delicious.
More about the place
As I enjoyed my burger and crispy hot fries, I heard a group of four women visiting Santa Monica discussed loving their respective types of burgers. The chef took a break and came forward. It was nice that they were sitting together talking quietly during their down time. Although I was dining alone, I felt a bit at home.
I was definitely looking forward to eating there weekly while living in Santa Monica before that living arrangement fell through. Instead, Shaka Burger is my go-to place for a burger whenever I am in Santa Monica.
I wish I could tell you it’s close to where you get off the Expo Line train to enjoy Santa Monica, but it’s not. It’s about a mile from the train and a bit under 1.5 miles from the sand. Not exactly right at the beach.
So… if you’re driving to Santa Monica, consider stopping here for lunch before heading to the beach. I’m pretty sure it’s better than the more costly places closer to the beaches.
Shaka Shack Burgers details
Monday- 10:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday-Saturday 10:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Not surprisingly, this LA hamburger find has some very nice recommendations online.