Excellent | Worth a Detour
Review by: Michael Stern
Roadfood is about one-of-a-kind restaurants, and in that respect, In-N-Out is all wrong. But many is the time when hunger finds no unique eating experience, but an In-N-Out is near. While they are not Roadfood by any reasonable definition, these restaurants have often been a life saver. Such was the case when when our friends wanted to eat at Pink’s in Los Angeles, but the line was an hour long. So they went to In-N-Out in Hollywood, ate immediately, and walked away happy and well-fed.
While it’s speedy, In-N-Out service is not instantaneous, because in this fast-food kitchen, they actually cook everything they serve (not defrost or reheat it), and that takes a while. But unlike Pink’s, where you select from among several dozen varieties of frankfurter that range from a pastrami dog to a vegan weenie, the choice at In-N-Out is simple. You get a single or a double, with or without cheese, fries or no fries. Other than excellent milk shakes and soda, there is nothing else on the formal menu*. In that sense, this burger joint recalls the way McDonald’s was when the McDonald Brothers invented the idea, and the way it was when Ray Kroc began to franchise it … six years after In-N-Out opened in 1948.
We like a double with everything, including a circle of raw onion. That’s two patties with lettuce, tomato, and 100 Island dressing. While the burgers themselves are normal-size, this is one big, messy package of food. It is presented half-wrapped in wax paper that helps keep it together as you eat.
The In-N-Out we visited is on Sunset Boulevard across from old Hollywood High. While it specializes in drive-through service, there are plenty of seats for walk-in traffic, both inside and out. Once a Southern California thing, In-N-Out drive-ins are now located throughout much of the West and Southwest.
*Note: while the formal menu is simplicity itself, In-N-Out devotees know that there also is a “Not So Secret Menu,” highlights of which include:
2-by-4: two beef patties, four slices of cheese
4-by-4: four beef patties, four slices of cheese
Animal style: mustard-coated burger topped with grilled onions, pickles and cheese spread
Mustard grilled: Animal style (mustard coating) but without the pickles and cheese spread
Protein: Substitute lettuce for a bun
Wish burger: just vegetables. No meat and no cheese
Flying Dutchman: two patties sandwiching two cheese slices, hold the bun
Extra toast: crisper bun
Root beer float: half root beer, half vanilla milk shake
Lemon-Up: half and half lemonade and 7-Up
Neapolitan shake: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry milk shakes swirled together
Directions & Hours
- Monday: 10:30 AM – 1:00 AM
- Tuesday: 10:30 AM – 1:00 AM
- Wednesday: 10:30 AM – 1:00 AM
- Thursday: 10:30 AM – 1:00 AM
- Friday: 10:30 AM – 1:30 AM
- Saturday: 10:30 AM – 1:30 AM
- Sunday: 10:30 AM – 1:00 AM
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner, Late Night|
|Credit Cards Accepted||No|