After a long day at the beach, there’s nothing more satisfying than an indulgent burger and fries. Except perhaps, being able to pick up a six-pack at the same stop as your soon-to-be delicious meal. The Standing Room provides all of these things, taking orders and grilling juicy burgers in the back corner of a local liquor store in Redondo Beach. True to its name, The Standing Room is take-out only—unless you’re cool with eating your burger while standing in an aisle of the liquor store. But with burgers artfully named “Cash,” “Dressed,” and even “Napoleon,” it’s pretty clear that these are no ordinary fast-food burgers.
Luckily there are plenty of picnic tables in the parking lot. Also, if you’re waiting outside, you get to pick up your order from the mouth of a dapper white whale.
Once you dig into one of these creations, you’ll marvel at how such elevated food came from inside a liquor store. Then you’ll wonder if you’ve ever had as good a burger at a sit-down restaurant. And then your dining companion will tell you to stop thinking so much and to enjoy the meal.
The Dressed burger is easily my favorite. Initially savory—topped with bacon, smoked gouda, arugula/spring mix, and a fried egg, the Dressed burger actually ends on a sweeter note thanks to the caramelized onions, tomato jam, and Korean aioli. It’s a mouthful and a handful, so the chefs will cut your burger in half for you (not that it really helps).
The Hapa burger was my boyfriend’s choice when we went to The Standing Room this time around. This one sports the same fried egg/spring mix/Korean aioli topping combination, but is definitely on the zestier side. Topped with “gouchu q” (a sweet-spicy Korean sauce made with soy bean paste, red pepper sauce, garlic, and onions) and a sesame leaf tossed in a spicy vinaigrette, the Hapa burger is representative of an Asian flavor influence running subtly throughout the entire menu.
And of course, a side of fries completes any burger, and The Standing Room provides options for regular, sweet potato, and truffle parmesan fries. I love how crispy and light their fries are, and the portions are generous enough to share between two or three people. The truffle parmesan fries, like their burgers, are topped generously with its namesake, highlighting the quality of the main product.
-Elaine Tamargo & Hudson Leung, Guest Contributors
Elaine & Hudson are two LA-based food lovers who spend their weekends visiting new breweries and walking Elaine’s adorable shih-poo, Chelsea.