June 14, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Food Review: HiHo Let’s Go Grab a Burger

At HiHo Burger, it’s all about the meat.

By Kerry Slater

The Apple Pan may make one of the best burgers in the world, and with no traffic, it is a quick drive from Century City. Sometimes, however, the wait is long at the Apple Pan, and it is difficult to eat there with a group. In addition, the Apple Pan is not open on Mondays. The point is that you can never have too many quality burger joints in your back pocket and HiHo Burger in Santa Monica is one of these.

From the same owners of Sugarfish, Kazu Nori and Uovo pasta, HiHo burger brings the same back-to-basics approach found in these restaurants to burgers.

The menu is intentionally bare: two types of burgers, fries, iceberg lettuce salad, pies and shakes.  The burger options are the classic cheeseburger or the HiHo cheeseburger with onion jam, lettuce, pickles and mustard. Both burgers are available as 1/3 pound doubles ($6.95) or 1/2 pound triples ($9.25).

I ordered a HiHo cheeseburger, fries and a vanilla shake and the burger took center stage. More specifically, the meat took center stage. HiHo uses 100 percent grass fed and grass finished Wagyu beef imported from New Zealand for their burgers. Seasoned with only salt and pepper, the quality of this beef is apparent with the first bite. Rich, juicy and slightly sweet, this burger is everything a burger is supposed to be and nothing more.

The toppings and condiments, which many times overpower a burger, take a back seat at HiHo burger, serving as a subtle complement to the patties. The combination of the melted American cheese and onion jam is delicious and reminded me of a more subtle version of an Animal Style burger at In-N-Out.

The fries were the weakest link in the meal simply because I think they were ready before my burger was ready and therefore were a bit cool by the time I ate them. That being said, I appreciated the crispness of the fries, deep-fried long enough to create a nice crust with a soft inside. For $4 I think these fries are a bit overpriced but the value of the burger offsets this price tag.

While the burger was the centerpiece of the meal, the milkshake was also top-notch. Like the burger, HiHo sticks to the basics when it comes to milkshakes. Available in either vanilla or chocolate this milkshake actually tastes like milk rather than just sugar as many milkshakes do. The vanilla and sweetness, while still present, serve as a backbone to the creamy milk that gives a milkshake its namesake.

After the meal, I was sufficiently full and my wallet was not overly empty; with a tip, everything cost about $17. Overall, if you have a hankering for a no-frills, high-quality burger on the Westside, HiHo is the place for you. And located a right off the Expo Line, you don’t have to sit in traffic to enjoy it.

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