Sunset Boulevard Smash Burgers Tasty and Highly Recommended

Spice Smashburger is a crispy, juicy patty, with a special sauce with a habanero twist, jalapeños, and pepper jack cheese all pillowed between a sweet Hawaiian roll to calm down the heat.


There are several states where residents tend to complain about the lack of good food. California, however, is not one of them.

From ramen to kebabs to hamburgers, there are plenty of restaurants across the state with storied histories, expansive menus, and experienced chefs. And it’s in Pacific Palisades, California, where a new culinary legacy is being born with Sunset Smashburgers.

Originally a simple food stand with nothing but a grill and ingredients to their name, Palisades High School alumni Dylan Walsh and Noah Zaret have taken their business to the next level with a brand-new food truck.

Walsh and Zaret have been friends for a long time, bonding over their mutual love of food. The two’s favorite restaurant, Howlin’ Rays (another California-based business) was what brought them together, and at some point inspired the two to start selling food.

“Noah and I always enjoyed different kinds of food and driving around,” said Walsh. “I guess we decided to combine the two.”

Sunset Smash started last summer as two tables under a tarp outside of Ralph’s on Sunset Boulevard, where the boys made smashburgers to order.

What’s a smashburger? Put simply, it’s a burger that is made by placing small balls of meat on the grill, then flattening them into ultra-thin patties that are heavily seared on the outside and juicy on the inside.

Their booth was a “smash” hit, giving them the impetus to seek advice on starting a food truck. They found a mentor in Gracias Senor owner and longtime truck runner, Rudy Barrientos.

“Rudy’s welcomed us to operate next to him and gave us a grill to use. He’s like family to us. I can’t imagine anyone better to have on our side,” Zaret said.

The transition from stand to truck was tough. It took the two Palisades residents a year to get a business license and seller’s permit among other things.

After going through more than 100 people looking for a truck, they managed to get one through a contact of Rudy’s.

Rudy actually decorated the truck for the two as a gift, resulting in its current beige color. To help pay off the truck, Zaret was able to receive a business grant from Cornell University, where he is currently a junior studying industrial relation. Walsh is also a junior at George Washington University, studying economics.

Now, enough about their backstory. How’s their food?

I came down to their truck this Friday to check their food out for myself. I may not be the best cook, but I do eat a lot, and I’m confident in my ability to pick out the best option on a menu.

Sunset Smash made this easy for me by having a very tight but diverse selection. It was between the Breakfast Smash and the Truffle, but I went with the Truffle.

Sunset Smash allows you to choose the number of patties on your burger, from  one to three. I went with two, the recommended option, and got fries and a drink for an extra $5. In total, my order came out to $18.50, which is good value for the amount of food I was getting.

For my drink, I chose a Guava Jarritos, the best flavor. After a short wait, I was presented with my meal. I opened it up and was pleasantly surprised by two things: One, the burger is tight. It fits nicely in your hands, is not falling apart, and is not overly greasy or soggy. Two, it was very dense.

There were lots of ingredients on the burger, but it was packed nicely and neatly together. After studying the burger for a bit, I took a bite.

And it was delicious.

The truffle sauce managed to not overpower the burger’s taste, but I still felt like I could taste a good amount of truffle on the burger. It was sufficiently juicy while keeping a chewy consistency.

Satisfied with the burger, I tried the fries. There are simply too many places with great burgers but mediocre fries (Looking at you, In-N-Out). Sunset Smash gets the memo, though. Crispy, but not dry, and with a good amount of salt, I was highly impressed. I finished my food in about 15 minutes, which is pretty quick by my standards.

Since I liked the food so much, I took the time to ask the duo if they planned to make it a full-time gig.

“We’re not sure if it’s going to be a full-time thing or not,” Walsh said. “We’ll see how business does this summer, and whether or not we can make it work. Because we really do want to.”

I’ll be praying that the two can make it work, because I plan on coming back. A lot.

Smashburger receives:

The Smashburger Truck is at 15120 Sunset Boulevard in front of Ralphs grocery store, The hours listed on Instagram are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and is closed on Mondays.

Palisades High School alumni  Dylan Walsh (right) and Noah Zaret are the founders of Sunset Boulevard Smashburgers.

This entry was posted in Community, Restaurants. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Sunset Boulevard Smash Burgers Tasty and Highly Recommended

  1. Marjorie Walker says:

    From a grandmother’s point of view it’s a smashing success

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *