The Skinners Take the Cheeseburger Challenge

This burger and fries at Golden State was rated tops by the Skinners.

There’s nothing better than a juicy well-prepared cheeseburger, so long-time resident and Pacific Palisades Optimist Club member Bill Skinner went on a quest to find the best one on the Westside. Here’s his report for Circling the News.

The overall winner was The Golden State in Hollywood. Two local burger options, Palisades Garden Café and Cinque Terre came in second and third, respectively.

Skinner explained that during the Covid-19 shutdown, “in an attempt to keep from going crazy, my beautiful wife and I have been on a quest to find the very best cheeseburger in town. We divided the contest area into Palisades/Santa Monica, West Los Angeles/Brentwood and West Hollywood. We visited close to 20 burger places and had fun doing it.” They had not dined before at the majority of the majority of the places they visited.

He said that every Thursday, during the shut-down, this became a field trip. “We would buy a cheeseburger, fries and a drink… then go to one of the parks in Santa Monica, park on the street under a shade tree, put our windows down, turn on some music and watch the kids in the park.”

Using a “scientific method,” the couple graded each burger place by: flavor, size, bun, fries and drink.

Below are the results of the testings:

“Hollywood has the best cheeseburger joint in all of Los Angeles,” Skinner contends. Specifically,

The Golden State at 426 N. Fairfax (323-782-8331). It receives an A+” in all categories, but don’t expect any ambiance at all, so plan to pre-order and pick up.


Palisades Garden Cafe at 15231 La Cruz Dr.

“A” in all categories, great chocolate A+ milk shake, low cost.

Cinque Terre West at 970 Monument Street (310-454-0709).

“A” for the burger, A- for the fries, there are no milk shakes.

Pearl Dragon at 15229 Sunset Blvd. (310-459-9790).

“B+” for the famous Wing Ding Burger, which kept on the menu at the request of the late Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Arnie Wishnick.

The Draycott at 15255 Palisades Village Lane (310-573-8938).

“B” average, over-priced ($24) and the fries are extra.

Hanks at 1033 Swarthmore (424-363-7166)

“B-” score: small ($19) and just average fries, which are extra ($8).


HiHo Cheesburger at 1320 2nd. St. (310-469-7250).

“A” in all categories, grass-fed beef, hand-cut fries.

Stout Burgers & Beers at 111 Santa Monica Blvd. (310-260-8639)

“B” in food categories but has an A+ root beer float.


 Habit Burger Grill at 3001 Wilshire Blvd. (424-537-5745).

“A” in all categories but a “B” in milk shake.

Apple Pan: Skinner wrote that although the trip was eagerly anticipated, the food did not live up to the memory and was a disappointment.


Burger Lounge at 11740 San Vicente (424-248-3789).

“A” in all categories, great fries, grass-fed beef and a very good chocolate shake.


Shake Shack at 8520 Santa Monica Blvd. (323-488 3010).

“A” in all categories, but the server forgot the napkins.

“We had a ball,” Skinner wrote, noting that he and his wife also tried a couple of chains such as Jack in the Box, which did not make an average grade or deserve a rating.

CTN’s only concern: After a weekly diet like this, can Bill still get into his pants?

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3 Responses to The Skinners Take the Cheeseburger Challenge

  1. Nancy Klopper says:

    The Golden Bull has a great cheeseburger!!!

  2. Deborah Gero says:

    They should try Golden Bull. Excellent burger and fries! IMHO

  3. Mary Rapoport says:

    I would rate Cinque Terre first in the Palisades and Pearl Dragon second so maybe we should have a mail-in survey.

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