Best of the Beach 2022: Hamburger Restaurant, Hamburger (Fast Food), First Date, Fish and Chips
There are some similarities between our winner for fast food burger and restaurant burger, mainly that both come from places that make almost nothing else. Ercole’s burgers are made with fresh meat from the butcher next door and garnished with lettuce and tomato, same as In-N-Out. One difference is that the Ercole’s burger is thicker and has some smoky char from the grill, and another is that you can get it with wine, beer, and cocktails. We presume In-N-Out doesn’t make cocktails and Ercole’s doesn’t make shakes to avoid confusion between the establishments.
1101 Manhattan Ave
Hamburger fast food
Most business at In-N-Out is to go, but it’s actually fun to dine inside and admire the incredible coordination in their operation. They turn out meal after meal in minutes, something made easier by the fact that they only cook two items, burgers and fries. Their devoted following can be ascribed to the fact that they do that very well, using fresh ingredients. The meat was ground that day and the onion on your burger just sliced rather than sitting in a cooler for a while. They are good, cheap, and fast, and that’s a rare trio to manage all at once.
3801 Inglewood Ave.
719 Pier Ave
FISHBAR, Bottle Inn (Tie)
We have a rare tie in a high voting category, but we understand why because the perfect date restaurant depends on the couple. Is this a fun night out? If so, head for Fishbar’s buzzy, lively dining room and keep it casual. If you’re not sure where the relationship is going, and this could be a friendly evening out, or the beginning of something deeper, FISHBAR could be perfect. If you already know your date enjoys quieter, more serene spaces, head for the Bottle Inn and an evening of fine Italian food and wine. Both spaces are a short distance from the beach, so after dinner the two of you can take a moonlight walk, and let romance bloom.
3801 Highland Ave.
26 22nd St.
665 N Harbor Dr.
Fish and Chips
These fish and chips are for the traditionalists, just as they were invented by the Jews. Yes, it’s now associated with Britain, but that style of cooking was brought there by Jewish refugees from Portugal. The authentic recipe involves lightly seasoned flour batter rather than panko, tempura, or other styles, and that’s what you’ll find at the Shellback Tavern. When plunged into hot oil, that batter creates a crisp shell that instantly seals the fish away from the grease, so you taste fish and not fat. The Shellback has been turning out golden fried fish for so long that we hesitate to guess how many tons have gone through the fryers, and they get it right every time.
116 Manhattan Beach Blvd.
Captain Kidd’s Fish Market & Restaurant
209 N Harbor Dr.