With so many smashburger spots in LA, it can be hard to figure out which ones aren’t just overhyped fast food. But Heavy Handed is a name you should know—this popular smashburger operation was one of the earliest pop-ups to get in on the thin patty trend, and now has a brick and mortar location in Santa Monica. This walk-up spot with a big front patio is perfect for a quick meal on the buzziest stretch of Main Street. Burgers here are simple and effective: a single, double, or triple smashburger, with cheese, pickles, and house sauce on a fluffy potato roll. The patty is made from ground short rib, so it’s somehow both tender and crunchy. They also make their own bread-and-butter pickles, which provide a crisp, vinegary sweetness, and the American cheese is so molten, it practically fuses with the patty. There’s only a few picnic tables out front, so be prepared to take your burger to go if the place gets busy.
Sign up for our newsletter.
Be the first to get expert restaurant recommendations for every situation right in your inbox.