For every foie gras-filled, no-ketchup-allowed burger in this town, there are about 20 perfectly good straightforward ones. And we’re very grateful for that. When we’re looking for one of the best versions in Los Angeles, we almost always end up at HiHo in Santa Monica, where the simple burgers look just like the emoji.
For many years, HiHo was a burger stand in Ojai with a constant line of locals and people who had escaped from their yoga retreat. But in 2017, this burger spot did the reverse of your friend Sierra, and left Ojai for downtown Santa Monica. If you’re already thinking, “I’ve been avoiding the Promenade for the past seven years, why would I go there just for a burger?” just know that a HiHo burger is worth braving the horror of finding a parking spot on a Saturday.
The HiHo cheeseburger involves nothing more than bun, lettuce, onion, pickles, meat, and cheese. It’s the quality of each of these ingredients that makes the difference here. The meat isn’t just meat, it’s double (or triple) mustard-grilled wagyu patties. The fries are fantastic, and you can sub in a gluten-free vegan patty if you’re in that kind of mood. Possibly best of all is that you can get a burger, those fries, and a slice of extremely good key lime pie at HiHo all for less than $15. So you’ll have enough money left to buy Sierra a bus ticket back from Ojai.
There are two burgers here, but you don’t need to go past the mustard-grilled original. It’s the right amounts of greasy, messy, and, “Oh, that wasn’t too greasy or messy, I could maybe get another one right now.”
They’re fries. Good, crunchy, thick cut fries. You’re ordering them.
With only eight things on the menu, you’d expect everything to be pretty solid. The pie, though, is anything but solid - it’s fantastic. You absolutely need to get it.