Shake Shack, the East Coast's answer to In-N-Out Burger, has finally opened its first California location on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood.
Located just a block west of La Cienega Boulevard, the restaurant, designed by Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, was made to look like an old roadside burger stand. There's a large patio with a Magnolia tree and plenty of seating.
We're not going to talk about how long the line was. Just know it was long. And if you go any time in the near future, it will still be long.
Here are six things you need to know about the West Hollywood Shake Shack, other than that line:
1. Yes, the burgers are just as good as the ones in New York City: For those skeptical of the Los Angeles version of the original, not only do the burgers look the same, but they actually taste the same too. All of the original menu items are here, including the hot dogs, the crinkle cut fries and the ShackBurger (a cheeseburger on a potato bun with lettuce, tomato and Shacksauce, the Shake Shack version of In-N-Out spread).
2. There are exclusive L.A. items on the menu: In addition to signature items, you can order something called a Roadside Double, a double Swiss cheeseburger with Dijon mustard and onions simmered in bacon and beer. And three of the Concretes (frozen custard with mix-ins) are made with ingredients from Los Angeles bakeries and chocolate shops. The Brownie Points is made with vanilla custard, Larder Baking Company salted caramel chocolate brownie, peanut butter sauce and chocolate toffee; and a Rainbow Connection concrete includes vanilla custard, Cofax spiced crumb doughnut, Sqirl Seascape Strawberry & Rose Geranium jam and rainbow sprinkles. And the Shack Attack L.A. edition is a mix of chocolate custard, fudge sauce, Larder Baking Company salted caramel chocolate brownies and Compartes dark chocolate chunks with chocolate sprinkles.
3. There's a charitable component: Five percent of the sales from the Rainbow Connection concrete will be donated to L.A. Pride, an organization that works toward equality and outreach for the LGBT community. Members of the Shake Shack team also will participate as volunteers at L.A. Pride events.
4. The employees have their own chant: Just before opening the doors to the public on Tuesday, all of the employees gathered out front on the patio for a little Shake Shack chant. They put their hands up in the air and wiggled their fingers (think spirit fingers in "Bring It On"), then clapped their hands and screamed "Shack, shack, shack, shack, shack, shack everybody!"
5. Parking situation: There's a dedicated Shake Shack lot with an entrance off Santa Monica Boulevard, just east of the restaurant. Look for a space here before trying your luck with the meters on Santa Monica Boulevard.
6. Booze: One way Shake Shack L.A. already has In-N-Out beat? You can order beer and wine with your burger. The restaurant has a selection of local craft beer from Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Ballast Point Brewing, Angel City Brewing, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co., Lost Coast Brewery and North Coast Brewing Co. The restaurant also has its own wine from Frog's Leap Winery called Shack Red and Shack White.
Another Shake Shack is scheduled to open in Glendale later this year, along with a location in downtown L.A. in 2017. The company currently has locations in 13 states and multiple international locations, including in London; Istanbul, Turkey; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Shake Shack West Hollywood is open from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
8520 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 488-3010, www.shakeshack.com.
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