LA Restaurant Review: Famous For it’s ‘Shack Attack’ Burgers, This Playa del Rey Dive Joint is Consistently Inconsistent
Want a medium-warm burger on a cold bun?
Then The Shack in Playa del Rey, CA, is your place.
Want a delicious burger, dripping with juices that just begs you to bite into it?
Then The Shack in Playa del Rey is your place.
It is this maddening inconsistency that plagues an otherwise pleasant dive bar/burger joint by the beach on Culver Blvd., in Los Angeles.
I like The Shack. I like going to The Shack. It’s a great bike ride from the South Bay Beach Cities (Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach) and also gets in people coming off the bike path from Marina del Rey, Venice and Santa Monica. The mid-point location is ideal for all in this part of L.A.
It has cheap beers ($3.50 a bottle with weekly specials on pitchers) to go with the burgers. And while it got rid of the delicious crinkly fries a few years ago, the onion rings are a sensational side order.
But I’m almost afraid to go there because I never know what I’m going to get at The Shack. The service could be great, or indifferent. The burger could be great, or it could be disappointing. During my last visit, three of us went for lunch. It was a gorgeous day and we rode our bikes for “Shack Attack” Tuesdays ($2 off all burgers).
In each case the burger was medium warm and the bun was cold. It seemed impossible for the three-person staff behind the counter to be able to put a warm burger on a warm bun. The timing of the assembly process was not the least bit coordinated; the burger was cooked, sat for a while, and then a bun that seemed as if came out of the refrigerator received its slathering of mustard and ketchup, then pickles and onions.
It was confusing and when we tried to get it fixed, it only made things more confusing.
The previous time I had been to The Shack, several months earlier (there’s an obvious reason I don’t go more often), everything was perfect. “That’s why I come here perfect,” in fact.
The time before that, it was next to impossible to get the attention of the at-the-time high school staff (think Fast Times at Ridgemont High), and then both the burger and bun were cold. It was wholly unsatisfying and kept me away for close to a year. And a buddy and I were trying to treat an out-of-town friend to a unique LA eating experience!
I’ll still go to The Shack on occasion, but my visits will be infrequent until it gets more consistent in its service. Then again, I can always stop in for some great-priced Buds!
The Shack is located at 185 Culver Blvd., in Playa del Rey (just south of the turn up to Vista del Mar).