Somewhere between fine dining and fast food lies this upscale burger chain..
The first Hamlet opened on the Sunset Strip in 1950. After gaining success within the Hollywood community, the thriving burger joint opened franchises across the Southland. In recent years, the chain's popularity has ebbed, but thanks to friendly service and an old-school atmosphere, the remaining spots see a steady flow of families and locals.
The chain updates its traditional Americana menu with Cajun and Mexican trimmings, but the hearty ground-beef delights are the Hamlet's mainstay. The Just Plain and Delicious burger is exactly what the name implies--six ounces of juicy beef garnished with lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion. Other burger concoctions come with decadent toppings--ham, bacon, sour cream--but why clutter charbroiled perfection with anything more than a slice of cheese? Beyond burgers, there's creamy lobster bisque soup, loaded Cobb salads, and roasted chicken. Desserts lean toward the basics--chocolate cake, ice cream--and easily serve two or more.
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