The Standing Room, although not really a “restaurant,” is my fav spot in the South Bay! I’m big on gourmet burgers and these are just awesome.
Ambiance. It’s a Korean father and son owned operation located inside a Korean-owned liquor store off of Catalina (along the coast!). Liquor store on the beach may not sound all that classy, and it’s not, but trust this place is very safe and nice. Their parking lot is tiny, but we generally have no problems finding residential parking nearby. You’re really just doing pick-up anyway (standing room = no seating). I do like that they have an “open kitchen” though; just seems fresher, cleaner, and more personal.
Service. When I was there, there were only 2 people in line and 3 workers in back. The service was perfectly adequate, but rushed. You come here ready, without too many questions. The wait for our food was pretty long, given the small number of people standing around, but I soon realized why. It seems like most of the regulars call in their orders ahead of time (menu here), and then just come to pick it up. My BF has been doing this and it’s improved his experience a lot. Anyhoo, once you order, you’re given a ticket. You take that ticket to the liquor store’s cashier and pay for your order there (CC’s accepted, thank god).
Order recommendations. You can’t go wrong with any of their burgers because their meat is so succulent and amazing! Most of their burgers are $7-8. Their unique house-made sauces are also heavenly; here’s a list: Bleu Rosemary, Cilantro Parm, Garlic Pepper, Habenero Cream, Hoisin BBQ, Gochu Q, and Korean Aioli. They’re used to dress the burgers and sammies, but can also be bought on the side as a dipping sauce for $0.50 per ramekin. Last but not least, their parmesan truffle fries are probably the best fries I’ve ever eaten! One order ($4) feeds 2-3 people. On Tuesdays, you can get a personal-sized order of parm truffle fries for only $1.50. Onto some pictures:
Dressed Burger. ½ Pound Pattie, Bacon, Caramelized Onion, Spring Mix, Bleu, Smoked Gouda, Fried Egg, Tomato Jam, & Korean Aioli.
Parmesan Truffle Fries (heaven…no dipping sauce required, but if you want one, the cilantro parmesan dipping sauce was nice)
If you’re not taking your food home with you, we found this sweet park/picnic area with its own parking lot just a few blocks down Catalina. This was taken in January 2012; California weather is just obscene…