If you find yourself to be among those individuals who have never wandered into a beach adjacent liquor store and ordered a mind bogglingly delicious Korean-fusion western bacon cheeseburger that you were made to eat in the parking lot (don’t be shy, I was among you until very recently), you do not have to remain in this group any longer, should you desire to make the change. All you have to do is head to Redondo Beach, to The Standing Room; perhaps the most aptly named restaurant of all time.
Korean Fusion food is my jam. If you happen to not remember my espousing my very real man-crush on Kogi Godfather Roy Choi, allow me to share with you the fact that my next culinary goal is to build my own menu of Korean inspired Soul Food dishes, just to have in my catalog when entertaining guests at home. Korean BBQ is my favorite restaurant genre of all time. So when I showed up at The Standing Room without knowing that Korean flavors in the contexts of burgers and sandwiches was their shtick, you can imagine my stokedness upon this discovery. Unfortunately I went alone, so I did not get a chance to taste more than one burger (they all have 8oz patties, I just couldn’t do two), but the one I got made me totally sure that I will return.
As The Standing Room, like many others, does not have a signature burger, I just asked what their top sellers are and chose what sounded the most interesting. The “Cash” according to the menu comes dressed in: bacon, hoisin BBQ, shishito peppers, crispy pepper onion, and cheddar- and is their version of the bacon western cheeseburger. Now I didn’t grab a to-go menu, and my phone ate my notes, but I swear mine also had American cheese and “Korean aioli” which looked and tasted like Siracha mayo but it wasn’t spicy at all somehow. Rich and messy, in 2 words, but boy was it great. The patty was pretty well seasoned but that got a little lost under the salt of the bacon and that gigantic magical onion ring. I would bet good money that the batter they make those onion rings out of starts with chili cheese Fritos in a food processor. If not, that is EXACTLY what they taste like, and in the best possible way. The bacon was chunks rather than strips, held in place by lots of melted cheddar and American. The shishitos were hardly cooked at all and maintained a freshness and texture that really stood out. Non-spicy Siracha aioli can go on everything I ever eat as soon as someone besides these guys figures out how to make it, and that sweet hoisin BBQ sauce very well may be my new favorite condiment. Pretty much the only catch is- it’s a liquor store, and you eat in the parking lot- so there is nowhere to wash those sticky fingers once you’re all done.
Redondo Beach is virtually uncharted territory to me other than my most recent burger adventure, which would have never happened had I not stumbled across a gorgeous photo of the Standing Room’s wares while perusing for burger porn on Instagram. (Follow us if you don’t, by the way). I wouldn’t make much of an ambassador to the area, but I can say with much confidence, if you need to grab a bottle of liquor and lunch, there is only one place you should be considering.