We dined (or tried to) at the new 24-hour Hamburger Hamlet at 10 pm on a Saturday night.
Summary: an interesting 24-hour concept with a broad menu in an attractive setting is sabotaged by poor service. Management: service should be fixed to realize an excellent idea.
Experience: we arrived around 10 pm on a Saturday night in mid-January 2013. Very few tables were occupied. Despite a number of busboys in evidence, no one was available to seat us. After 10+ minutes, during which we deliberated leaving, we flagged down a bus boy and reported that we wanted to be seated. Several more minutes passed while a host or manager was located, and we were seated without urgency.
The same lack of service persisted throughout our dinner. The wait staff vanished for 15+ minutes after we asked for a minute or two more to decide on our order. Requested ketchup was not brought until we had asked a second time. Our burgers were almost fully consumed by the time the ketchup arrived. We noticed another party wandering around waiting to be seated, and we decided against dessert, fearing that it would not be brought.
This is a shame, because the new 24 hour Hamburger Hamlet, now combined with a venerable, Los Angeles-based diner chain, is a great concept. The setting is comfortable. The menu includes eggs, pancakes, burgers, chicken, barbeque and steak. The pies displayed in a case at the entrance look delicious, and the full menu appears to be available 24-7.
While we found the meat in our burgers a little under seasoned, the burgers were thick, juicy, of good quality and cooked perfectly. (That is of course correctable with tableside pepper, salt and-- if brought by the wait staff-- ketchup.) Burger toppings were excellent. Salads and side orders (fries and cole slaw) were very good. Mixed drinks were well-made.
If the service problems are fixed, this 24-7 concept could be a winner. We hope management will attend to this. A bit more flavor/seasoning in the otherwise excellent quality hamburger would also be welcome.
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