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Sirloin Burger, sayonara

December 26, 2007 | 10:04 am

AnotheSirloin1r giant has fallen. The Sirloin Burger, long a jewel in North Hollywood's burger diadem, is locked and its phone is disconnected. It had been in business at  6733 Lankershim Blvd. since the early 1950s.

I first learned about the Sirloin Burger in the late '70s when I was living nearby, about two blocks from the Palomino country-western club. It was right up the street from the Pal, and I soon started taking my lunches there.

It was one of a kind. Its sign showed a cross-eyed-looking chef; inside, the counter clerk kept track of orders by moving tiny tiles around on a sort of checkerboard. The neighborhood had long been grimy and neglected, but people kept on making pilgrimages there for the distinctive burger.

The patty was meaty and charcoaly and (unusual for a California burger) it came without tomato or lettuce. There was nothing else on the bun but a lick of Thousand Island and a lot of caramelized onions. The approved way to eat one involved cutting the sweetness with a dash of hot sauce. In the '70s, the sauce tasted like Tabasco. By the '90s, it tasted like a Mexican sauce such as Tapatio.

The Sirloin Burger also made decent deep-fried chicken, and some people liked its spaghetti (a sign boasted how many times all the spaghetti it had sold would go around the world). I always found the sauce excessively tomatoey, in the Boy-Ar-Dee mode, and the pastrami was dry for my taste. It's the burgers I'll miss.

-- Charles Perry

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