Classic Table: Irv's Burgers

West Hollywood's iconic burger shack lives on

It seems you can't keep a good burger down.

The Irv's Burgers saga–that of the 63-year-old shack that stands on the side of Route 66 in West Hollywood, which once fed Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison–has been filled with twists and turns.

Despite a historical landmark designation, Irv's original location finally shuttered last year, another victim of rising rent costs.

But that didn't stop owner Sonia Hong and her family, who've been serving up breakfast burritos, pastrami sandwiches and burgers for over a decade. They moved Irv's Burgers five blocks east, into a brightly lit former café.

Owner Sonia Hong (Photo: Sung Hong)

"We're so happy to be serving our customers again," says Hong, "things are a lot less stressful now."

All is right with the world once more. The always-cheery Hong family still greets customers with a wave and quick joke, and Sonia herself still scribbles adorable customized doodles on every paper plate she passes along, with messages like "Just for You" and "Number One Daddy!"

Lest you forget, the Irv's cheeseburger ($4) is a historical landmark in its own right–a perfectly toasted bun, charred beef patty, vulcanized American cheese, and a tidy stack of lettuce, pickles, onions and tomato.

How can something so simple taste so good? Maybe it's a just a little mom-and-pop magic.