Bob’s Big Boy
24021 Hawthorne Blvd
Torrance, CA 90510
According to the Bob’s Big Boy website, in 1936, Bob Wian sold his prized DeSoto Roadster to purchase a small hamburger stand in Glendale, California. Bob eventually added a double burger – billed as the first double burger ever. The iconic character our front is modeled after a young man that enjoyed his burgers and helped sweep up the restaurant. The Torrance Bob’s Big Boy is a typical American diner style restaurant with a small waiting area up front, booths throughout the restaurant and a distinct 1950′s vibe. This location is near the North/West corner of Pacific Coast Hwy and Hawthorne Blvd. There is plenty of parking out back on most days.
CARL:Today is the last work day before Christmas and, as expected, restaurants across the South Bay are filled with good bosses and their employees celebrating one last time before the holidays. Oliver and I decided to stay away from the malls and the most congested areas and Bob’s seemed like a good choice. Don’t go to Bob’s Big Boy for a gourmet meal. Now that we have that out of the way, Bobs is a nice, simple place to grab a burger. So I ordered a burger. Not that there aren’t other options – there are quite a few – but it is really hard to imagine Bob’s getting anything too complicated right. To be fair, I should really try something more adventurous but why risk it? I ordered the “Super Big Boy Combination” ($8.99) which comes with a double burger and fries. The burger looks good but somehow resembled a Big Mac – albeit a little bigger. The burger was served warm and tasted about as expected with the usual trimmings. The fries were of the thin variety and tasty. The prices were a bit too high for this sort of restaurant in my opinion. $8.99 for a burger and $2.59 for a Diet Pepsi seems a tad excessive. I’d put the burger value at closer to $7 and a soda really should be closer to $2. My note to Bob’s: Add some burger lunch specials…duh! Despite that, we were seated promptly, our waitress was very friendly and it was an overall an OK experience. 3.5 Pigs.
OLIVER: I have to admit, I like Bob’s. It is not the food, it is the character of the place. It has that formulaic feel like McDonald’s in terms of how uniform everything is, but it is many levels better. How can someone compare Bob’s to McDonald’s you might say? It is really not that much of a stretch. McDonald’s is hardly a low price meal these days. A single filet o’ fish will set you back $3.59, WHAT?!?!? And it is not a pretty picture, unless you like perfectly molded and shellacked food. Bob’s in comparison has the diner theme down, including retro drag racing Tee’s for sale up front. The price might seem a little high, but for a full restaurant experience they squeak by on value. The food is not bad, there is a nice assortment of American Diner fare, including some salads and dinner choices.
I ordered the Patty Melt. It is an old standard and since I love mustard, works great for me. I came in there wanting to like it, and I did. Though the servings feel small and make me feel like I am eating miniature food on the set “Village of the Giants,” I still enjoyed it. It tasted a bit processed and overly repeated. Homer Simpson saying “Rinse and repeat,” over and over comes to mind. I guess if not for the giant Bob’s statue out front and their drag racing memorabilia, I might not like it too much. I really just don’t feel like I get enough food to satisfy me. Don’t come for the food, come for the vibe, and get a shake if you come, it is one of their specialties and comes with the metal mixing cup on it. I give them 3.5 pigs