24445 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505
In-N-Out Burger was founded in 1948 not too far from here in Baldwin Park. The restaurant was an early adopter of the drive through window using the speaker box for ordering instead of the carhop service. Still privately owned, In-N-Out now has over 100 locations including this Torrance location. A new location is planned for the corner of Hawthorne and Del Amo where the old Shoe Warehouse was. With any luck, the new location will take some of the crowds away from this location. There are a number of tables inside and it does get a bit crowded in there – a better option is the outdoor seating. if you want to drive through – be prepared for long lines and a traffic mess at lunch. The Torrance Crossroads would be smart to try a different traffic flow as this area of the plaza can be a huge mess at peak times.
CARL: In-N-Out Burger is legendary among burger lovers. Along with 5 Guys Burgers, these fresh made burgers and fries are local favorites and when folks from out of town have the opportunity, they jump at the chance to go. Personally, I enjoy the burgers and fries but I haven’t been obsessed with them. In my experience, these burgers must be enjoyed hot or they somehow loose their magic. Getting an In-N-Out Burger to-go is a risky proposition because if the burger (and fries) get cold, they become very average. I can’t explain it, they just do. So now on to the food. The burgers are made to order with fresh ingredients so you get the burger your way – and it tastes like it. The buns are a tad thin but I really don’t mind as the main feature here is the flavorful meat. The fries are normally quite good but today they were very short stubby bits so I didn’t enjoy them as much as previous trips to In-N-Out. I am a Ketchup fan and I like to dunk the fries so a short French Fry can’t accommodate my need for Ketchup. For those in the know, there are options not on the menu – a (sort of) secret hidden menu where you can order your burgers and fries “Animal Style” or add extra patties to your burger. The secret menu seen here was pulled from the official In-N-Out website so how secret can it really be? If you are so inclined, you can get extra meat, a 3×3, a 4×4, a grilled cheese, Protein Style, or the legendary Animal Style that features an extra spread with grilled onions. Tasty but it must add a zillion calories – worth it as a treat for sure. The restaurant is a mixed bag of more good than bad: the burgers are mega-tasty, the fries good but not great, the restaurant is super crowded, the service fast, the tables clean, and the parking especially bad. Despite the negatives, this is a damn good burger and worth the effort it takes to get it. I give In-N-Out a solid 4 Pigs.
OLIVER: What can I say about In-N-Out, people love it. My first experience with them is when I was in high school in the early 80s, people would take their In-N-Out Burger bumper stickers and cut them out so it would read something a little more racy. You would see those all over, how pleased were they with that unintentional viral marketing? They kept the same theme since then in their restaurants. I really like the 50s diner vibe. They use a red and white theme and there are tasteful art prints of cars in a 50s diner setting along the walls. There is a wholesome and refreshing feel to it that seems to says to you, “this is how we have done it and we are not going to change, just to follow some trend.”
Their food is good, but it is more like McDonald’s than not. I know this is going to strike up a deluge of hate mail. Thing is I do not mean that as a slam, they took the burger stand theme and they make it work, and they make it work great. A word of warning though, the drive through line is obscenely long and inside it is worse, while waiting for a table, and you will definitely be waiting, two different older women snaked away the table I was waiting for in two different cases. “Wow!” This place really brings out the competitive nature in people, I smiled and let them have the table, showing I am a gentleman. When that next table was becoming vacant I was already sitting down before the last tenant was all the way up, no way I was going to let that happen again.
Lunch at In-N-Out is really more of a complete adventure than just lunch, it reminds me a little of lunch at Disneyland. Whether it is waiting in their always long line or fighting inside for a table, you will accept it as part of the total experience, and I’m good with that.
$6.69 for a refillable coke, a double double and some fries. Nothing stellar about the food, but a complete experience for a low price that makes lunch a little better. I will give them 4 pigs for providing me with a good time, good food and we still managed to somehow get out of there fast.