Monday, April 27, 2009


When you ask around or search online for the "best burger in San Diego," it is inevitable that you come across the name Hodad's followed by crowds of fanboys (and fangirls). Our local publications have also ladled oodles of praise and positive reviews upon Hodad's. For example: Union Tribune's Sign On San Diego(lol). Monkeys are curious, so naturally I had to see what all the fuss was about.

Friggin' long ass line wrapped around the block at 1:30pm. An even longer line formed at 2:40pm. Must mean Hodad's grills and assembles some spankin' good burgers right? (I think you know where I'm going with this.)

This is cool. An order of half onion rings and half tater wedges. I wish more burger restaurants would follow this example so I don't have to order two separate full-order items. Not beer battered rings, but still above average. Nothing spectacular. Fried pretty well. Good timing for a perfect crisp exterior. Same can be said of the potato wedges. Both taste good & textures are spot-on. But, there is nothing that distinguishes these fried goodies from other fast-food joints'. The wedges could have came fresh from the Vons deli and I wouldn't have been able to tell the difference. That's not to say Vons doesn't make tasty wedges, of course.

Double bacon cheese burger. Bad and expensive choice. But, I must give credit where it is due. Hodad's bacon-burger comes with lots of bacon. They even slap on a nice hearty slice (not the usual packaged strips) of real bacon. Now the bad: too much bacon. My palate was overwhelmed by the taste of bacon and salt. Mostly salt. Couldn't really taste anything else. In a single burger, you will find several thick strips of bacon in addition to the generous slice I previously mentioned. Hodad's does not understand the meaning of "balance", much less "restraint". This is quite evident in the sheer amount of condiments piled onto the burgers. One would be wise to remove 60-75% of the veggies, spread, and pickles if he wishes to be able to bite into a burger. Patties are underwhelming and greasy like fast food chain patties, although they do taste meatier and richer.

Yes, I only bought and reviewed one burger, but you can still get a gist of what to expect at Hodad's: Not much. Erm...well, okay. You can expect much volume, but in the "yum" department, nothing's really going on.

Seated at the bar next to the cashiers who would frequently ask patrons how they liked their meal, I was able to overhear many glowing reviews. Unbelievable. I suspect that many people are reeled in and won over by the illusion of value (remember The Cheesecake Factory?). Shame.

After I paid for my meal, the casheir asked "So how did you like it?" I shrugged and gave an answer that summed up the Hodad's experience: "Meh."

By no means do I pretend to be an expert when it comes to food and the culinary arts, but I have eaten around. Hodad's simply isn't worth the time and money. But, if you MUST go, don't come back crying 'cuz I'll just giggle like a little Japanese schoolgirl and say "I tolja so!" ^__^

Like my review of The Cheesecake Factory and Sushi Deli 2, I am prepared for the incoming hate messages and hate mail(with lots of cussing) from the ignorati. Sooo I'll start it: Bring it. Give me all ya got, suckers! Don't be shy. Don't hold back. Online anonymity is awesome!

Best burger my ass.

5010 Newport Ave.
Ocean Beach, CA 92107


Charlie Fu said...

another example of the disease of the acceptance of mediocrity

An average place blown out of proportion once again.

See.. Urban Solace, El Indio, Sushi Deli. Average food hidden behind *cough* Value.

Kasha said...

I don't see any evidence of dieting here! No worries, I am off to get some onion rings myself. Good idea! ....not at Hodad's though.

joanh said...

mmm. half onion rings, half tater wedges..

yeah.. i always worry about posting against the grain reviews, but sometimes places go downhill or have off days or just aren't that good, right?

Roger said...

Damn, Charlie! I thought I was a bit mean in this post but when you speak the truth like that it's even more scathing XD

Teehee! I limit myself to one treat per week, Kasha. Hodad's should count double since it was such a gut-bomb but oh well!

Joan, you're absolutely right.

Bill said...

Over rated...In n Out would have workd ;-) but nooooo bacons.

Indirect Heat said...

Where is there a better burger in San Diego? We're new to the area, and haven't found much better... (I just don't understand the California fascination with In 'N Out). Hodad's is decent, but I certainly wouldn't stand in line for their burger (it's not exceptional, but I'd certainly give it a solid B+).

What's your favourite SD burger?

Roger said...

Welcome to San Diego!

Bqq Dude, of the places I've tried (some not posted in my blog), I think Neighborhood is the champ. Their impressive beer selection is just icing on the cake. Drop by when you happen to be downtown (Gaslamp). You will love it.

The Butter Burger and Ultimate Burger from Crest Cafe in Hillcrest are also impressive burgers.

I've also heard good things about Nessy Burger, but it'll be quite a drive depending on your location.

Sarah Jane said...

I like the way you write! You're honest and entertaining. Great photos, too.

Eating The Road said...

I should have gotten the onion rings@

面具 said...