Is It Any Good?

Great Burgers made by some pretty nice people in Reseda.

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You’re not going to see a lot of stars at Bill’s Burgers (Facebook only, no website). Nor are you going the wannabe youngin’s who want to be stars at Bill’s Burgers. Truth be told they probably should be eating here, given that it fits more along their budget constraints.

It’s a burger stand, the same size as Yuca’s in Atwater Village, built in the days before Food Trucks. It’s old school…the old school of the old school as it were. It’s got a Cash Register the same age as my Grandfather, and maybe like…six stools.

But man, do they make a mean burger.

Bill’s Burgers also showed me something else, besides the burger.

So I get there, and I see a stool open. There aren’t many, so I asked if it was taken. It was. So I hang back for all of five seconds, when one of the other patrons offers me his. He’s getting his to go anyway. Anyway, I was amazed. It was real nice of him.

As I said, Bill’s Burgers doesn’t seem to have a website, so my first contact with their menu comes as I’m sitting there. So I wing it. Double Cheeseburger, Fries–

I don’t have fries, Hon. I have Chips.

Okay. Chips it is. And a Lemonade.

After that, the cooking process begins. You can see Bill back there, along with Hiroki working the grill together. Each Hamburger made then and there, after you order.

Old School.

As I’m waiting there, a young Blonde Lady walks up to the counter, and calls the attention of the Woman handling the cash. Turns out that the Blonde Lady was here last week, and didn’t have her wallet, and wanted to pay them back.

Oh. That’s what kind of place this is. Nice people here. I like this.

But it gets better.

A Homeless Woman comes up to the Counter. She’s got a dollar or two in her hand, and navigates the menu with the Cashier, trying to figure out what she can afford.

Remember, I’m watching this happen as I’m enjoying my burger.

The Cashier quietly tells the Homeless woman not to worry about it. What do you want she asks. The Homeless woman wants two burgers some chips and a Sprite.

She gets them. On the house. She tries to offer the money she has. “Don’t worry about it.”

Okay, that’s what kind of place this is.

Anyway, I love my Burger (more on that in a minute), and because of it’s quality, and because of what they did for this young lady (and yes, this Homeless Woman was younger than me) I order a second burger.

The Homeless Woman finishes ahead of me. She starts to leave, but before she goes, I turn to her, with my unopened bag of chips.

“Hey, I’m not going to be able to finish this. Do you want it?”

She did. She took it.

I wish I could have done more for her. All I can do at this point is hope that the bag will beat back the hunger pangs for a night. At the same time, I feel bad that was I all I could do for her at that moment.

But to do nothing was equally unthinkable. Fortunately, I followed Bill’s Burgers good example.


WHAT SHOULD I GET?: I got the Double Cheeseburger, the top of the line item on their menu and it was fantastic. Fan-tastic. Before seeing what I saw (see above), I bit into this little gem and wanted to come back again. If you want to pick it apart, be my guest, but it was really well cooked, with good cheese, some crisp onions tomato and mayo. I didn’t put a thing on the Burger, and wanted me another in a second.

The Double Cheeseburger at Bill's Burgers in Van Nuys.

And yes, make sure you get some Chips. You never know.


IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: It’s important for you to know that what I saw, what I just told you about I saw with my own eyes. It wasn’t a story handed down to be by others.

So, my hope is…in the future, should you see a situation like this, give the restaurant a shot at handling things first. Granted, I don’t want the result of this story to have every homeless in L.A. descend on Bill’s Burgers and try to wrangle a free meal out of them. I doubt they can afford to feel everyone out there, but I’m sure they’ll do what they can. But when Bill’s Burgers tries, the rest of us should help.

Believe it or not, I think a lot of places (at least the places I like), are going to look out for people like the folks at Bill’s Burgers did. So give them a chance, and if they do follow through like I hope they will, make sure you, the customer, buy another burger, or something else that helps make up for the tiny hole in the Restaurants bottom line.

Bill of Bill’s Burgers says he doesn’t need any more business, but right is right, you know?  I don’t want to see the place overwhelmed, but I want to see nice people rewarded for being nice.

If not, then take it upon yourself. Buy some food for someone. Remember, if you’re eating at a restaurant…you are fortunate to be eating that a restaurant. Yeah, I’m sure you’ve worked hard to get to where you are, but not everyone is so lucky. If you can help out, help.

Bill’s Burgers reminded me of that.

Also, remember. Bill’s Burgers is pretty much a lunch place only. Opens in the morning and closes at 4:00pm. Closed on Weekends.


PARKING: Better than expected. I parked out on Oxnard but there’s a decently sized lot next to the restaurant that looked pretty damn free.

Bill's Burgers in Van Nuys.

Bill’s Burgers
14742 Oxnard St.
Van Nuys, CA 91411

Tel: (818) 785-4086

Monday-Friday: 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
Saturday-Sunday: Closed