Five Guys fans, get excited: We just confirmed that the next location opens in Culver City's Westfield Fox Hills mall this Friday at 11 a.m. Unless you live near Cerritos, Carson, Thousand Oaks and other outlying areas, this is huge.
For the uninitiated, Five Guys started in Virginia in 1986, and now has more than 770 locations around the U.S. and Canada. The first California locations opened in Cerritos and Carson in 2008, but it wasn't until last year that the chain exploded. There are now 13 locations throughout Southern California and 26 in the state, and according to a rep, there are plans to open at least 20 more in SoCal alone by the end of this year.
There's a lot of debate over Five Guys vs. our beloved In-N-Out, and whether the burger interloper (burgerloper?) can ever take the place of anything Animal-style.
For one, a Five Guys wants to fatten you up: The regular burger is actually a double, and it's quite a bit larger than a Double Double. Take our advice and order the "little" burger; you'll thank us later. You can customize them with a slew of traditional toppings like onions, relish, ketchup and mustard--or go whole-hog and get "the works," which means 15 messy extras
As far as taste goes, the burgers are good: Meaty, beefy, filling. The patties are always cooked well-done, but still stay rather juicy. And like In-N-Out, they brag about not having freezers at any location so everything "fresh." For the non-burger-eaters, there are also hot dogs and a few other options, such as grilled cheese for the kiddies.
One thing Five Guys might have on In-N-Out is the fries. If you're into hand-cut, crisp, Boardwalk-style fries, this is the place for you. They're dynamite, especially with the Cajun seasoning.
Another big difference is that most Five Guys locations are stand-alone restaurants with no drive-through, so it's more a fast-casual burger joint than fast food. You order at the counter and sit down, and there's a lot of shouting from the cooks, sort of short-order-cook-speak, that adds a bit of character.
But you'll have to decide where your allegiance falls, and you'll have even more opportunities: A location debuts in Fullerton on Friday as well, and there will be a downtown location (2700 Figueroa St. near U.S.C.) by late summer.