July 29, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Food Review: A Westside Burger Institution Returns

Pico Boulevard Big Tomy’s reopens after 2018 fire

By Kerry Slater

A longtime Westside chili cheeseburger institution reopened recently after a 2018 fire, and despite better options in the area, this holdover from a previous era still churns out a burger worth biting into if one finds themselves stuck in traffic on Pico Boulevard.

On April 6, 2018, a fire ripped through the kitchen of Big Tomy’s. Before this disaster, the restaurant–located on the corner of Pico and Sawtelle boulevards–had been serving hungry Westsiders 24/7 for 35 straight years. An “opening soon” sign remained hanging on the window for over two years before the restaurant finally welcomed back diners on October 15 of this year.

On April 6, 2018, a fire ripped through the kitchen of Big Tomy’s who had been serving hungry Westsiders 24/7 for 35 straight years.

Despite considering myself well-versed in the local burger scene, I had never gone to Big Tomy’s before pulling off of traffic on Pico Boulevard this week for a late lunch. Sticking to basics, I ordered a chili cheeseburger and fries. The bill was just under $10, which is impressive for the Westside. A few minutes later my food was ready. Due to the pandemic, the outdoor patio was closed so I used the hood of my car as a table and bit in.

The patty itself is nothing to write home about, reminiscent of burgers served at a country club’s poolside restaurant. The chili, however, takes the burger up a few notches. Often chili burgers suffer from messiness, but at Big Tomy’s the simple yet tasty chili acts more like a thick sauce. This both keeps shirts clean and also allows the taste of the patty to still be present. Whereas many chili cheeseburgers taste just like chili between buns, Big Tomy’s allows the patty and chili to complement each other. These components by themselves are nothing special but come together for a solid burger.

Tucked underneath the 10-Freeway, Big Tomy’s is a holdover from a previous era in Los Angeles.

No matter how well-constructed a chili cheeseburger is, there will be some spillage and this is where the fries enter the scene. Big Tomy’s boast some top-notch fries to get the important job of sopping-up-the-chili done. The fries–piping hot, crispy yet not overly greasy–were one of the highlights of the meal when utilized to clean up the spilled chili, cheese and bits of burger off the wrapper.

While there no doubt better burgers on the Westside. Big Tomy’s is worth going to if you are in the area and need a quick bite. Places like The Window in Venice and The Apple Pan just east on Pico may top Big Tomy’s when it comes to the no-frills burger, but the addition of chili and taste of nostalgia will keep it in my burger rotation.

Value: 7.5/10
Taste: 6.5/10
Quality: 6.5/10

Overall score: 6.8/10

Related Posts

Police Investigating Fatal Crash, Shooting in Venice

July 28, 2021

July 28, 2021

Details remain murky surrounding Tuesday morning incident  By Sam Catanzaro Police are investigating a fatal car crash and possible related...

Venice Community Housing Receives Honor From American Institute Of Architects: YO! Venice Show – July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Venice Community Housing Receives Honor From American Institute Of Architects *...

63-Year-Old Man Killed in Westchester Tent Fire

July 22, 2021

July 22, 2021

LAFD investigating Wednesday night incident  By Sam Catanzaro A 63-year-old man died in a tent following a fire in Westchester...

Bonin’s Encampment to Home Moves 131 Homeless Into Housing: YO! Venice Show – July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Bonin’s Encampment to Home Moves 131 Homeless Into Housing * LAFD...

Unidentified Skeletal Remains Found in Ballona Wetlands Amid Search for Missing Person

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

Authorities make discovery amid search for Kolby Story this past Friday  By Sam Catanzarto Unidentified skeletal remains were found Friday...

Beach Closures Lifted After Sunday Discharge of 17 Million Gallons of Raw Sewage From Hyperion Plant

July 15, 2021

July 15, 2021

17 million gallons of raw sewage discharged from Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant Sunday Night By Sam Catanzaro Beach closures have...

Edify TV: Local Cafe Supporting Foster Youths

July 14, 2021

July 14, 2021

La La Land Kind Cafe recently opened its first California location in Santa Monica, delivering not only unique coffee and...

Atlanta Restaurant and Lounge Eyes Washington Ale House Space

July 14, 2021

July 14, 2021

Fin & Feathers files for liquor license at 13484 Washington Blvd  By Kerry Slater An Atlanta-based restaurant and lounge self-described...

Petition for Recall of Councilmember Bonin Approved for Circulation

July 13, 2021

July 13, 2021

Signature gathering phase now set to begin after Tuesday approval by City Clerk  By Sam Catanzaro The Los Angeles City...

Deadline Extended For Unhoused To Move Belongings Off Boardwalk: YO! Venice Show – July 12, 2021

July 12, 2021

July 12, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Deadline Extended For Unhoused To Move Belongings Off Boardwalk * Pedestrian...

Hyperion Spill Discharges 17 Million Gallons of Raw Sewage Into Santa Monica Bay

July 12, 2021

July 12, 2021

Sunday night spillage occurs 1-mile offshore from Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant By Sam Catanzaro 17 million gallons of raw sewage...

IPO Cosmetics Launches The World’s First 4Step Facial Kit

July 10, 2021

July 10, 2021

It’s Perfect On Introduces a New, Convenient, Portable and Eco-Friendly Skincare Option By Staff Writer What if you could get...

Marina Drive-In Movie Summer Series Underway

July 9, 2021

July 9, 2021

Gather with your family and friends to watch movies by the sea in Marina del Rey. Marina Drive-In Movie Nights,...