Pono Burger

Restaurants, Hamburgers Santa Monica
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanChef Windy Makani at Pono Burger
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanThe Kuawa Crunch at Pono Burger
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanSassy Wahine at Pono Burger
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanPono Burger
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanPono Burger
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanOrganic sweet potato and Russet potato fries at Pono Burger

How's this for food in unexpected places—a WWII bunker. Westsiders can sit inside a free-standing, covered shelter—redone to a minimalist-meets-Etsy decor—for Hawaiian-style burgers made with "pono" (i.e. grass-fed, local, organic). These morally-superior beauties take on flavors of the Pacific islands with wasabi mayo, pickled ginger and spicy guava sauce. Build a burger that starts with grass-fed, wood-grilled beef patty, and add on farmers market toppings atop a brioche bun. House burgers range from the spicy—Kuawa Crunch ($12) is stuffed with housemade organic potato chips, cheddar, cole slaw and a guava rum sauce—to the Posh ($11), made with organic arugula and sautéed mushrooms, truffle aioli and blue cheese. Kids and vegetarians can also get their fill, while groups can take court on the outdoor patio. Service can be sloppy and a bit abrasive, but chef Makani cooks with heart. Don't forget an order of sweet or Russet fries, sprinkled with fresh herbs and served with aioli. And to drink, there's craft beer on tap and by the bottle (pitchers if you're really thirsty), along with wine by the glass and bottle. Alcohol virgins can order a virtuous housemade milkshake. So, what does a righteous milkshake look like? Organic, Strauss Creamery soft serve meets salted caramel and Niman Ranch bacon—dieters, retreat.

By: Katherine Kims


Venue name: Pono Burger
Address: 829 Broadway
Los Angeles
Opening hours: Sun-Wed 11am-9pm, Thu-Sat 11am-10pm
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Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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A new fun place in Santa Monica that's not in the ever crowded area of 3rd Street Promenade, I didn't know Broadway had some such great eats!

This place came as a recommendation from my friend who's been here before since I was craving a burger like no other. 
As for the food, it has a great selection of burger, sides, and appetizers - but it's way too pricey for what it is! All the burgers are in the $15 range and at that price point, I'm expecting a WOW burger but it was just okay.  They apparently have a rotating selection of burgers so that's kind of cool they do that.  The combination of ingredients in the burger is pretty unique as I had one with onion rings!

If you like the food here, then you will also appreciate their newer location in Venice. It’s got a great open-air vibe and perfect especially while we are enjoying all this warm Cali weather.

The food here is great and all their beef is grass-fed. I also love the option to make your own burger! They use sustainable material, even down to their straws (which is fun to bite actually). Also amazing is the kona coffee affogato. Definitely worth the calories, but who is counting.

Waitstaff is very friendly and personable.