Restaurant of the Week: The Habit


The Habit Burger Grill, 1608 Foothill Blvd. (at Chelsea), La Verne

The Habit opened recently in a standalone building in front of the remodeled Vons center near Wheeler and was busy pretty much from day one. There are two dozen Habits, which began in Goleta in 1969, but the nearest one is in Glendale.

The operation seems perched between Fuddruckers and In-N-Out with its emphasis on fresh, quality ingredients and its somewhat stylish interior. On Saturday, when I visited, the lunchtime line stretched to the door. The menu has charbroiled burgers, some tasty-sounding sandwiches including chicken, tri-tip and albacore tuna, and salads.

I got the No. 1 Char combo ($5.95), a single burger, fries and soda, and took a seat on the patio. My number was called on the loudspeaker in a few minutes. The fries were pretty good and the burger even better, charred to perfection and served on a toasted sesame seed bun with lettuce, tomato, mayo, pickle and, a nice touch, caramelized onions.

The staff was friendly, just like at In N Out. They’ll come take your tray or offer to fetch a soda refill.

The patio is the stroke of genius. Rather than an afterthought with one or two tables, theirs has 12, and the tables and chairs are wood, not molded plastic. Saturday was uncommonly warm, as it’s been all week. I sat outside in short sleeves for the first time in weeks, reading the centennial issue of Westways with its pieces on two SoCal icons, ’30s artist Maynard Dixon and writer Carey McWilliams, soaking up the weather and feeling mighty fine about living in Southern California.

This could become a habit.

* Update, February 2014: And indeed it has. I still eat at the Habit now and then. I should probably try more items on the menu, but the burgers and fries are really good.



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  • Bonnie

    You didn’t mention that the Habit has malts. Most places have shakes only. Since I prefer malts, I will be going back to the Habit. Loved their chicken club sandwich.

    [You’re right, they have malts. I’ll order one on my next visit. — DA]

  • Can you do a restaurant of the week on Don Marcos? I wrote about it on my blog but I only talked about the food prices, not the quality. It opens Monday.


  • Rick Cuevas

    A story needs to be done about J & M Cafe in Fontana on Foothill Blvd, just NE of the Wal Mart.

    They have terrific food. It’s a small cafe but the chef, Gill, does wonderful things.

    I would say that they could be the best restaurant west of any in Redlands.

    Yes, I said Fontana and it’s a MUST!

    [The Bulletin’s real reviewer, Allan Borgen, gave the place 5 stars shortly after it opened. I know, I need to get out there. — DA]

  • Linda

    I like the Habit…very good food, very reasonable prices and very comfortable and clean environment. I hope they open up a few more in the area. In today’s world reasonably priced good food is more than welcome everywhere.

  • Charles Bentley

    Many thanks to you, David, for alerting me that The Habit had opened. I’d driven by several times to check only to see the “coming soon” notice. I went the very day of your blog mention and took a friend.

    The good – quality food, good prices, extremely good service.

    The better – Great variety on the bill of fare. My friend had the vegi-burger, I went for the regular burger. A father and kids sat across from us and all seemed to like their lunches (the choices off the kid’s menu seemed to please the young ones!).

    The best – Dining al fresco in mid-January at one of The Habit’s nice cafe tables, bright sunshine and a nice breeze making it so nice my friend called her sister in Chicago to “rub it in,” so to speak.

    It’ll never be In-N-Out, or Tommy’s for that matter. But it’s a quality option and light years ahead of the Golden Arches, his majesty’s joint or the clown’s place.

    [Sounds like we had similar experiences. And similar weather. Glad you liked it! — DA]