More Burger Mania: Five Guys Burgers & Fries, Thousand Oaks

by Jessica on April 26, 2011

Kid Hit Menu Items: New entrant into the Southern California burger scene Five Guys Burgers and Fries does what it says it does: burgers and fries. What you see is what you get.

Adult Perks: Fast food burgers with customizable options, hot dogs, and sandwiches.

Pros: Big space, quick service. Peanuts in the shell are out on the counter and there for the scooping. They’ve got a system wired for various types of ordering in advance.

Cons: Those peanuts might prevent some customers from entering through the doors, which alert customers to the presence of this now-dangerous-for-some legume.

Changing Station: Yes

High Chairs: Yes

Parking and Access: Parking lot all around, since this is deep suburbia. Just be sure not to turn into the wrong strip mall from Moorpark Road.

Other Tidbits: Clearly our family is not immune lately from the Burger Fever that continues to sweet the city and nation. Ever since Five Guys came to Thousand Oaks last year, my husband has been asking to go. Well, a pit stop during our drive back from Santa Barbara yesterday (more on that trip to come) was the perfect opportunity; plus 5G’s newness makes it somewhat exotic around these parts, so hence a fast food/burger post. (For more background on Five Guys and the chain’s plans for the L.A. area, I defer to the estimable Lesley Balla.) Based on the hyperbolic text and clips splashed around, Five Guys brings its own hype with them. The powerful simplicity of white and red aesthetics echo another notable major burger enterprise, combined with a fairly juicy specimen that’s not quite your average fast food sandwich. But then again, it’s not all THAT different from choices that occupy the burger-of-every-variety situation we have around the region either. Five Guys, with its looser packed patty and satisfying roster of about 15 “free” toppings (burger $5.19 and up, or Little Hamburger $3.69 and up), is trying to dig into whatever vacant burger niche apparently remains — wedged somewhere between the “better” fast food outlets and complete customization mid-range outfits. Fries served in a cup ($2.79, $4.99) — thick, dark golden, and varied — don’t resemble typical chain-made fries. The skin is kept on, and the stacked sacks of Idaho spuds displayed around the dining room provide convincing evidence that fries are indeed made from the contents within.

As for non-burger choices, no mysterious off-menu grilled cheese here. Choose from the $2.99 grilled cheese, veggie sandwich or cheese veggie sandwich. Kosher style hot dogs are also available ($3.29 up).

And regarding that color scheme: what is it about mass-market consumer psychology and graphic design principles that have led to this quasi-retro combo’s domination of Burgerland? Obvious associations with red and such notwithstanding.


487 North Moorpark Road, 
Thousand Oaks + more SoCal locations
(805) 496-0173
Cuisine: Burgers/American
Price: $$
Hours: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Daily.

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