First Light Farms


First Light Farms is a New Zealand collective of farmers who raise Wagyu cattle, producing the highest-quality beef that is also certified halal. According to their FAQ, the certifying agency in New Zealand is the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ).

The most well-known user of First Light beef is the incredible HiHo burger chain, which arguably makes the best burger in the world. We reviewed HiHo’s original Santa Monica location, but they have since added locations in Studio City, Mid-Wilshire, and Marina Del Rey.

Another First Light restaurant is Matu in Beverly Hills, which serves Wagyu steaks (and now has a lunch option for a Wagyu Philly cheesesteak).

First Light Beef is unparalleled in quality and healthy eating – at least, as much as red meat can be. In addition to being certified Halal, their beef is also certified humane and sustainably raised with no antibiotics, GMOs, or hormones. The grass-fed beef is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, and the farmers use low-density rotational grazing to reduce the carbon footprint of the beef to practically zero. Farmers who want to join the collective have to and meet strict requirements.

In other words, this is the ultimate beef regardless of whether you are eating halal or not!

HiHo Double Cheeseburger

HiHo Cheeseburger in Santa Monica, CA


HiHo’s claim to fame is 100% Wagyu, grass-fed beef. Due to the smaller patty, the burgers are only available as doubles or triples, served alongside twice-fried french fries, house-made desserts, and craft sodas and milkshakes. The burgers are intensely flavorful, and come in two varieties, a “classic” with just beef, cheese, and ketchup, and a “HiHo” with house-made sweet pickles and onion jam. Burgers can be customized as desired and also have a “make it spicy” option which adds a pleasant, restrained kick.

The double burger is somewhat small, but the triple is an overly dense stack of meat and cheese that may not appeal to everyone. Recommended to get a second double if you are still craving after your first. The fries are sized for sharing. There are no combos on the menu, everything is a la carte.

The Santa Monica location is conveniently located across from a parking garage and one block from the 3rd Street Promenade. Seating is limited but turnover is fairly high.





Halal Girl: