If you want to tick off every burger-stand expectation you have on one single trip, head to Capitol Burgers. Location: not great. Cool vintage burger sign: absolutely. Owner: old and awesome (bonus points for his beefy son Jim, who helps out daily and looks like a scarier version of Tex Cobb). Takes credit cards: Don't even ask. Serves your food inside a cut-up beer box, lays on the chili hot and thick, and forces you to eat at an old picnic table where so many pigeons are after your food that you may not make it out alive: check, check and check. And the burger itself? It's pure, classic Southern California–style. Two thin slips of quarter-pound beef are seasoned and seared, with a couple of perfectly melty slices of American cheese on top. Pickles, vibrant red tomato rounds and a thick crunch of iceberg lettuce finish off the affair, with a toasted commercial white bread bun holding it all together. 4301 W. Pico Blvd., Mid-City; (323) 936-0366. —Farley Elliott

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