Charles Perry is not just a food writer (and the author of a history of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury scene), he is an historian of food. In today's Times, he argues persuasively that the hamburger has been in Los Angeles since 1894, a decade before its purported introduction at the St. Louis World's Fair. It was in Southern California, too, that McDonalds, Bob's Big Boy, Carl's Jr., Johnny Rocket's, Fatburger and of course In-N-Out Burger all began. In proposing today's best local burgers, he divides them into three genres: Primo patties made of the best beef, charburgers and old-time grease bombs.
Astro Burger. (the Melrose one)
Old-time grease bombs
Baker's Drive Thru.
Honorable mentions: Unique burgers
Original Texas Barbecue King.
Previously on L.A. Observed: Getting serious about In-N-Out