LOS ANGELES (AP) — There's this weirdly unfounded reputation that just about everyone in Los Angeles is vegan and therefore sunbaked Angelenos only feast on the likes of kale and quinoa. Such a stereotype is antithetical to the City of Angels' unhealthy obsession with the hamburger, an ongoing between-two-buns preoccupation that's birthed hundreds of Southern California burger joints.
La La Land is now home to every imaginable make and model of burger, including the slick hipstery one at Father's Office in Culver City and Santa Monica, a tongue-in-cheek Asian-inspired burger at Spice Table downtown, the over-the-top Hollywood rendition at 25 Degrees inside the historic Roosevelt Hotel, and the kitschy Umami Burger at the chain's multiple locations.
While those are all great burgers — excellent, in some cases — they each seem unnecessarily complicated when compared to the must-eat classic served up at Capitol Burgers, an old-school hamburger stand in a not-so-glitzy part of town that's been dishing out unadulterated yummy burgers and fries since 1965. For less than $5, visitors can drive away totally satisfied.
Before gourmet chefs slathered burgers with truffle aioli and In-N-Out Burger opened a gazillion outposts, Capitol owner George Stamos was crafting burgers for folks their way, right away. Stamos died earlier this year, but his family has kept the griddle fired up in honor of their patriarch, who originally immigrated to the United States from Greece.
Capitol's standard double is pure: a pair of thin, perfectly charred quarter-pound patties topped with melted American cheese, an abundance of pickles and onions, thick slices of juicy tomatoes and a layer of crunchy iceberg lettuce. It comes on a spongy white toasted bun, wrapped in waxy paper and served on a makeshift tray crafted from an old cardboard beer box.