Burger city

Take a charbroiled tour of these
classic L. A. burger joints

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Burger landmarks

Bob's Big Boy. Fine coffee-shop-modern design. $; breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. 4211 Riverside Dr., Toluca Lake; 818/843-9334.

Father's Office. Sublime burgers. $$; dinner daily (under 21 not permitted). 1018 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; 310/393-2337.

In-N-Out Burger. Kanner Architects' Westwood outlet is a burgertechture classic. $; lunch and dinner daily. 922 Gayley Ave., Los Angeles; 800/786-1000.

Irv's Burgers. Irv's survival is cause for celebration. $; breakfast, lunch, and dinner Mon-Sat. 8289 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood; 323/650-2456.

McDonald's. Golden arches and memories. $; breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. 10207 Lakewood Blvd., Downey; 562/622-9248.

Tommy's. Iconic L.A. chili-cheeseburger. $; breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. 2575 W. Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles; 213/389-9060.

Fine points from the experts

Josie Le Balch at Josie recommends:

• To keep the juices in, don't overwork the meat mixture.

• To prevent sticking, preheat grill; make sure it's really hot and clean.

• Once you put a burger on the grill, leave it alone ― just turn it once.

Jeff Weinstein at the Counter recommends:

• Choose ground beef that contains 18%-20% fat.

• Wash your hands with cold water before handling the ground meat; you want to keep the fat in it cold.

• Put cold condiments such as lettuce, tomato, and pickles under the burger, and hot condiments on top.

Martha Gamble at the Apple Pan recommends:

• Use lettuce from the inner section of a head of iceberg, between the heart and the outer leaves.

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