I’ve lived in the community for three decades, and had driven by the burger shack countless, countless times. With hunger pangs and a growling stomach – and a recent appraisal naming Capitol Burgers the “best” classic burger stand in Los Angeles – I walked down the street to try it out.
So glad I did (though perhaps a heart doctor would disagree!) No foodie-style pretensions here – no Angus beef, no truffle-oil, no garlic aioli, no vegie burgers. No, Capitol Burger is one thing, and one thing only: a classic old school burger joint, serving up unadulterated grilled hamburgers, cheesy cheese burgers, egg sandwiches, chili dogs, pastrami, grilled cheese sandwiches, and fries, perhaps the best damn fries in Mid-City. Burgers are served with fresh and crunchy iceberg lettuce leafs, crisp tomatoes, pickles, onions plus mustard and mayo, slathered with extra cheese if you want it, on a toasted bun. One order of the salty and seasoned hand-cut skin-on fries definitely is enough for two (women). The grilled cheese – add a tomato if you wish – sandwich was flawless, crisp on the outside, mouthfuls of melted cheese and onions (you have to ask for) inside, just the way you’d want it. Every order is wrapped in waxy paper and dished out to you in a sturdy cardboard box bottom for you to eat at the stand’s picnic tables.
Greek immigrant George Stamouvlasis (Stamos) founded this neighborhood staple in 1965, and although George died last year, family-owned Capitol Burgers is still operated by his son, John Stamos, hopefully for many more years to come.
4301 West Pico Blvd. 90019 (Oxford Square) Cash only
323-936-0366 Open daily except Sundays (closed by 7 p.m.)
Established in August of 2008 by writer, artist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.