Grand Luxe Cafe has a great "Max Burger." The meat is topped with short rib. Excellent.
The Counter in Santa Monica has a great burger.
Chili's, generally, has a great burger.
Hodad's in San Diego has one of the best burger I've had in a while.
Burger Lounge in La Jolla is great as well.
I agree that for everyday burgers Carls and Chilis do do a pretty good job. The Philly Cheese Steak burger was particularly good. I have to throw in IN n OUT to this, although probably a little better and fresher.
But the Burger Lounge? I was disappointed with that burger. It lacked much flavor to me.
Where is Hodad's, I'll have to give them a try?