The Counter. Order any combination from a huge matrix of ingredients in this popular, airy spot. 2901 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 399-8383. $6.50 to $12. Cut. Made from American and Japanese Kobe and sirloin, topped with shallot-jalapeño marmalade, tomato confit and aged gouda, Kobe sliders are served on house-made brioche buns. Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel, 9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; (310) 276-8500. $20 (for 4 sliders). Father's Office. This Westside bar has a fantastic burger: French roll, blue cheese, caramelized onions, arugula and a "no substitutions" policy. 1018 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; (310) 393-2337. $10.75. Ford's Filling Station. Ben Ford's gastropub has a classic take on the burger, made with house-ground beef, Point Reyes blue cheese, caramelized onions and a La Brea Bakery bun. 9531 Culver Blvd., Culver City; (310) 202-1470. $14 at lunch; $16 at dinner. The Hungry Cat. This may be a fish house, but David Lentz's Pug burger is terrific. Served with aioli, field greens, blue cheese and a mountain of fries. 1535 Vine St., Hollywood; (323) 462-2155. $14. Literati II. This casual West L.A. spot serves a classic burger done right: a stellar patty, a triangle of iceberg lettuce, tomato, red onion and a dab of aioli. 12081 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles; (310) 479-3400. $14. Lucky Devils. Massive burger, made with Australian Kobe and available in classic or fully loaded with Maytag Blue, Gruyère (yes, both), Nueske bacon and garlic aioli. 6613 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; (323) 465-8259. $12.95 or $15.50.
Social Hollywood. Kobe sliders at the Moroccan-themed bar come with Gruyère and caramelized onions. 6525 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; (323) 462-5222. $17 (for 3 sliders).
Stonehill Tavern. The truffled Kobe burger is hedonistic, but not pointlessly so; it's got lots of smart truffled accouterments, any of which would be great on its own on a burger. St. Regis Resort Monarch Beach, 1 Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point; (949) 234-3318. $28.
The Terrace. Though there's a great sirloin burger on the nightly menu, on Sunday burger nights by the pool, there are five to choose from, including a boffo duck burger. Sunset Tower Hotel, 8358 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 654-7100. $21 to $25. 25 Degrees. This retro hotel bar serves flavorful, assemble-your-own burgers, wrapped in parchment like a gift. Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 785-7244. $9 and up.
-- Amy Scattergood