1) San Diego favorite Hodad's is opening a new location downtown this July.
This is one of the best burgers in America and we make it a point to take almost all of our out of town guests there.
Their web site: http://www.hodadies.com/
2) Smashburger in La Jolla
We stopped by right in the middle of the lunch rush and it was crowded (locals and tourists). The decor is modern commercial, there's seating for maybe 50 people (mainly booths with a small counter and several small tables out front), parking is very hard to find, it's claustrophobic in there when it's busy and I imagine the rent is a bear in the heart of downtown La Jolla...
After finally getting a booth, the food arrived fairly soon despite the crowd and everything was hot and well done, no complaints there.
The wife had their third pound Spicy Baja Burger which comes with pepper jack cheese, guacamole, lettuce, tomato, onion, chipotle mayo and fresh jalapenoes on a chipotle bun (hold the cheese, please), I had the third pound Mushroom Swiss Burger (mushrooms, Swiss with mayo on their egg bun), we split an order of fries and I had a Coke. The total was $16.70.
The buns were both good, as were the condiments on both burgers and although it's an Angus beef patty, I had a hard time distinguishing the flavor (it's sort of like Burger Lounge's grass fed beef)...
The fries are similar to Mickey D's but are served in a wire basket, as are the burgers.
And taking a page from my brother Jim's book, I asked for my Coke in a frosted mug.
The wife really liked her burger but also realizes there's nothing there she couldn't also do at home and I'd go back, if I were already over that way and it wasn't during the lunch hour rush or tourist season.
Their web site: http://www.smashburger.com/