Alec Martinez’s Guide to the Beach Cities of Southern California

The defenseman with the Los Angeles Kings knows just where to go for the perfect burger

AlecMartinezLike many of his teammates, Martinez lives in the South Bay, but he travels enough during the season so that when he’s home, he says, “I don’t really see the need to leave.” Between the ocean, the pier scene, and the cool, neighborhoody vibe, the South Bay provides instant relaxation, says Martinez. What’s more, “there are great burgers.” Here are his three favorite spots to get one:

: This divey Manhattan Beach institution sticks to the basics: freshly ground meat from Manhattan Meat Market, melted cheese, red onion, tomato, iceberg lettuce, mustard, and mayo—all layered on an egg bun. » 310-372-1997.

theessentials_masa_tThe Standing Room
: Foodies geek out over the Napoleon Burger, a half-pound patty dressed with bacon, Gouda, cheddar, caramelized onions, and spring lettuce on a bed of braised short rib, a fried egg, and truffle parmesan fries.

theessentials_masa_tSimmzy’s: You can’t go wrong with the house burger— Angus beef, caramelized onions, cheddar, aioli, lettuce, and sliced tomato—or you can be a bit bolder with the Bacon Blue Deluxe, finished with candied bacon.

Profile photograph courtesy Flickr/Lisa Gansky

This story is part of Los Angeles magazine’s March 2015 Great Getaways package