Banzai Bar Near the Sports Arena on Midway in San Diego

The official bar of the San Diego Gulls hockey team, it's not hard to spot this bar and restaurant near their sports arena home in the Midway District — just look for the large yellow neon arrow pointing at its patio. What's easier to miss is that the stylish little spot is a sister restaurant of Little Italy's legendary Waterfront Bar & Grill, home of the city's oldest liquor license and one of San Diego's most storied burgers.

Banzai Bar takes its burger cue from the Waterfront, which is primarily to keep it simple, and let the beef do the heavy lifting. Served with grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, and pickle on a on sesame seed bun, Banzai's burger patties are lightly seasoned with garlic salt, with beef ground with a rich 27-percent fat ratio for extra sizzle on that flat top grill. They're made with superior texture in mind, and always formed by hand, because Nancy Nichols, the family matriarch behind the Waterfront's success, always said that was the secret to making an especially juicy burger.

In the People's Choice contest of the 2017 Burgers & Beer event, Banzai scored runner up honors serving the same beef on a Hawaiian bun slider with American cheese. You may find those in the restaurant, or go with the half-pound Banzai Burger, offered with your choice of available cheeses, because Banzai wants every customer to leave happy.