Best hamburger in South Bay?
There is a lot of contention on that thread (as there is about burgers in general). And it only covers greater Palo Alto.
I'm a Peninsula Creamery fan. Good meat taste, but not super juicy. Service is excellent and it's close to my house. The Counter's service is awful and the meat is average, Jefferey's is OK but not worth a drive - I give big plusses to self-dressed hamburgers because I can get the pickle ratio right. I can't believe Taxi's is even mentioned (now Abbey's). The Kirk's on ECR is OK but the burger's distinguished by touching actual fire - the patty's not hand-formed or anything.
One notices that Alexander's has a hamburger on its sample menu. It's probably really, really good. In terms of near MV (like Michael's Shoreline), I would also try Tied House and Faultline (Santa clara?), but haven't had the burgers at either myself.
900 High St, Palo Alto, CA 94301
I flipped through the old thread and I really couldn't recommend any of the places cited there, particularly the pricier places.
Having grown up in southern California, there were always lots of great burger places and picking one place over another was really just a matter of personal preference. I've been largely non-plussed by most burgers I've had since coming north (nearly 20 years ago) but I did tend to enjoy the burgers (and cheesesteaks!) at St. John's Grill in Sunnyvale rather a lot. They're on Lawrence Expwy. in the stretch between Central Expwy. and 101.
Village Pub would be outside the OP's range, asking up through "menlo". I won't disagree with the substance of your statement, though!
I forgot - Mayfield Bakery (Town & Country, PA) has a burger on the menu. I would put that on the short list, although haven't eaten it. Probably in the same category as Michael's Shoreline - and eat casual at the bar!
If we're expanding the radius, Martin's West has a burger. I like their more complicated dishes, but they'd be worth a try.
I have a soft spot for the burger at Alice's Restaurant in La Honda, which is also north of "Menlo" but a staggeringly nice ride. It's hard to tell if the burger's really good, or the drive makes one hungry. Make mine a Jalopy! (looks like a new addition to their menu is a kobe beef patty option --- will report.)
BanjoHead's rec looks solid. I'll keep that on tap next time I'm down sunnyvale way.
2967 Woodside Rd., Woodside, CA 94062