Great wines, ripe vines and a year-round selection of some of the finest produce this side of the nation makes California an easy target for culinary delights. Earlier this month, a cozy little spot on North Fairfax Avenue finally took advantage of the bounty.
Sporting a pro-California attitude with a small and savory menu prepared perfectly simple, The Golden State prides itself on using local, organic and green-friendly fare. Craftsman Brewing Company beers, which are produced out of Pasadena, get primo real estate on the small drinks menu and Harris Ranch beef from the San Joaquin Valley along with hot dogs, brats and sausage from The Huntington Meats on West Third Street are flame broiled to juicy, flavor-filled goodness.
Items up for eats feature basic names like The Burger, The Muffuletta, The Chicken Sandwich and The Vegetable Sandwich, but the taste is far from vanilla. And speaking of ice cream, they got that too, with East Hollywood gelato shop Scoops serving up their signature creamy sweets.
After ordering at the cashier station and overcoming the gleeful revelation of realizing nothing on the menu at The Golden State is more than $10, we feasted on the straightforward and impossibly sumptuous burger with native cheddar and the fried sweet potato wedges, cut thicker and cooked better than any gobbled up by us to date.
Then there was the spicy lamb sausage with hazelnut romesco and Persian cucumber salad -- a sweet, toasty hum of soft spices made even more exciting by the addition of the crisp and slightly citrusy cucumber side.
Service was quick and friendly in the pint-sized space and it never got too loud to hold a conversation and it also wasn't too crowded to grab a quick scoop of coffee-flavored heaven, er, ice cream, on the way out.
Beers, brats, burgers and ice cream to go on a warm night in the early Spring. What could be better and more California than that?
What: Burgers, Hot Dogs, Beers, Sausage, Ice Cream
Where: 426 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036
Cross Street: Oakwood Avenue
Website: The Golden State
Hours: Sun.-Thur., noon-Midnight, Fri.-Sat., noon-1AM