Monday, June 29, 2009

The Golden State - Los Angeles

While California might not be as “Golden” as it used to be due to the recent budget crisis, The Golden State Gastropub on Fairfax is thriving. It’s the story of two friends, Jason and Jim, who were tired of the 9:00 to 5:00. So they left their marketing jobs to embark on a new adventure, and thus, The Golden State is born.

The menu boasts items made in California, with only a handful of items brought in from other states – apparently too good to pass on. I love supporting locally grown and produced goods, so I was delighted to order more than I could eat. Not surprised, are you? We placed our order at the counter, got an order number, and found an inviting little table by the window.

A simple menu that surely has something for everyone.

After a weekend of heavy imbibing, Dear Ben and I both wanted an ice cold Coke. We went for the locally bottled Real Cola by Virgil’s. I had the all natural Diet Real Cola with no artificial sugar. Dear Ben had the Real Cola, which uses unbleached cane sugar. It was good, and I felt good drinking it.
Virgil's Real Cola

If we’d needed an adult beverage, we would have also been in luck. Seven bottled and draft beers are listed on their menu with the disclaimer that the list changes frequently. Oh, Darn! I hope you aren’t expecting to find a Michelob Ultra on that list though. Try West Coast IPA, Great White, or Red Seal Ale. Are you intrigued? Keep reading...

I started with the Muffuletta sandwich. It’s piled high with salami, several slices of provolone cheese, with a house made muffuletta spread on both slices of their soft bread. Their house made muffuletta spread is made with a vinegar base rather than a traditional oil base. Love it. Hey, they don’t claim to be authentic, but it’s good! We picked the sweet potato wedges with house made garlic aioli as our side. You don’t get a lot with your sandwich, so if you don’t like sharing, you might consider ordering an extra side of these wedges.

Muffuletta Sandwich à la Golden State Cafe

Dear Ben started with the burger. It’s Harris Ranch beef, Fiscalini Farms Cheddar, Glazed Applewood Smoked Bacon, peppery arugula, house made aioli, and ketchup. So. Good. It’s simple. It doesn’t try too hard, despite the fancy sounding ingredients. You could gussy it up with caramelized onions, avocado, provolone, or a fried egg if you just had to have something in addition to what’s already there.

Dear Ben picked the Jalapeno Cabbage Slaw to go with the burger. Red wine vinaigrette is the base of the slaw, and the fresh sliced jalapeno adds a distinctive twist. I’ll probably try the Persian Cucumber Salad next time. The folks next to us did, and they seemed happy.

The Burger

Finally, we ordered a “Let’s Be Frank Bratwurst.” It comes with up to two toppings. We choose roasted red peppers and caramelized onions. Other choices are Golden State Relish, Sauerkraut, or Garlic Aioli. The sausage was fresh and fabulous. So good that I did a little research on the “Let’s Be Frank” website, and here’s what I found:

“..Our dogs support the Let's be Frank mission of supporting family farmers who are using traditional, humane practices to rear animals in a sustainable way. Raising cows on grass makes for a healthier animal, a healthier planet, and healthier beef.”

Let's Be Frank Bratwurst with Fries
The Fries were served with a House made Hazelnut Romesco,
but it was still more like a regular ketchup.

We didn’t save room for dessert. I mean, there was literally no way our tummies could hold another morsel. Next time I’ll have to get some gelato by SCOOPS or try one of their famous Beer Floats though. Yes, and I’ll be looking forward to it…

See why we didn't have room of dessert?

…and those are my Notes from the Napkin!

The Golden State
426 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Golden State on Urbanspoon

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