Larry the Lawyer and I continued our burger crawl the other day at “The Golden State”, a tiny storefront establishment on Fairfax, across from Canter’s Deli, coincidentally, one of our regular hang-outs.
We were fresh off our laugh fest at Umami Burger, that joke of “naute cuisine” to the east. As we were walking down Fairfax, through the rain (hey, two rare occasions, Larry walking, and Los Angeles rain!), I asked LTL what was so special about Golden State.
He said it was the meat itself, and the way it was prepared. Fair enough. We walked in, and Larry started kibitzing with the owner, the two acting like old friends, asking about each other’s weekends, kids, and what not.
Larry then introduced me (dammit, I’m supposed to be an ANONYMOOSE guy!), and we chatted with the owner about what makes his place ‘special’, and he talked about his theme (“Golden State”, every product is state-local and as sustainable as possible); he and Larry talked about meat experiences from their childhood, and me, all I wanted to do was to order and get to it!
We ordered the signature burger (Harris Ranch Beef, Fiscalini Farms Cheddar, Applewood Smoke Bacon, Arugula, House Made Aioli and Ketchup), with a side of sweet potato fries. I opted for the house root beer (Golden State is a micro-brewer and gelato maker as well), we went to a corner table overlooking the pouring rain on Fairfax, and the owner toddled on over to talk some more. He explained some of the trials and tribulations about opening a place like this, and his views on how different people like their burgers cooked. (We went with medium rare).
We recounted our less than stellar experience at Umami, and he said they were good competitors. (Nice tact!)
The burger came, delivered by the waitress who had just returned from New Orleans, (ok she was hot) and it had been deliberately arranged on the platter, not in a pretentious way, but in a loving way, looking more like art, than a blue plate special.
Larry sliced the burger in half, and eyeballed the two pieces diligently, finally pushing the larger half towards me (he always gives me the big pieces. Ok, always when I am buying). We snapped our pix in the process, before taking a bite.
I poked at mine, as I have a habit of doing, lifting the bun, contemplating the toppings, the placement of same, the size of the patty, the state of doneness.
I lifted my half of the burger to my burger hole, and took a bite. The creamy flavor of the aioli, met the bitterness of the arugula, the sharp tang of cheddar, and the flavor of perfectly cooked quality beef hit my taste-buds simultaneously, I closed my eyes, cleared my head, had a burger orgasm (was I loud?) (did you notice my blush?) and blurted:
THIS MAN CREATES FUCKIN’ BURGER ART! This is twice, nay TEN TIMES the burger Umami is! Why don’t people know this? Shout it from the rooftops!
Golden State has produced the Willy Wonka of Golden Tickets in burgers. The difference here, is everyone that has one, is a winner, not just a lucky few.
Trust this man to be your burgermonger. Let him prepare it the way he believes in his heart, this piece of meat should be cooked, and assembled. Forget your preconceived notions about how you want it.
You want it the way he intended it to be prepared. No Shit.
On a scale of 1-10, this burger is a 15. Menu.