Golden State: 99 Essential Restaurants 2011

Not everybody agrees about Golden State. Some people think the cheeseburgers are the best in this part of Los Angeles; others merely place them among the top five. Arguments like these often require ultrahopped suds, which Golden State has by the firkin-load — the place was in the vanguard of the new beer-bar movement. The café is based loosely around a locavore theme — everything comes from California, including the suds, the hot dogs from Let's Be Frank and the sausages from Huntington Meats. The cheeseburger in question, a vast, bloody lump of aged Harris Ranch beef and Fiscalini cheddar, tends to put the debate to rest. The beer float is practically a sacrament, a scoop of splendid brown-bread ice cream from the cult gelateria Scoops, moistened gently with Old Rasputin Imperial Stout. 426 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax District. (323) 782-8331, thegoldenstatecafe.com. Tues.-Sun., noon-10 p.m. Beer and wine. Street parking. MC, V. Gastropub.

99 Essential L.A. Restaurants 2011:

Jonathan Gold's Introduction
Anne Fishbein's Photos
The Google Map

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