Dear Mr. Gold:
We have friends in town from Seattle, and they’re hungering for a really fine burger, excellent fries and a primo beer selection. Is there such a place, one that offers all three under one roof? A place that’s open on Sunday?
—John C., L.A.
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The traditional answer to your question is Father’s Office, either the original Santa Monica bar or its Culver City satellite, but the noise, the crowds and the rugby-scrum atmosphere do little to further conversation, as appealing as the cheeseburgers may be. The new Umami Burger in Los Feliz may be worth considering — it has quirky, wonderful burgers topped with things you wouldn’t be able to identify on a bet, and a range of unusual Japanese craft beers, although the French fries, no matter how lovingly triple-fried, may not be exactly what you have in mind. (The unusual combination of crunch and fluff lasts for about 13 seconds before congealing into sullen leadenness.) 25 Degrees, in the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel, is more of a burgers-and-wine place than a burgers-and-beer joint; and the vibe at 8 Oz., as much as I like it, definitely depends on how the Lakers are doing on the big-screen TVs.
Am I about to recommend Golden State again? I’m afraid so. The burgers, made from aged Harris Ranch beef, are wonderful, the cheese is from the renowned cheddar artisans at Fiscalini, and the fries are first-rate. The selection of craft beers may not be large, but is exquisitely curated, and is bound to include some things that you’ve never tried. And for dessert, there’s the best beer float in town.
GOLDEN STATE: 426 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A. (323) 782-8331, thegoldenstatecafe.com.