Once a barren wasteland anchored by the middling Canter’s Deli, Fairfax Avenue has become a de rigueur spot for food connoisseurs. On the hunt for a good turkey burger, The Monster decides on a stop at The Golden State.
The Golden State is one of a legion of up-scale burger restaurants to have hit Los Angeles in the last few years. It’s a smaller affair where you order at the counter and take a seat, bopping your head to the tragically hip music piped in. An open kitchen, exposed brick walls, and black and white photos (look, it’s Cindy Crawford at Club MK in NYC in 1989!) make it feel equal parts cool and accessible. If only they’d get rid of the television in one corner.
The order on this day is the turkey burger with provolone, lettuce, tomato, red onion, aioli and ketchup with a side of jalapeno cabbage slaw in a red wine vinaigrette. For good measure The Monster tacks on an order of fries. The Monster is tempted to try the beer float with Old Rasputin beer on draft but logic outweighs interest and it will be saved for another day.
As it’s midday and The Monster is the only customer, he wonders why it’s taking an inordinate amount of time for his food to be served. Sipping on his warm water sans ice and lemon (as that is what TGS unfortunately offers), he can’t help but turn toward the television and watch as a flock of ducks swimming down a river will a) attack a human b) fly off or c) surf the rapids. This is an actual show on television where you try to guess what will happen next. The dumbing down of America marches on unabated.
By this point the sun is coming right in through the front windows making the restaurant a witches’ cauldron which warm water won’t stymie. And still no food.
Finally the order arrives and the first thing The Monster notices, the portions are huge. Having been only once before The Monster wonders if this has always been the case. There is a mound of cole slaw the size of Alaska, a bowl of fries with no bottom in site and a turkey burger spilling out way past the bun.
The turkey burger is juicy and the condiments forge a nice interplay but it remains a good but not great dish. The cabbage slaw is thankfully not creamy but even with jalapeno in the mix it still falls a bit flat. The Monster leaves enough on the plate that fourteen more people could be served full orders. Writing about French fries seems pointless unless an inept kitchen somehow manages to screw them up which happens more often than it rightly should. TGS did not, so there you have it. The curry ketchup is a nice change-up from the traditional offering.
As The Monster gets up to leave one of the guys behind the counter begins to roll down the shades. Would have been nice twenty minutes ago.
With a varied selection of beer, wine and gelato on offer, The Golden State is a dependable spot to hit if you’re in the neighborhood and in the mood for dependable food and warm water.
Why go? Because the duck’s surf.
Monster rating: 3/5 Monsters
426 N Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036