The Golden State Cafe
426 N. Farifax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Some people do it for the money. Some people do it for the fame. Not Matt and Ryan from the Grill ‘Em All Truck, they do it for the love of burgers!! What the hell am I talking about? When I was out in LA for the taping of the Travel Channel’s “Food Wars” on the off day between shoots, Matt and Ryan asked if I wanted to go out for a burger (along with Ryan’s girlfriend Kevine.) I thought they must be kidding, either that or I was about to the victim of a prank by the Alpha Betas. But no, they were serious!!! These 2 are cut from the same slice of cheese that turned me into a burger obsessed, heavy metal loving, burger junkie. I of course said just that and asked one simple question – where?
New to the ever growing LA Burger, scene, “The Golden State Cafe,” was Ryan’s reply. In a town filled with angles, this place has a great one; use only locally produced ingredients. Be it the beef, cheese, beer, wine or produce, everything they serve was made in the state of California. While the menu is fairly simple with a 1 of each list of choices, they do offer special which are posted on their twitter. It’s a progressively modern way to serve a traditional menu made of sandwiches, salads, sausages and ice cream. Even their array of ketchup’s (including curry ketchup) and mustard’s are housemaid.
The menu only has one burger and that’s exactly what all 4 of us ordered. The burger at the Golden State Cafe consists of Harris Ranch Beef, Fiscalini Farms Cheddar, Glazed Applewood Smoked Bacon, Arugula, Housemaid Aioli & Ketchup. California! What’s up with the ketchup on burgers? It’s just unnecessary and therefore, I asked for it to be “held.” With no table service, you place your order at the counter where everything is made to order. Once our order was placed, we grabbed our table #, beers and waited for a table to become available. We slid into the window booth and were shortly there after, munching down.
Every bite of the burger revealed flavors made from the freshest ingredients. The cheddar had a mild sharpness to it and worked with, not against, the taste of the beef. The peppery arugula was a really nice choice over the standard romaine and worked in juxtaposition to the cheese. The bacon, while small in size, was big in taste. It was as though the flavor of 4 pieces of bacon had been condensed into 1 rasher. I got my aioli on the side as though I really enjoy that, I wanted to make sure it did not over power. (Plus, I wanted to dip the sweet potatoes fries in it!) The beef was clearly freshly ground and had a backyard BBQ like quality to it, mostly because the burgers are char-grilled. It left me happy, satisfied and feeling good.
As this was the first time I was eating with burger purveyors at another restaurant, I took a moment to get Matt and Ryan’s thoughts on The Golden State Cafe’s Burger.
Ryan: “The meat was a stand out. Even though the size of the bacon was little, it was very flavorful. Arugula nice touch over regular lettuce. I think these buns are from the La Brea bakery. They’re beautiful and they stay together. It’s a solid ass bun. Tasty. Not sure if I would be willing to go the 2 extra blocks past 8 oz Burger Again again. Its hard not to compare. In the realm of metal, The Golden State Cafe is like the Slayer to Metallica – Its a good brutal burger, but not in the same echelon of some other LA burgers.”
Matt: “I liked it too.”
Ryan: “Single best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had.”
Matt “Yeah! They should make real dolls out of the sweet potato fries! They’re like the sweet caress of a jilted lover. Its like having sex with an ex. So naughty, but so right!”
Me, I think I enjoyed this burger more because I love hanging out with these two.