was in the mood for a burger and wanted to try something new - golden state on fairfax.
i read the posts on the board beforehand which were a little on the critical side - but i decided to go anyway.
got there at around 8, and every table was full. we got beers and a number (didn't order food) and waited for a table. the wait was only about 5-10 minutes and had we been more observant, maybe a little less. so we sat down, looked over the menu and decided on burgers. we chose fries, sweet potato wedges, and jalepeno cole slaw as sides (each burger comes with a side).
the burgers were perfectly cooked - medium. nice and salty. the bacon, arugula, aioli and ketchup mix was reminiscent of father's office - which is one of my faves. but this was way less over the top (probably due to the lack of blue cheese or onion compote). it was just a nice solid burger. the bun was a perfect fit for the patty. i know i read what the bun was - but forget. was it a pretzel roll? it didn't intrude onto the flavor of the burger. it fit right in.
i had two other favorite parts of this burger: (1) the outside was nice and crusty from the fire. the edges had a nice crackle, but the meat was not overcooked. (2) the burger was not outrageously huge. i'm not sure how big this one is - but it is not the usual 1/2 pound that most restaurants force on you these days. i was able to finish this burger, feel stuffed, and not feel like i had to swear off burgers for the next month due to oversaturation.
sides were unimpressive. the fries were pretty good - had a nice amount of salt on them. i did not care for the curry ketchup. the sweet potato wedges could use a bit more crust on them - they were somewhat flacid. i like sweet potatoes (and they're served with aioli which i love - so i liked these, but could see someone not liking them. the cole slaw was awful. it either does not have enough vinegar in the dressing to soften the cabbage - or it did not sit for long enough. so, this was still very crispy and cabbage tasting. the jalapeno flavor or heat was completely lost by the intensity of the raw cabbage. i would have no idea that jalapeno was in it - except that i saw a few slivers of jalapeno here and there.
overall - i liked this place and was pleasantly surprised. i can't say i'll make it a regular place, but i certainly would not object to going again. and, i might even suggest it if i was in the neighborhood.