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The Golden State...pretty good.

So, I've been making the rounds looking for the ultimate burger. I recently saw a poll in which The Golden State came out on top, so I thought I'd head on down and see what the hype is about. I probably should have picked a day to eat burgers when it didn't feel like I was walking on the surface of the sun, but there you have it. I ordered their basic burger, which they like to serve medium-rare. Unfortunately, they screwed up my order and cooked it medium with the provalone cheese my co-pilot requested. Still, the Harris Ranch Beef and glazed applewood smoked bacon were pretty good. I had the sweet potato fries, which underneath their skin were as hot as the pavement outside. It was, well...pretty good. Not amazing. Not spectacular, just...pretty good. I had a scoop of coffee peanut butter ice cream which was...(all together) pretty good. I guess it's that I had just been to Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream Lap in Arroyo Grande, twice last week. Now, that was ice cream.

Verdict: Three and a half propellers.

Mid-City West
425 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
www.thegoldenstatecafe.com

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The Golden State
426 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036

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  1. Be careful and don't run over me -- I'm also making the rounds, comparing classic favorites or former favorites (Apple Pan, Cassell's, Pie 'n Burger, Russell's, Tommy's, and Tops) with "gourmet" burgers (Father's Office, Golden State, and Rustic Canyon). So far, Golden State is the leader, with Pie 'n Burger a close second.

    1. Just for the record, what criteria are you using to judge aside from personal taste?
      In my book, you can't beat Boulevard Burger in Woodland Hills. They're the only place that seems to care more about being able to taste the meat. Next up would be fatburger followed by Tommies, Chili's and In-n-out

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      Boulevard Burgers
      21718 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91364

      6 Replies
      1. re: mucho gordo

        On your previous recommendation, gordo, I stopped by Boulevard and liked it -- juicy burger, good onion rings, businesslike service, interesting mix of customers. I'll include it in a review of not-yet-well-known burger joints in the near future.

        The stops on my list of "classic favorites or former favorites" in the current survey are all places that at some time or other were considered among the best and which I first visited at least 20 years ago. I want to see: (1) if they're still good; and (2) how much (if any) they've been influenced by fancier treatments of ground beef, as represented by F.O., G.S., and R.C. -- the winners in exilekiss' recent review.

        1. re: hnsbmg

          Thanks for confirming my good taste, hnsbmg. I thought I was the only one who liked the grease running down the forearm. Just curious as to your comment re: interesting mix of customers. Care to elucidate?

          1. re: mucho gordo

            The day I was there, I saw people in suits, laborers, college professors, young, old, male, female -- a diverse group of people, but, mercifully, no apparent hipsters.

            1. re: hnsbmg

              Fortunately, I don't think you'll find hipsters there. Did you happen to try any of the other items on their menu?

              1. re: mucho gordo

                Just the burger and onion rings (which were a great deal more than I could finish). What else do you recommend?

                1. re: hnsbmg

                  I haven't tried anything else. I was hoping you had and would recommend it. As a rule I usually don't order anything other than what the place specializes in. For example, I wouldn't order steak in a seafood restaurant.

      2. I share your sentiment about their burger: pretty good. I have yet to try their lamb burger, which is supposed to be very good. I still miss the lamb burger Umami made :(

        1. i thought it was sort of bland, though generally well prepared using good ingredients. most of all, it's a great deal for the area.

          1. Big fan of Golden State. If you want to try a West LA great version of the Tommy's / LA Style Chiliburger I always recommend Marty's. I always choose this restaurant over the Apple Pan which is about a block away.

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            Marty's Hamburger Stand
            10558 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064