I think I may have just found the BEST burgers in LA! Now, I'm not saying I've been to every burger joint here, in fact, I was actually going to try out a different burger spot in Santa Monica. The plan was to grab burgers and enjoy the beach on Memorial Day. It didn't end up happening since we got out of the house rather late and the Uber to the beach was 20 bucks for the holiday. So instead we settled on The Golden State which was only a mile away.
We decided to walk there since it was a beautiful day, the sun was finally out after a week of cloudy skies. I guess it got the news that it's the first day of summer! Located just two blocks from the Grove, The Golden State is quite easy to miss. The restaurant is hidden behind dark tinted windows with a small golden vinyl sign stickered to one of them.
(hmm...idunno maybe buy STEEM?😉)
Walking in I noticed that the place was rather small, dimly lit and decorated with the typical hipster decor (blackboards, brick walls, framed caricatures of famous individuals, wood and dark metal accents.) The restaurant is actually known for their great selection of local draft beers, as the owners who founded it were looking to create something that highlighted all the great things about Los Angeles. I'll be honest I was tempted to try their beer selection but it was the middle of the day so I passed. On their website, they even mention how all their ingredients are locally sourced which really was what won me over when choosing a restaurant.
Their menu has a great variety of comfort foods from hot dogs to burgers to beer floats. But we came here for burgers so we got burgers. Lucky for us the Monday special was the "Classic Burger" so Rob ordered one of those with a side of fries and I got their "The Burger" with a side of sweet potato wedges. And let me tell you that was definitely THE BURGER.
The Burger blew my mind. It was honestly one of the best burgers I've ever eaten. So here are the deets. From the first bite, I noticed that the beef was so incredibly tender. I asked for it to be cooked medium rare and honestly, I expected it to be overcooked because that's just usually what happens. But the meat was perfectly grilled, juicy, tender and melted in your mouth. I was happily surprised because the burger on paper seemed like a pretty simple burger. It's a beef patty with cheddar, applewood smoked bacon, arugula, aioli, and ketchup. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've had this exact burger with these exact ingredients before at other restaurants.
But this burger was different and I just pinpoint exactly why. The ingredients worked well together, the arugula tasted fresh and didn't get lost in all that meat and cheese. The bacon wasn't obnoxious in the way that all you could taste was crunchy overly smoked bacon. It actually complimented the beef well and didn't try to steal the show like most bacon on burgers do. And lastly, the burger didn't fall apart! I hate hate hate burgers that fall apart and by the end, you feel like a barbarian with burger droppings everywhere. The burger held on to the last bite and each bite was perfect with just the right ratio of ingredients. You probably can tell I was impressed, just writing this now makes me want more!
Now to the CLSC Burger. This burger was absolutely delicious! Both Rob and I agreed that The Burger was better, but that's not a knock on the chef but rather just a preference thing. The CLSC Burger was topped with provolone cheese, applewood smoked bacon, house beer-battered onion ring, and Bludso's BBQ sauce. Who is Bludso? Yea I have no idea, but he knows how to do BBQ sauce!
The beef patty on the CLSC was just as juicy and tender and perfect as The Burger's. The ingredients all held up well and impressively for a BBQ burger, it was mess free! Again it DIDN'T fall apart! If I could, I would reward the genius behind the grill who managed to make a BBQ burger that didn't fall into a wet mess after one bite. The only gripe I had with this burger was that the sauce was a tad overpowering to the point where I couldn't taste the natural flavors of the beef. But the sauce was tangy sweet and delicious so I can't complain. Instead, the bacon was the star of this show. And the beer-battered onion ring was the fan favorite comedic relief. Would I recommend this burger? Hell yes! Especially to the BBQ sauce lovers out there.
(sorry this flat lay shot is kind of crap 🙈)
Now to the sides. The french fries were crispy, salty, with a dash of parsley, perfect! The sweet potato wedges were soft, sweet and salty, caramelized to the point of oozing inside, amazing! There's nothing more I can say. Both were great with the side of garlic aioli.
The real surprise of the meal, however, was the House Minted Lemonade. It was such a refreshing little drink and incredibly minty. I loved how it paired with the burgers. Burgers are delicious but always greasy and tend to leave your mouth with an oily aftertaste. The mint from the lemonade cleansed my palate between bites and refreshed my taste buds. This helped make every bite of my burger as good as the first.
Now at this point you already know I loved this meal and would give The Golden State five out of five stars. The real question is "When is the next time I'll be back??" Hopefully very soon! 😋
I hope you enjoyed reading about my Memorial Day lunch and that next time you come to LA you'll have a go-to burger place in mind. Let me know what your favorite comfort food is in the comments below! Do you love burgers as much as I do? Or maybe you prefer something healthier? I can't wait to hear all about it!
Happy eating! :)
"People who love to eat are always the best people."