I've had the Golden State Cafe on Fairfax on my foodie (term used LOOSELY) radar for a couple of weeks. In one convenient location they have two foods that I have been wanting to try for year(s) but have lamely (term used STRONGLY) been unable: Let's Be Frank hotdogs and Scoops gelato. I once got to the hotdog cart and had no cash and once went there just missing it's close-time. Then about a month ago, my guy and me wanted to try Scoops after seeing a play at Sacred Fools (Forever, the Musical!) and were unable due to some street fair blocking all the streets... so we went to Whole Foods and I bought Mashti Malone icecream (tidbit for another day). Point being, I was excited and ready. Now the funny thing... last week when we tried to go (Sunday around 2ish) there was no parking, none, not for blocks on either side of Fairfax... once again I was seemingly THWARTED from hotdogs and gelato, the gods having a right good laugh at my hungry expense. So today, rightly determined, again around 2ish, the quest for more grown-up versions of my childhood favorites was made complete, for now. I was encouraged by our ability to snag a parking spot right in front of the restaurant with 20 minutes left on the meter. Was it worth the wait? Yes.
Fra Mani Italian pork sausage w/ roasted red peppers & caramelized onions
sweet potato wedges with garlic aioli
Let's Be Frank beef hotdog w/ relish & caramelized onions
jalapeno cabbage slaw
We were made to feel instantly welcome (by both the counter staff and one of the owners, Jason), which is something I do not take for granted, even though the recession seems to have brought the customer service bar up a few notches. Only minor snafu is that they were out of the chicken apple sausage my guy wanted, but being an Italian (him) I suggested the Italian sausage ;) hey I take the jokes where I can get them! I love love love hotdogs, so I went the more traditional route and got the beef hotdog. We were both pleased with what we got and hopefully the food porny shots (by him) will convey just how satisfying our meals were.
My hotdog was flavorful, had a nice bite/texture and while having hints of more "conventional" hotdogs, had a subtle difference, brighter if that makes sense. I'm not bothered by it being larger than the bun. That way I got a first bite of simple hotdog before it married with the house-made relish, caramelized onions, mustard and lightly toasted bun. Paired with the not-too-hot jalapeno cabbage slaw which utilizes their garlic aioli ever so lightly, I was able to finish it all without any feeling of heaviness. Oh yeah, I'm already thinking about the next time.
He liked his sausage (well, but not overly seasoned) w/ roasted red peppers and some of my caramelized onions, served with the sweet potato wedges, which he actually ate with the aioli served with them, a miracle since he has this mayo thing that goes back 20 years. It's good stuff. At $7 & $8, which includes tax, 2 toppings and 1 side, for food that is more ethical, local, and sustainable... everybody wins.
We then took a stroll around Fairfax where I snagged a Mexican peasant top and 2 glass bottle thingies (have a project in mind) at Out of the Closet. After making a circuit we went back to GS for a scoop of gelato to share (one way we stay thin). We chose the Salty Chocolate (girl with pms chooses!) and how good was it? It didn't last long enough for a picture. Reminded us a little of fudgecicles we ate as kids... with just the right amount of salt to make it a different take on decadent.
Definitely adding this place to my regular haunts.
426 N. Fairfax
LA CA 90036
Until next time... Miss Absinthe