Let's Be Frank bratwurst with fries
With its funky mix of oldtime delis, thrift shops, slick record stores for djs and Yiddish music shops, Fairfax Ave. has always been where alternative meets yenta. In the swinging '60s, Fairfax was ground zero for head shops and oddball coffeehouses in the vein of Nova Express, which formerly occupied the space that owner Jason Bernstein has turned into Golden State. He spent months clearing out the faded auras of underage William Burroughs fans, and the remodeled space is airy and casual with brick walls and an open kitchen.
Four or five taps showcase a carefully curated selection of rotating beers (most at $6 a glass), with extensively annotated tasting notes available to study the choices. Breweries featured include Craftsman, Green Flash and Bear Republic.
The smartest new restaurateurs are building on the best-quality local products to stock their menus. Chef Samir Mohajer, owner of the Cabbage Patch, consulted on the menu which includes natural sausages from Let's Be Frank, Craftsman beers, and Scoops ice cream. It's the first place to buy the famously eccentric Scoops outside of Hel-Mel, and Tai Kim created special flavors for Golden State including chocolate sorbet with Green Flash IPA and Sauvignon blanc pear sorbet.Scoops flavors include fig pistachio, peanut butter Butterfinder and strawberry balsamic
Jeff liked his Farmhouse burger with Harris ranch beef, Fiscalini cheddar and brown sugar bacon, and I tried a savory bratwurst. Sweet potato fries were more baked than fried; tasty but it takes a fork to eat them. Regular fries with curry ketchup and hazelnut romesco sauce went mighty well with my complex Allagash Curieux barrel-aged beer, the only one they carry from outside of California. We sampled a bit of the menu, but I'm sure I'll be back for lunch soon as I want to try the jalapeno cabbage slaw and grilled cheese sandwich (no booze before 5 pm on weekdays though -- too close to Fairfax High.)
Here's more on the great fish 'n chips at Golden State.
The Golden State
426 N. Fairfax Ave.