"Tannaz Sassooni, what are you doing right now?"
I was in my PJ's, still in bed, IMing with a friend, but quickly threw on some clothes, grabbed my camera, and walked over to the restaurant -- I know what's good for me. Jason and our friend Jim Starr are opening The Golden State -- a new restaurant in the old Nova Express space on Fairfax -- and they were in the middle of some serious building.
When I got there, someone was replastering the storefront -- it was still half black, half white, while someone else was up on the roof, installing something really big. Jason and Jim are still haranguing with contractors, but the place is coming together.
If you use your imagination a bit, you can see how the aesthetic -- a clean white space marked by one brick wall, exposed roof beams, and a few geometric asymmetries -- will complement their simple but not dumbed-down menu (designed by chef Samir Mohajer) that includes sausage sandwiches, a burger you will not believe, Scoops (!!) ice cream (the Golden State will be the only place you can get Scoops outside Tai's original store in East Hollywood), and an awesome beer and wine list -- just the kind of spot our neighborhood needs.
I don't ask when the place is going to open anymore, because if there's anything I've learned from Jason and Jim, it's how close to impossible it is to go through the hoops necessary to open a restaurant in this town, but it's coming together in the next few months. Start getting excited now.
a little angel on the concrete wall out back, compliments of neighboring artist (and owner of the property), Harry Blitzstein
[more here at Eater LA]
[and more photos here]