Kid Hit Menu Items: Let’s Be Frank hot dogs ($7); the now-famous Golden State burger ($10); fries ($3); sweet potato wedges ($4); cucumber salad ($3); side of bacon.
Adult Perks: Major craft beer geekery and small wine list. Famous beer float with Old Rasputin and Scoops’ Brown Bread ice cream ($8). Everybody wins! (Just make sure to have another caretaker around or be ready for a nap if you go for the float. No joke.) The Golden State Salad with arugula, tomatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, and cucumber is nutritious and delicious. I recommend adding avocado and/or bacon.
Pros: The terrific owners and all-around good guys, Jason Bernstein and Jim Starr (who also happens to be a new parent. Welcome to the club, Jim!). Super friendly staff. Nothing too precious. The TV tuned to ESPN can help keep budding sports enthusiasts entertained. The center of the room is generous enough to fit a stroller if need be.
Cons: Space between tables is cramped. The hard floor can handle a spilled mess, but has other drawbacks. Baby once grabbed a bowl and it shattered on the floor. Fortunately we’ve earned good will there so that it wasn’t too much a problem. Still, embarrassing. Also, see the next two categories below.
Changing Station: No
High Chairs: No
Parking and Access: Meter parking on Fairfax can be tough, especially on weekends. Meters must be fed even on Sundays, too. Generally during weekdays, however, we always find parking.
Other Tidbits: Golden State was the first restaurant I started taking my oldest to frequently, and we quickly became regulars soon after it opened. He totally would have become its first mayor if there were a Junior Foursquare network. The simple menu of burgers, hot dogs, tuna melts, fries, and case stocked with Scoops ice creams instantly win kids’ hearts, while the organic and sustainable ingredients put parents at ease. Even if they don’t have some of the trappings of kid-friendly places (highchairs etc.) the laid back vibe is always just right.
426 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax District/Mid-City
Cuisine: American, Cali-Centric Gastropub
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, Noon – 10 p.m. (closed Monday)