Los Angeles Recommendations?

Discuss beer travel and regional information, including the best bars and places to check out around in Canada and around the world.

Moderators: GregClow, Cass

User avatar
Cass
Beer Superstar
Posts: 3296
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Los Angeles Recommendations?

Postby Cass » Sat Aug 09, 2008 8:56 am

I'm leaving to LA on Tuesday for a week on business. I'm staying in Santa Monica, does anyone have any recos of places to check out?

I'll print off the BA and RB place sections but I thought I'd see if there were any BarToweller favourites.
User avatar
tupalev
Seasoned Drinker
Posts: 1010
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 7:00 pm

Postby tupalev » Sat Aug 09, 2008 12:00 pm

Hopefully Jon Walker checks in before you go, I know he has been there recently and found a couple of great spots.
User avatar
Jon Walker
Seasoned Drinker
Posts: 1899
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Wherever you go there you are

Postby Jon Walker » Sun Aug 10, 2008 8:04 pm

Hey! I was indeed there and I have mixed things to report.

L.A. is a surprisingly barren wasteland when it comes to brew pubs and good bars. You have to go quite far afield to locate great watering holes...but I can suggest a couple of places that are downtown.

1) Lucky Devils (6613 Hollywood Blvd. 323-465-8259). It's an upscale burger joint right on Hollywood blvd (near Vine). The burgers are actually very good and, when I was there, they had a decent bottle collection from around the world and an EXCELLENT tap lineup. They had about 10 taps all of which were exceptional...mostly IPA's, stouts and IIPA or barley wines. Trivia: Owned by Lucky Vanous who had a brief moment of fame as the construction worker guy in the Diet Coke ad who took off his shirt (and became a minor celebrity for a year or so in the early 90's). My Mum knew who he was...but then again she also fondly remembers Fabio.

2) Barney's Beanery (8447 Santa Monica Blvd. 323-654-2287). A very old school restaurant and bar with a pool table and a 50's vibe. The tap list is good and the bottle list was pretty good too. Trivia: Janis Joplin apparently got drunk here before going home and overdosing. Pretty sure she wasn't drinking the Stone IPA.

3) Sonora Cafe (180 South LaBrea 213-857-1800 ). I never went but was told they had a good selection of Belgian stuff by the bottle.

4) If you find yourself in Pasadena try Lucky Baldwins Pub. (17 South Raymond Ave 626-795-0652). A British style place but with a very impressive tap selection and a very good bottle selection.

In Santa Monica itself there's only two places I frequented.

1) Library Alehouse. Great tap selection, good atmosphere. Worth stopping in.

2) Father's Office. The place I went to was a small, cozy nook but they've apparently opened more of them since. Interesting tap selection and some house ales worth trying.

As for places to buy good beer...there are many good options. Lots of grocery stores have a great variety of good stuff, particularly California micros. Avoid low cost places like Ralphs and instead go to Bristol Farms, Whole Foods and other higher end food markets. The best place I found is Bevmo which has stores throughout the L.A. area. My favourite was on Melrose west of Fairfax. They have a website so it's easy to check out inventory and locations before you go.

Whatever venue you go to you'll likely find at least Sierra Nevada Pale Ale as the stuff seems to have really crossed over into the mainstream. Have a great time and please ask my SAG union brethren to settle their contract so I can go back to work. Cheers!
I don't always piss in a bottle but when I do...I prefer to call it Dos Equis.
User avatar
Cass
Beer Superstar
Posts: 3296
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Postby Cass » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:07 am

Thanks very much for the recos Jon, most appreciated. I'm looking forward to the trip, I've only been to LA once and it was for a day years ago. Cali just hasn't been a place I've ever been able to make it to for any period of time.

Although it is for business hopefully there will be time to explore. And I'll be sure to pass on your thoughts to any SAG folks I run into! :-)
Last edited by Cass on Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
Steve Beaumont
Posts: 443
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2003 7:00 pm
Contact:

Postby Steve Beaumont » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:36 am

Cass, I'll second what Jon notes, adding that Lucky Baldwin's has to be the single best beer bar in the LA area. If you go to no other "destination" beer joint, make it this one. Also, if you get to Father's Office, go hungry, as their food is pretty impressive. (The second location is in LA proper, off Venice Blvd.)

One other note, since you're bound to be flying in and out of LAX: If you have wait time, check in for your flight and then head over to the Four Points Hotel to chill at the bar. They've a pretty good beer selection, and although the food and beverage director has left since I last visited, they at least used to have pretty decent food. You can get there in about 2 minutes by taking the Budget Rent-a-Car shuttle and then crossing the street to the hotel.
old faithful
Bar Fly
Posts: 986
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2003 7:00 pm

Postby old faithful » Mon Aug 11, 2008 12:55 pm

Father's Office is an excellent beer bar, long-establised (at the original location). I recall a white ale once flavored with sage which was amazing. They had hand-pulled beer the last time I was there. The little supermarket trolley filled with french fries is cool too.

Barney's Beanery is old-school indeed, and still a great place.

Somewhere I read that in the 1950's it had an primitive signalling device installed in a lantern outside the door and could receive electronically from vehicles in the area orders for food. Some kind of telexed or broadcast information in the pre-cell phone era.

I don't know the other bars mentioned. It is such a land of the outdoors that usually when there I buy packaged beer and bring it to the host or hotel for sipping on the balcony.

Gary
User avatar
Tapsucker
Seasoned Drinker
Posts: 1622
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2006 5:21 pm
Location: Toronto

Postby Tapsucker » Mon Aug 11, 2008 6:31 pm

I'm just head there too, but I'll be stuck downtown, which is mostly sad. There is one place up near the concert hall I found a few years back. I wish I could remember the name. It had a great selection and service. If I get over there this time I'll bring back the details.
User avatar
Cass
Beer Superstar
Posts: 3296
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Postby Cass » Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:39 am

Hello from LA! I haven't been able to make it out to any of the bar recos yet (although Father's Office for sure today), since I have a rental I went to do a little shopping yesterday:


Image

I'll add Beverage Warehouse (http://www.beveragewarehouse.com) at 4935 McConnell Ave. to the reco list. It's in an industrial part of town, in fact the store is a basic industrial park unit itself, next to a large DirecTV complex.

Great selection, as you can see from the pic Alesmith is available which is something I'm definitely looking forward to trying!
User avatar
Jon Walker
Seasoned Drinker
Posts: 1899
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Wherever you go there you are

Postby Jon Walker » Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:08 am

Nice haul! L.A. is where I picked up all my Alesmith stuff, several of those same champagne style bottles are in my cellar still.

I remembered being so impressed by Bevmo that I took a pic. As a reminder to those that haven't been there this is only one of eight racks filled with equally impressive beer;
Image

How were the prices for the Alesmith at the place you went to Cass? The prices for the Alesmith can be seen in the pic which was taken in February of 2007.
I don't always piss in a bottle but when I do...I prefer to call it Dos Equis.
User avatar
Cass
Beer Superstar
Posts: 3296
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Postby Cass » Thu Aug 14, 2008 1:47 pm

Jon Walker wrote:How were the prices for the Alesmith at the place you went to Cass? The prices for the Alesmith can be seen in the pic which was taken in February of 2007.


The same, the large AleSmiths were $9.95 at Bev Warehouse.
User avatar
Cass
Beer Superstar
Posts: 3296
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Postby Cass » Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:19 am

OK, made it out to a couple of places yesterday before the shoot rehearsal today.

LOVED Father's Office. Cool vibe, feels like a local place which is a total plus as in Santa Monica there are certainly a lot of people from abroad. Quite a busy place and the seats / tables are a free for all, which can get a bit tricky if you're desperate to sit, but we were able to snag seats at the bar pretty easily. They have a guy at the door metering people coming in and they don't overfill.

Great beer selection on tap, especially Californian which was my top priority. Russian River had Perdition, Damnation and Pliny the Elder all on draught. So was AleSmith ESB. Also some beers from Stone, North Coast and Bear Republic. Various other ones from abroad, including Saison Dupont, Lindemans and Canada represented by a blinking Maudite tap.

Very good food as Stephen mentioned, and as Gary mentioned the mini grocery carts which held the fries were fun. The men's washroom was labelled "Gentleman's Lounge" which made me smile.

Overall a great place, will definitely try to go back or hit the LA location before I leave.

Also was able to check out Library Alehouse for lunch. Great location, Main street runs parallel from the beach in Santa Monica in a nice strip. Nice place, had a glass of Stone's anniversary chocolate stout and some beef tacos, both good. Very good tap selection but not as good as FO. Nice back patio which you'd never know was there. They also had a stack of Beer Advocate mags so I was able to snag one with the FreeOurBeer reference :-)
User avatar
Tapsucker
Seasoned Drinker
Posts: 1622
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2006 5:21 pm
Location: Toronto

Postby Tapsucker » Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:13 pm

I found an o.k. place called the Bonaventure Brewery in the Hotel Bonaventure downtown. The food was mid-pack pub fare and the staff was not very well educated on the beers they serve. However, they had a couple good house brews including a reasonable West Coast style IPA. Guest taps included Flat Tire, Pyramid etc. I would not call it a destination, but if your stuck in the area, there really are no other choices. Their pool side patio and late kitchen hours made up for some of the shortcomings. Apparently they have a sister pub in one of the beach towns, but I did not catch which one.

As for the other place I could not remember before, I was speeding past in a cab and still did not catch the whole name. It's something Brassierie and it appeared closed around 6pm as I went by. I don't know if it is closed or up to the standards of when I visited years ago, but if you are in the area it's worth checking. It is on Hope St. in the Music Center building.
User avatar
Cass
Beer Superstar
Posts: 3296
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Postby Cass » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:07 pm

To close off the trip I checked out the 2nd location of Father's Office, which is at 3229 Helms Avenue in Culver City.

The bar is in an interesting part of town, an area called the "Helms Bakery District" in reference to an old bakery that was on the site. The area reminded me of the Distillery District but the buildings seemed much newer. It has a similar vibe with furniture and fashion stores, restaurants and cafes.

FO was definitely the hotspot, around 5-6pm on Monday is was pretty much full. The location is much larger than the Santa Monica location, with a patio, tables and a longer bar.

Their tap selection was pretty consistent with the other location. I was driving so I just had one, the Ommegang Rouge which was on tap and quite tasty. I also had their burger which was outstanding as advertised.

They've got some interesting policies around their food as I overheard from other patrons - there are no substitutions, deletions or changes at all. So you cannot get the burger without the cheese, for example. Anyway, kinda added to its uniqueness since I'm not picky when it comes to that sort of thing.

It was interesting to see "regular" people asking and trying all sorts of different beers. Many of the crowd "looked" like they would be mass-beer type drinkers, but they were having Russian River, Stone and others. It was great to see such an experimental beer clientele.
User avatar
cratez
Beer Superstar
Posts: 2135
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:29 pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: Los Angeles Recommendations?

Postby cratez » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:52 am

Reviving this 10-year-old thread to seek advice on Los Angeles beer spots. Will be here for five days in early October. I put the guide below together using combined RB/BA place scores and plan on hitting many of these spots. Just wondering if there are any glaring omissions that are worth visiting (I'm aware that Monkish is outside the city). Also seeking advice on the best neighborhood to stay in Los Angeles proper for a beer geek / foodie. Thanks in advance for your help.

Breweries / Brewpubs:
Hermosillo Club / Highland Park – RB: 87 / BA: 87 / CS: 87
Golden Road Brewing – RB: 83 / BA: 82 / CS: 83
Mumford Brewing – RB: 81 / BA: 84 / CS: 83
Arts District Brewing – RB: 83 / BA: 80 / CS: 82
Eagle Rock Brewery – RB: 83 / BA: 78 / CS: 81
Angel City Brewing – RB: 83 / BA: 76 / CS: 80
Dry River Brewing – RB: 76 / BA: 81 / CS: 79

Bars / Eateries:
Mohawk Bend – RB: 97 / BA: 88 / CS: 93
Blue Palms Brewhouse – RB: 96 / BA: 90 / CS: 93
Verdugo Bar – RB: 88 / BA: 86 / CS: 87
Beer Belly L.A. – RB: 84 / BA: 83 / CS: 84
Wurstkuche: Los Angeles – RB: 81 / BA: 85 / CS: 83
Barbara's At The Brewery – RB: 76 / BA: 88 / CS: 82
Far Bar – RB: 81 / BA: 83 / CS: 82
Mikkeller DTLA – RB: 73 / BA: 88 / CS: 81
Brewsters Beererie – RB: 83 / BA: 76 / CS: 80
The York – RB: 78 / BA: 80 / CS: 79

Stores:
Wally’s – RB: 87 / BA: 84 / CS: 86
Sunset Beer Company – RB: 81 / BA: 90 / CS: 86
Beverage Warehouse – RB: 84 / BA: 84 / CS: 84
Ramirez Liquor – RB: 78 / BA: 90 / CS: 84
"Bar people do not live as long as vegan joggers. However, they have more fun." - Bruce Elliott
Delaque
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:29 am

Re: Los Angeles Recommendations?

Postby Delaque » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:56 am

Hey, you are looking for spots in LA and San Diego, any time for a stop in between? Orange County/Anaheim have some can't miss spots IMO - Bottle Logic, Bruery, Bruery Terreux...numerous bars and bottle shops too. I work in LA/OC/SD for a couple weeks every 3 months or so.

Monkish (10min from LAX) and Firestone Walker Venice Beach, wouldn't come to LA and not visit them. Black Beard Crafts is a great bottle shop just a little north of FW. Surly Goat in West Hollywood is a great beer bar, very close to the Comedy Store for a good night out. Modern Times recently opened the Dankness Dojo in DTLA too.

Return to “Local Beer Guides”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests