Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Where to Drink in LA - Part 2 Hollywood

This week, I'm continuing my 4 week long series on Where to Drink Craft Beer on Tap in LA.  A couple of corrections from last week's post about the Westside: 5th Amendment has in fact changed its name to Broadway Alehouse, please make a note of it.  I also probably should have included the Venice Whole Foods, since their bar does in fact have 4 taps that they change roughly every week.  This week, we go to...


For those that still haven't figured out that Ryan Sweeney opened a beer bar in West Hollywood, you've all officially been told to go. 27 taps and 1 cask, they have killer selection and a great variety to choose from.  The Goat was recently selected by LA magazine as the number one beer bar in the city and it's hard to disagree.  I don't think I've seen as diverse a selection of Craft Beers labels and styles anywhere in LA.  Get in now before this place goes all Hollywood...

Owner Brian Lenzo has done a very nice job of creating a great Craft Beer bar, right on the edge of Hollywood.  The sign and window for this place is pretty small, you'll almost drive right past it, but there's plenty of space and big beers inside.  They have a giant projected screen that tells you what beers are on their 24 taps and 1 cask, but if you still can't decide on something they have a very eclectic bottle list and offer flights of beer.  Every week this place seems to have a new event going on and they do a great job of fostering the beer community; I just spent all day Saturday trying some of the incredible selections they brought in for 2nd Anniversary party.  The selection and rotation here is really excellent, and while I can't speak for all the food, the bartender talked me into getting an unlisted item, The Truffle Burger, which was unbelievably good.

Don't let the size of this place fool you.  While there's only a small list of beers on tap and 6 or so more in bottles, co-owner Jason Bernstein only serves you the best stuff.  Their beer selection is hard to argue with and their burger can give Father's Office a run for their money.  This offers a much brighter alternative to dark wooded interiors like the Goat and FO.  Be sure to try their sweet potato fries and a beer float.

The Village Idiot offers up good food with a fine assortment of beverages and was surprisingly a fixture before all of LA got into a Craft Craze.  It looks a bit more like a New York Gastropub, but its location on Melrose is unmistakably LA.  They have 7 resident taps, as well as one rotating tap.  I would love if they started rotating more, but until then, they serve up some good food including a few throwbacks you won't find at other places, like meat pies... yum? 

The owners of Lucky Devils seem to be big fans of Imports, however, they do make room on their 14 taps for 5 or 6 Crafts.  Once again, they don't rotate much, but perhaps I'm asking too much?  They also have a long bottle list.  While I've never eaten here, the food looks pretty good.  They use local and organic ingredients and have a number of pizzas and burgers for you to pair your beer with.  I don't know why, but those two food dishes are still my favorite things to have with a beer; maybe I'm just old school.  Swing in here for their $10 lunch special.

Nothing like a burger bar that says LA, and nothing better than a burger to go with your beer.  Compliment one of their 6 taps with any of their signature burgers or customize your own.  They also have a nice bottle selection including Ommegang, Russian River, Lost Abbey, and Allash.  Or you can order PBR in the can.

What? It's ANOTHER burger and beer bar?? Yes, deal with it!  Personally I love burgers and beer, so you won't find any complaints from me.  This one boasts 30 taps featuring names like Allagash, Port, Anderson Valley, North Coast, Deschutes, Lagunitas, Victory, and quite a few others.  They distinguish themselves by focusing on how to pair your burger and beer, which is probably something I'm fairly ignorant of on most occasions.  Haven't tried the burger yet so I can't give you my assessment, however, having looked over the menu it looks like they have 9 different styles to choose from.

You're probably thinking, "Morels?! That tourist trap in The Grove?" Yes.  While I can't recommend the atmosphere for everyone, they have 12 surprisingly well chosen California and other domestic Crafts on tap.  If you want to have a craft on tap, but you're not into bars, this might be a good place to go.  Or maybe just have a beer next time you're going to a movie.

This gastropub nestled at the edges of West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, might be one of the few sports bars that can serve you good beer and fancy food.  While their 34 taps feature some run of the mill, disappointing names like, Miller Lite, they also have slightly more interesting selections like Stone, Flying Dog, Bear Republic, and BrewDog.  I don't know if they have any team or city affiliation – maybe someone can get back to me on that – but they do say to come in for Dodgers' games on their website... maybe next season.

Alright, that's my Hollywood list.  Be sure to comment if I forgot any.  Next week, Silverlake/Echo Park/Downtown...

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