Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Where to Drink in LA - Part 3, Silverlake/Echo Park/Downtown

It's week #3 of Where to Drink Craft Beer on Tap in LA.  This week you'll notice I'm clumping together a few neighborhoods and including a few places which are really wine bars because of the sparse amount of places.

Silverlake/Echo Park/Downtown

This place is certainly no Shortstop, and you won't find $2 PBR's at gametime.  El Prado has around 7 or 8 taps they use to rotate an excellent selection of domestic and foreign Crafts.  It's a tiny little place in the up and coming neighborhood of Echo Park, but certainly worth a stop if you're passing by and feel like you need some refreshments.  They have some small bites like walnuts for you to munch on if you need something more than just a drink.

City Sip is certainly more of a Wine establishment, but they do pay attention to the Craft Beer drinkers.  In fact, they're hosted a home brew class a few weeks ago.  They have 6 rotating taps with names like Victory, Allagash, Port, and Eagle Rock.  They also carry a few Belgian bottles, including my favorite sour, Duchesse de Bourgogne.  The vibe here is about helping your to learn about beer and wine as you drink it and in that vein, they have large selection of rotating cheeses they like to pair with their beers.

Bar Covell is an interesting mix of vintage class and antique funk in Los Feliz across from the Umami Burger.  While their primary feature is the 20 rotating wine options,  they've taken to serving some very fine brews.  8 rotating taps serving names like Flying Dog, Jolly Pumpkin, St. Bernardu, and Eagle Rock Brewery, just to name a few.  At $7 -8 per glass it's on the pricier side, but this is nothing new to all you beer lovers out there.  No food here, but they do small cheese plates and chacuterie.

Recently, I've been hearing a lot about this new bar, nestled in the Historic Filipino section of Echo Park and recently opened in March.  I actually used to live around the corner from where it's located on Temple, so I'm bummed they weren't open when I was there.  Apparently, it's a pretty low profile place, not much of a sign, and its metal screen door suggests more of an appliance store than a bar.  But along with its "dive-y" atmosphere, you'll find reasonable beer prices, and a decent selection from 4 taps.

Villains Tavern
It's hard to keep up with all the new places Downtown, seems like a new one is opening up every week. Villains is an interesting addition to the Downtown landscape.  Open now for only a few weeks, the gothic styled venue, located under the shadows of the 4th and 6th street bridges in the arts district, specializes in mixology, however, does sport 28 taps.  They serve their beers in chilled jars, which is an interesting touch, but tells me they probably won't be bringing in the rarest of the rare.  Along that note, while they have some better selections than most, e.g. Racer 5, Deschutes, Chimay, Anchor, Lost Coast, they also have some pretty disgraceful taps like Bud Light, Miller Lite (never understood why it's 'ite') and Tecate.  For $8 they give you a beer and shot of your choice, which is a lovely combo, however, I've heard complaints that the size is a little small on these.  Another problem is there's no happy hour, which may disappoint the thriftier of us.  But for the hungry, there is food.

This is a tough one for me.  I'm not sure Good really fits the profile of some of these other places, but I thought, since I'm compiling a list of where you can drink Craft Brews, this is in fact a place where you can get it  on tap.  While Good doesn't really rotate their taps much, you may find yourself ordering off their surprisingly large menu of bottle selections. There is plenty of space inside and out to enjoy your beer in.  They also have their own namesake beer, brewed by Firestone.

Spring St.
Downtown residents have a lot to be happy about now that they have Spring St, their only true Downtown Craft Beer joint.  Having looked over the menu, I'm not blown away by their tap choices, but they certainly have some classics like Brother Thelonious, Arrogant, 90 minute, Pranqster, Telegraph White, and Anderson Valley Oatmeal Stout.  Throw in an outdoor patio, reasonable prices, and a smoked salmon sandwich, which seems to be all the rage, and you've got yourself a gastropub of note.

In case you have a friend that doesn't like beer, bring them to this place; they can drink wine, you can drink beer.  With 12 taps, a beer float, and plenty of wines to choose from, Bottle Rock is a great place for a few small plates or a full meal.  They also have a Culver City location.

Once again, another Wine Bar coming around and serving great beer as well.  While you have to dig through an extensive list of wines to find them, they do feature 6 well selected taps and 6 more expensive but eclectic bottles.

Just last week I heard about this new place that opened in Koreatown a few months ago, although I as of yet I haven't been and don't know too much about them.  Since they don't have a website, I looked them up on Yelp and they get excellent marks.  From what I can tell, the place is in the style of a traditional Bavarian Beer Garden, however, with the food being a combination of German, Mexican, and Korean Bbq.  They have 25 beers on tap and sport labels like Alesmith, Golden Carolous, and Delerium, but I imagine some interesting German beers as well.  To top it off, they have beer floats, making them the 3rd place in LA to delve into this burgeoning trend.  Unfortunately, they're only using Thifty ice cream, not Scoops, but I realize that may be a selling point for some.

Ok, this isn't really a Craft Beer bar, but who can argue with a great German Beer selection and killer sausages!  I don't know if the place really qualifies, but it's just fun to go here.

That's all, next week... The Valley.

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