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Dec 15, 2006 05:56 PM

Restaurant/Bar for Belgian Beer (but not microbrews)

My friend is a bit of a beer snob and I'm looking for a place to take him out for drinks and/or a meal. He's a big fan of Belgian beers and German wheat beers, and not a fan of pilsners and/or most American microbrews. He likes Blair's and Library Alehouse and Good in Silver Lake (because of variety) and Lucky Devil's in Hollywood because it has a small but strong selection of beers on tap.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

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  1. In Old Town Pasadena there is Lucky Baldwin's with 63 beers On-Tap and these bottled Belgian Beers:

    In the other direction looking over the Pacific, there's Naja's Place on the Redondo Beach Pier that says on the front page of their website:

    "The Largest Selection of Beer in Los Angeles - Specializing in Belgian Beer"

    2 Replies
    1. re: JBC

      Just in case it wasn't clear, Baldwin's has Belgian beers on tap in addition to their bottled selections. Also, sometimes they have a Belgian beer festival, when they have many more (than normal) Belgians on tap.

      And they sell glasses too.

      1. re: will47

        Beer fest starts on Feb 10th... 50+ on tap each night

    2. Father's Office has Chimay White Label on tap, something that's difficult to find in L.A.

      Try to go at non-peak hours.

      And if you don't mind the schlep out to SGV, check out this article on The Stuffed Sandwich:

      1. I recall that the other room in venice has a good selection of Belgian's.
        1201 Abbot Kinney Boulevard
        Venice, CA 90293
        (310) 396-6230

        and i second the recommendation of Naja's. That place is Mecca for draft beers near LA. I love their selection of Cali Microbrews (esp. IPAs), but their selection of Belgian's is very impressive. Even saw bottles of St.Fulian's in the fridge.

        1. The bar at "The Beer Hotel" (4-Points Sheraton LAX) nearly always has Chimay on draught and a nice selection of Belgian bottles.

          Definitely go to the Belgian Festival at Lucky Baldwins in Pasadena. It's two weeks long starting Feb. 10th. Baldwin's also has a second outlet, Delerium Pub, in Sierra Madre.

          Stuffed Sandwich is a must for serious beer afficianados and Sam is one of the most knowledgable guys around.

          Naja's is my favorite beer bar in the L.A. area.

          While I love Father's Office for other reasons, Yulesmith being one of them, they offer 1 German Wheat (Hefe from Craftsman brewing in Pasadena) and the selection of Belgians is pretty underwhelming.

          I'd rate by beer selection:
          Stuffed Sandwich, Naja's, Baldwin's, F.O. (due to the quality of micros available), then "The Beer Hotel."

          By food I'd go:
          F.O., "The Beer Hotel," Suffed Sandwich, Naja's, Baldwin's

          3 Replies
          1. re: Kevin B

            Actually, the last time I went to Lucky' B's for the Belgian fest, I was really disappointed. They've gone way downhill, and seem to have begun to ignore the original pub since opening the Delirum in Sierra Madre. The lines for the draught beers were way dirtier than usual, and they were out of or hadn't tapped 60% or more of the beer menu. The wait staff was doing a very poor job-unusual from prior fests.

            This was like the THIRD day of the festival.

            1. re: Diana

              I see your point and I've also noticed small differences now that they are concentrating more on getting Sierra Madre up to speed.

              But also, I like that Dave holds things back so it's not like some other fests where the crowd is rediculous on day one and by day 2, the really special stuff is gone. A few years back, the last known keg of pre-palm Rodenbach didn't get tapped until the second to last day. Last year, I managed to get to the fest from the Westside 3 times and every time there was something special available.

              Bottom line for me (and probably for other beer afficianados) is that Dave will have things on tap during the Belgian fest that you will not get anywhere else in L.A. He has pull with Belgian brewers and some importers.

              1. re: Kevin B

                As a Maltose Falcon, I also am a beer geek. We all know and love David. Heck, he was knighted in Belgium. He has had kegs of special stuff in the cellar fro years, things he may never reveal. But the truth is, he isn't too interested in cleaning his beer lines, and the quality of the Belgian beer fest has plummeted in the past two years.

                There is a huge difference between holding back and just plain not having it. The fest has been mismanaged these past two years, as has the staff.

                It just feels like the love and care has drained out of it. I hope he gets back on track this year!

          2. Well Lucky B's draught system is certainly aging. But I've had relatively good luck in getting decent stuff. They have a huge selection though, with tons of bottled beers. That is probably where you'll find the real gems—they have a lot of big bottles too. You can buy a 'magnum' (not sure if that term applies to brew as well as wine) of beer and share it.