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Good place for great beers and good food for beer geek's birthday (definitely NOT Father's Office, please!!)

  • d

My husband, a leap year baby and beer afficionade (brewer/judge/drinker/grand ydromets of the Maltose Falcons-he likes beer) Has requested for his birthday

"A great meal and time hanging out with my friends at a place with really good beer."

Gimme suggestions, gang! Just NOT Father's office. Sang Yoon is a twit, and the crowd and attitude there is insane. Also, not BJ's. he used to WORK for BJ's. In the brewery. He also goes to their beer appreciation night every month. he's had enough of thier beer and food for a lifetime

The food can be simple, fancy or whatever, but it has to be GOOD- and better tha small plates. The beers have to be a pretty good selection of the better small/microbrewery/imports. Think Nadja's Place with a little more of a restaurant vibe and nice tables.

I was thinking perhaps Lucky Devils or maybe even a place as fancy as the Wine House Upstairs or somewhere in between.


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  1. Lucky Devil's is a good idea. Royal Clayton's downtown has a very nice selection of beers, it skews toward the fancier side, but there's a pool table. The beer list is on their site.
    There's always the Library Alehouse in Santa Monica.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chowpatty

      Lucky Devil's is perfect. They have at least 12 quality beers on tap and a great selection of bottled ones. The menu is limited, but I haven't had a better burger. Their salads, fries and sandwiches are all top notch.

      1. re: Chowpatty

        I'll have to agree with Lucky Devil's! Love them.

      2. The Other Room in Venice has a very good selection of Belgian and German beers and a decent alternatives for anyone whose not into that. The scene is great... very low key and cool (the anti-Father's Office crowd).

        2 Replies
        1. re: LAcupcake

          Agreed, but the Other Room doesn't serve food; you canhowever order takeout from the various restaurants on Abbott Kinney.

          1. re: cookie monster

            I like the Other Room during Saturday afternoons, when it's not such a fancy crowd. The beer selection is very good. But at night, I just couldn't say that the Other Room is much different than the scene at Father's Office. It's got that uber-cool Venice vibe, which is sometimes OK, but sometimes can be a bit much.

        2. Nook or Beachwood both make my beer-loving partner happy.

          I seem to remember Ford's filling station having a nice beer selection..but I'm fuzzy.

          If I want to make him estatic, I have to take him to Nadja's in Redondo Beach.

          1. The Library is also nice in the Santa Monica/Venice area.

            2 Replies
            1. re: SauceSupreme

              the food at the library ale house isn't the greatest...

              1. re: TravelJack

                No, it's not, but it's still pretty good, especially when you're really there for the beer selection anyway.

            2. How casual are you looking to go? Would the original Barney's Beanery do the trick? Lot of beers, and the food's all bar food but they have a big menu and for bar food it's pretty good.

              1 Reply
              1. Village Idiot on Melrose
                Blair's on Rowena in Silverlake
                Bottle Rock in Culver City

                1. I second Village Idiot & Bottle Rock. You should also consider 3rd Stop; they have tons of interesting beers for around $5 a beer.

                  3rd Stop
                  8636 W. Third St.
                  (Robertson Blvd.)
                  West Hollywood, CA 90048

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Obessed

                    My first thought was 3rd Stop. They have about 40 beers on tap, perfect celebration atmosphere and great food. I can't go there without ordering the Veneto pizza...yum! Service is casual, but very fast. You order at the bar and they bring your food to the table.

                    Another place that's completely different yet very beer-oriented is the Red Lion Tavern in Silver Lake. The beer garden is quite festive and the food would make a German mother proud!

                    1. re: AlabasterDisaster

                      Ditto 3rd Stop - huge beer list, great pizza, OUTRAGEOUS mac and cheese if it's the special that night

                      1. re: macrogal

                        Another vote for 3rd Stop, although it does tend to get crowded some nights. And there is this dessert pizza made with chocolate - mm, so good.

                        1. re: jacinthe

                          YES YES YES 3rd Stop Rocks! great food...try the sheperds pie, the pizzas, the chocolate pizza for dessert...I love this place!

                          1. re: coco puff

                            I'll echo the 3rd stop -- the polenta with gorgonzola cream sauce is also REALLY good (I think they fry the polenta in bacon grease) and I love the 3rd stop pizza. They have a ton of interesting microbrews, including some locals that aren't widely available (Craftsman)

                    2. Oh, yeah, forgot about 3rd Stop and Village Idiot, both good ideas. But don't go to Barney's Beanery -- I wouldn't take my enemies there, let alone my beloved husband.

                      1. Check out The Stuffed Sandwich in Temple City. The owner there is great and he boasts the largest by bottle beer selection I have ever seen. the Pastrami sandwich is good too...I hate to mention the Yardhouse, but the Yardhouse generally has a great selection and decent food.

                        1. Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks takes their beer seriously

                          1. I know, I know it's a chain, but the Yard House has between 130-250 beers on Tap (depending on location). I've always found the food good and a decent atmosphere, but come on... 250; on tap, ya gotta have a good time.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: LuigiOrtega

                              I like the beer selection on tap at the Yard House. They have Hoegaarden on tap. I haven't tried much of the food. The fries and the grilled artichoke were okay, though.

                              1. re: LuigiOrtega

                                I really like the Yard House, great beer selection and if you go to the Long Beach location, sit outside on the deck right on the water with a view of the yacht harbor, really pleasant. Large menu with great appetizers, get the Ahi Poke Stack....yum!

                              2. Lucky Baldwin's in Pasadena has a good 40 beers on tap, but specializes in Belgian beers....considered the best in the world. Even when I was biking through lower Bavaria, the Germans there admitted Belgians brewed the best.

                                I have personally reviewed over 88 different Belgian beers on tap at Lucky Baldwin's, and they have a good 20 Belgians on tap at any one time, way, far beyond the usual Chimays, Deleriums and Orvals. They will almost certainly have no tap at least ten Belgian beers that nobody else in the city will have.

                                Lucky's is on Raymond just south of Colorado Blvd in Pasadena. It's an Irish pub. The food is good.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: chrisheadrick

                                  He's been to Lucky B's so many times, He goes all the time. I was thinking of womewhere different for him...somewhere new

                                2. p.s.-- the selections at a Yard House will not satisfy a true beer nerd. Sure, they have quantity, but if this guest has been a brewer and a judge, immediately half the taps there will be discounted by him, and the others he will have tried long ago. For all the taps, almost all the taps are lagers and light pils to satisfy typical tastes.

                                  Also, Red Lion has a fun atmosphere and good German food, but not a deep enough beer list: the selections (about 10?) are quite typical German labels.....Franzeskaner, Paulaner, etc. Nothing you can't get in a decent grocery store by the bottle.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: chrisheadrick

                                    Yeah, he's doesn't like Yard House, it's all so redundant for the guy. He's been to Red Lion a lot, too.

                                    Boy, novelty for a serious beer nerd is hard to find in LA!

                                    Thanks for all the suggestions, guys! ALL of them! It's really helping me!

                                    3rd Stop and Lucky Devils seems to be tops so far.

                                    1. re: Diana

                                      sounds like the most novel idea would be to take him to a place that does NOT serve beer...

                                    2. re: chrisheadrick

                                      I know you've ruled out the Red Lion food-wise but let me say that from a beer standpoint they keep their beers a lot better than other places carrying a similar selection. Spaten or Paulaner on tap at Red Lion beats a six-pack of such at Von's anytime. just thot I'd throw that in there.

                                      I'm assuming that by ruling out Father's Office, you're looking on the westside? Library Alehouse or Sonny McLean's aren't a bad start if you're looking to link a well-kept beer selection with food. 3rd stop would also be high on the list.

                                    3. I went to Lucky Devils this afternoon for lunch after reading the replies to Diana's request. I don't mind spending a lot of money on food and drinks, but a bill (with tip) of over $60 for lunch when we ordered a chicken sandwich, yogurt with fruit, two pancakes, a tuna melt and only 2 beers is crazy. The prices for food and drinks are OUTRAGEOUS!!!...and my receipt even itemized that I received a 10% on each item (I guess because I was there for lunch). The pints were $6 each!!!!!!!!! If you have a lot of money to spend then Lucky Devils is your place.

                                      1. I'm a beer geek - was a falcon - but haven't been brewing as of late because of work. Your question is a very difficult one - because LA hasn't really been able to mix both well - food and beer. I think the burger at Lucky Devil's is really good and the beer selection is pretty good. Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks has a pretty decent beer selection and you can go either BBQ or an upscale bistro for the food choice. I work right by the 3rd Stop and have been there a couple times. I like the food and the beer selection is pretty good but, still kind of uninspired. But, no one seems to have a superior well thought out selection right now. In fact, Otheroom in Venice - even without food is kind of slacking in their beer selection - and I go there often. The Village Idiot has a concise decent selection and the food is good - it's a welcome newcomer to the area. Very low key and unpretentious -yet very crowded. Hope you guys have a good time. Good luck.

                                        1. I know this is probably way too late, but I just stumbled on this post. Try 4 Points Sheraton near LAX. They have very good food, some fine drafts and a fabulous bottle selection. Village Idiot is good for what it is, but it is not a beer bar. Another idea is Cube on La Brea which has no liquor license at the moment and therefore no corkage, so you can bring the very best you can get--maybe even homebrew!

                                          1. It sounds like you're trying to impress the king with a visit to the most worthy of castles when he already lives in it... might it be possible to take him to a place like Lucky Baldwins and do something special there? Like maybe talk to the owner to see if he can maybe break open a special kegger in his honor, or serve up his favorite food - whatever it is - if it is at all possible for them to do so? It sounds like he frequents this place enough that he must carry some carte blanche with the owner... If I were as serious of a beer drinker as he sounds to be, I don't think I'd have a problem going to a great beer house that I've been to before - just need to put a slightly different spin on it to show you cared... or else maybe a couple of round-trip tickets to Brussels for a week of beer touring?

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: bulavinaka

                                              We did a special event at Lucky B's a while ago.

                                              Belgium?! I wish. I only have so much $$

                                              We are going there on our delayed honeymoon, though

                                              1. re: Diana

                                                We've moved the off topic digression about Hoegaarden to the Beer board, at http://www.chowhound.com/topics/383090

                                            2. Just throwing this one into the ring, it's a South Bay spot, so it might be out of your range but,

                                              Cafe Boogalloo in Hermosa Beach sounds like it could be an option. Depending on his want or unwant to listen to live music and such, but they have pretty decent if not great food and they have 27 Micro Brews on tap, surely to impress any beer lover.


                                                1. re: Fat Billie

                                                  I believe Naja's is the Best Beer Bar in the World, and I love the food, but it obviously cannot be the solution when Diana explicitly requests "Think Nadja's Place with a little more of a restaurant vibe and nice tables." On the other hand, they do have the most awesome boat rides down the pier and that definetly adds a festive vibe.

                                                2. Library ale House , Main Street, SMonica. Sit on the patio in the back.

                                                  1. Good Microbrew in Silverlake (Sunset and Lucille) has over 200 bottled microbrews and imports. I've had great meals there and good meals there, but never a bad one. I am a huge beer geek and they only have 4 or 5 beers on tap at a time, but I have always been able to find new bottled beers to try.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: mojoeater

                                                      You know, his birthday was in February....