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Belgium Beer on the westside.

So I have recently fell in love with Belgium beer. The problem is I have been in NYC for the past 2 years finding all the great Belgium beer bars and I don't know any on the westside. I am in Mar Vista (between Venice, Santa Monica and Culver City) and I am dying to find a/some good places to go! Any ideas? Thanks!!

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  1. Father's Office is a good choice. They aren't focused on belgian beers but they have quite a few and the new location in Culver City ought to serve you well.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Frommtron

      I like that they have Allagash on tap.

      1. re: a_and_w

        Indeed

    2. Library Ale House on Main Street in Santa Monica usually carries some good choices as well. They rotate a certain number of their draft beer selections regularly but almost always carry at least a handful of Belgian/Belgian-styles on tap, and at least 10-12 in bottles as well.

      If you're willing to head down to Redondo Beach, try Naja's on the pier. They have upped their game over the past 10 years and pride themselves on carrying tons of Belgians, both on their fleet of taps as well as in bottles (probably 80-100? It's insane). And if you head down there, try Yakitori Bincho - you could load up on some great yakitori before heading over to Naja's - they still need to raise the bar on their food. This place is very unpretentious to a fault, so don't get dressed up - they may throw you out!

      1. There are great BelgiAN beer places in LA, but you may want to travel a wee bit farther.

        The Delerium Cafe in Sierra Madre or it's sister, Lucky Baldwin's in Pasadena is the belgian Star of LA-the owner was knighted by the BelgiAN prime minister. A good selection all the time and a once or twice yearly BelgiAN beer festival.

        In redondo Beach, Naja's Place has a huge tap row of beer, and some fine BelgiAN choices.

        1. Father's Office, 3rd stop, library alehouse are probably the top choices in your area. Lucky Baldwin's is great, but it's a bit far in Pasadena. On a more random note, I remember 26 Beach has Chimay on tap. It's a great restaurant in your area. They only have 3 beers on tap mind you, so it's not a beer place, but it is a food place with good beer. Another random note, a Vons next to me started carrying Chimay and a few other belgians as well, the world sure is changing (now if only those grain prices would stop going on up..).

          You can also check out beerfly on beeradvocate.com http://beeradvocate.com/beerfly/city/9 for more places.

          -----
          Father's Office
          1018 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403

          26 Beach
          3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

          3rd Stop
          8636 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

          Library Alehouse
          2911 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405

          Father's Office
          3229 Helms Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90034

          14 Replies
          1. re: karamazov

            Chimay isn't exactly rare. Now Rodenbach is a little harder, and soon going to get even harder, as once again it will soon not be imported to the US. Stock up now!

            1. re: Diana

              I can't remember the entire selection, but I was surprised to find a decent assortment of Belgian beers at Cost Plus a couple of weeks ago. Good prices, too, iirc. Delerium, Duvel, and Chimay are the ones I recall seeing.

              1. re: CynD

                Costco has an OK BelgiAN beer selection. I know th OP wanted a bar in particualr. Frankly, I still say it's worth going to Pasadena for Lucky B's. Yes, it's a drive, but he has stuff no one else does, things you may only find in a little bar in Brussels.
                Hey, it's closer than going to Belgium!

                1. re: Diana

                  I haven't seen ANY Belgian or Belgian style craft beers at any of the several Costco's that I frequent. They do have Fat Tire Amber Ale, an American style amber/red ale from New Belgium Brewing Company but that's about it and deffinately NOT a selection! If I missed something point me to a particular store, OK?

                  1. re: sel

                    sorry, I meant cost plus. I was responding to CYn D.

                    Although for an American beer, New Belgium is one of the great ones!

                    1. re: Diana

                      Or did you mean CostPLUS!

                      :-b

                      1. re: Frommtron

                        Huh?

                        1. re: Diana

                          Referring to your habit of screaming the last syllable of Belgian to make a point. Sorry, I always get a good laugh when someone makes a typo when calling others to task. Meant only as a joke as it happens to me nearly everyday in my line of work.

                          1. re: Frommtron

                            What's worse, you know, is I do it all the time! :)

                            It's not my spelling skills that suck; it is my typing! No spell check on this board, and I usually type and post without proofreading. A very bad habit!

                            Hey, it just proves I'm human!

                            Too bad it seems the moderators removed some of the posts on here, though!

                            1. re: Diana

                              Yeah! How about exercising some moderation with that moderation, eh?

                              My favorite typo so far on the board was when I referred to Shutters in Santa Monica as Shudders. Hmmm. Different.

                              Anyway, yes! Belgian beer good.

                2. re: CynD

                  The Whole Foods at Arroyo Parkway at Pasadena has a pretty good selection of Belgian beer as well. They have Westhalle, and cherry beer. Duvel, Chimay and the Raspberry/Peach Lambic are pretty commonly available.

                3. re: Diana

                  Rodenbach Grand Cru is one of my favorite Flanders Red Ales that has been relatively easy to find, I'M NOT HAPPY CAMPER!

                  1. re: sel

                    You should have stocked up! We did...

                    1. re: Diana

                      I have a little but my large fridge and cellar (read bedroom closet) is piled up with cases of Russian River's Temptation, Supplication and Beatification plus Lost Abbey's Isabelle Proxamus, Cuvee de Tommee and way too many craft brews after a couple of beer trips to San Francisco/Santa Rosa and San Diego County! I'm the only one in my house that consumes beer or any alcohol really so my monopolization of fridge space does raise the ire of my GF and kids sometimes! Yea, I know I need another dedicated beer fridge and a temp/humidity controlled cellar but...

                      At least there are other options for a Flanders Red Ale within the confines of this board. Yesterday I had La Folie Wood Aged Beer from New Belgium Brewing Inc. at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach which paired very well with their Smoked Albacore Sandwich and Sweet Potatoe Fries and last week I enjoyed a Ommegang Rouge from Brewery Ommegang at Hollingshead's Delicatessen in Orange along with their Italian Style Devil Sandwich, very tasty, this is another place that I love!

                      P.S. Sorry about the detour from the original post as the above 2 places are not on the 'westside' but as least for me they are worth the trip!!!

                      -----
                      Beachwood BBQ
                      131 1/2 Main St, Seal Beach, CA 90740

                      Hollingshead's Delicatessen
                      368 S Main St, Orange, CA 92868

              2. I have it from a good source that Daily Pint and Otheroom are solid beer geek bars comparable to what you would find in San Diego or Northern California.

                -----
                Daily Pint
                2310 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

                Otheroom
                1201 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

                4 Replies
                1. re: Eat_Nopal

                  One caveat - neither serve any food.

                  1. re: Eat_Nopal

                    I'll second Daily Pint. It's been off my radar for awhile but Eat_Nopal is right. While they do't have the tap selection that a lot of the heavy hitters mentioned have, they have a lot of stuff in bottles.

                    1. re: Frommtron

                      Be careful with the Daily Pint nowadays...they switched ownership a few years ago and it turned into a VERY different place with a hostile vibe to match. They lost a ton of locals and haven't gained any back.

                      1. re: mr. O

                        I don't know what your talking about. I've been going to the Pint for over 6 years now and it has had the same owner the whole time. The vibe is much more laid back than say FO. Also they have recently put in hand pumps. While there is a shortage of cask conditioned beer in SoCal, the hand pump takes the gas charge out and renders satisfactory beers into something delightful.

                  2. Musc32-

                    Once again, the Hounders fully delivered...this is your comprehensive list. I'd go with Father's Office, as last time I was in the Culver City location, they had a special Belgian 'reserve' beer list separate from their master beer selection.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: ElJeffe

                      I gotta admit, the beer selection at Lucky B's is better, but the food at FO is better.

                      No wait usually at Lucky B's, and mroe beer options, but not as good food and a longer drive.

                      As a Hound, it's a conundrum!

                      1. re: Diana

                        As a true Belgian beer devotee, I can recommend two outstanding locations to purchase in bottles:

                        1) The Wine House
                        2311 Cotner Avenue
                        Los Angeles, CA 90064

                        2)Beverage Warehouse
                        4935 McConnell Ave #21
                        Los Angeles, CA 90066

                        Fortunately both are very close to Mar Vista, where I live as well. They have truly comprehensive selections. My personal favorite: Affligem Tripel. Westmalle Tripel ranks #2.

                        Maybe we could open a Belgian beer pub in Mar Vista!

                        BTW, Lucky Baldwin's is worth the trip. It's just that since the point is to drink Belgian beer, you've got either to stay overnight or cab it!

                        1. re: jono37

                          Beverage Warehouse is my stop for Belgian/Belgian-style choices to bring home as well. They usually have at least a handful of new surprises every month...

                          1. re: jono37

                            OR get a designated driver

                      2. Bottle Rock in Culver City serves some Belgian beers.

                        1. I was told of a few Belgian-owned but, non-Belgian places in and around Robertson and 3rd. (sorry, the names escape me at this post) however, their beer selections aren't any more impressive than most already mentioned on this thread. With that, kindly allow mine to be the proverbial "far outside the designated boundary" post. Even further away from the Westside than Sierra Madre's DELIRIUM and Pasadena's LUCKY BALDWIN'S, deep into the OC's South Coast is BRUSSELS BISTRO which I understand to be the sole Belgian Restaurant in SoCal.

                          They regularly feature six Belgian beers on tap and stock another twelve bottled brews which you can enjoy with authentic frites and other Belgian cuisine.

                          -----
                          Brussels Bistro
                          222 Forest Ave, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

                          1. Has anyone been to the Daily Pint on Pico in Santa Monica? Poster Moomin mentions this place having hand pumps in the post titled, "Daily".

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: bulavinaka

                              My title got cut off! I'm so annoyed.

                              Yeah, so the Daily Pint has cask conditioned ale on beer engine every Friday (upon further investigation, this started LAST WEEK). Has anybody made it over there yet? I'm not going to make it this Friday, but I'll be there later this summer!

                              The place is a dive with absolutely NO food, but they will allow you to eat anything that you bring in. People generally order from Abbots and have them deliver it directly to the bar.

                              1. re: Moomin

                                A month or so ago Phil got a hand pump on loan from Firestone. The firkin it was attached to lasted less than 25 minutes (yes I was there and helped drain it). Following that success he tried to track down a hand pump supplier here in California but couldn't find one. He actually went to England to buy 4 engines and bring them back. He had one up last week, he should have the other three up tomorrow.

                                1. re: westwood

                                  where is this, again? Location?

                                  1. re: Diana

                                    Pico and 23rd in Santa Monica. Across from the park. It is next to the Lazy Daisy and truly looks like a dump from the outside. Parking can be tight. There are some spaces behind, there is parking on the street after 5. Park in the Daisy once it closes (variable, but it is not open for dinner). There is also the park across the street, but look around for lurking cruisers because they will ticket you if they see you head directly across the street without using the park first.

                                    1. re: westwood

                                      You're a good man, Charlie Brown. Daily Pint need to get back in the rotation, and quick. Thanks.

                            2. Maybe Barney's Beanery? They claim to have over 130 beers, I would assume some of them are Belgian.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Juji

                                They also never clean their lines. The beer they offer isn't always at its best.

                              2. People have made great suggestions. Also want to add Sheddy's (mid-city west), Lucky Devil's (Hollywood), Tompkins Square Bar and Grill (WestChester), 3 on 4th (Santa Monica), Santinos (Santa Monica).

                                Of course if you want to buy beer

                                whole foods
                                bristol farms
                                bevmo
                                wallys wine shop
                                beverage wharehouse (Marina del rey)

                                Rustic Canyon (in santa monica) was doing fancy specialty beers for awhile.

                                The whole foods here is NOTHING like the whole foods on Houston near the LES. You won't find great beer in small corner grocers like you would in East Village. And the beer scene is nothing like it is in Williamsburg Brooklyn. However, there is some excellent beer to be had. Just search around.

                                Good luck!

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: jlrobe

                                  Yeah, but in LA we can buy beer any day of the week and at the grocery store. They have Hoegaarden at my Albertson's!

                                  1. re: a_and_w

                                    "Yeah, but in LA we can buy beer any day of the week and at the grocery store. They have Hoegaarden at my Albertson's!"

                                    Yep. And most Ralphs has Chimay, Duvel, etc.
                                    But in EV, you could literally WALK into MOST corner grocers on 1st ave and find 30-40 varietys of belgian style ale. It is on another level in NYC. I once walked into an indian grocer and found 50-60 varieties of truly specialty beer, e.g. 13 varieties of Rogue, 6 Vareities of Hitachino, etc.

                                    Don't get me wrong, Beer is great in LA. I can ride my bike to Najas, so.....

                                    1. re: jlrobe

                                      "I can ride my bike to Najas, so....."

                                      YOU LUCKY BASTARD! I have to drive from Sherman Oaks!!!!

                                      1. re: jlrobe

                                        Crazy! I personally never had that experience. For me, what set NYC apart was the wide availability of locally brewed offerings like Brooklyn Brewery. BTW, are there any comparable LA brewers that you've found?

                                  2. Those Belgians....the best beer....inventor of fries....The most under-rated culinary peoples in the world?

                                    Lucky Devil's always comes up as having a great burger as well. I may have to make a trip East (yikes).

                                    1. Jerry's Liquor on Wilshire Blvd in SM has a very strong selection. I don't know how their prices compare with the places noted by jono37 -- wine house, bev wharehouse -- but would be interested to know.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Ciao Bob

                                        They do? I remember being a tad underwhelmed by the selection at Jerry's, but I could be thinking of someplace else. I live right nearby, so I'll be sure to double check!

                                      2. I too am a Belgian ALE freak. Belgian ALES should be distinguished from Belgian beer i.e. Stella Artois, which I do like. In NY I try to go to Petite Abeille on 20th on the nights that they have 2 for 1. Here in the LA area, finding restaurants with Belgian ales is a challenge. By the way, I consider all Chimay ales to be poor examples of Belgian ales. The last few times I have been to Hal's in Venice, they have Duvel, which is an excellent, though lightter Belgian. In Silverlake, Blairs has a nice selection of Belgians, served in proper glasses. In Laguna, I'm dying to try the Brussels Bistro (bring designated driver). One of the best producers of Belgian style ales is Unibroue in Montreal. Their brews consistently rate over 90 points by All About Beer Magazine. The best tip is to buy Trader Joe's Vingage Ale. It is made by Unibroue. You can find Unibroue at Whole Foods and BevMo. Try comparing Chimay to the others and you will see what I mean. Always be sure to use proper glasses and follow the pouring instructions.