HOME > Chowhound > San Diego >
Do you create unique foods? Share your adventure

SD: Small Bar

globocity Nov 18, 2009 07:04 AM

I drove past this joint the other night and it was packed. Not that a large crowd is an indication of quality food or drink, but am curious nonetheless. Have any CHers been there? What's the verdict so far?

  1. Josh Nov 18, 2009 07:27 AM

    Great beer, cocktail, and whiskey/bourbon selection. I haven't eaten many meals there, but I have had their Tallgrass burgers and enjoyed them.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Josh
      globocity Nov 18, 2009 08:36 AM

      Thanks for the prompt reply, Josh. I'd like to check out their beer selection and food. The name seems fitting because upon a quick glance, the place looks tiny. It's a good sign to see patronized restaurants even in this gloomy economy. Cucina Urbana is just as tough to get into.

    2. n
      normalheightsfoodie Nov 18, 2009 11:54 AM

      We have been there several times and loved it. They have a giant beer selection and the staff will help you choose a beer that you beleive you will like. The fish and chips are generous. The mac n Cheese is more like pasta in a cheese sauce. Sandwiches are good.

      Music is loud, and you order your beer at the bar, and your food from a window at the end of the bar.

      2 Replies
      1. re: normalheightsfoodie
        RTee Nov 22, 2009 01:33 PM

        I believe Small Bar was opened by the guy who owns Hamilton's Tavern, so the emphasis is definitely on good beer.

        I've only had the corn dogs there, I think they call them Circus Dogs, but they were good. Albeit, it's probably difficult to screw up corn dogs, but the breading wasn't heavy or dense so that's a plus. I think the best part was the creamy horseradish dipping sauce it came with, which they have for the burgers too. Oh man that sauce was soooo good! The fries weren't good, though. I really like Small Bar so I don't like criticizing them, but to be honest, I'd describe fries as soggy and Sysco.

        I went on a Saturday and it definitely fills up at night since the place is so small. And it's a bit too cold to sit on the outside patio these days. My advice is to snag a seat early. If you like beer and the beer selection in places like Hamilton's or Blind Lady Ale House, you'll like Small Bar.

        1. re: RTee
          globocity Nov 22, 2009 09:11 PM

          Went Saturday night, sat on the patio. Didn't try any of their food but tried several of their Ales. Was impressed with that I drank although I wish I had remained sober enough to recall what it was I imbibed! I'll definitely go back as long as I can snag a table.

      2. kare_raisu Dec 16, 2009 08:20 AM

        Had the Houblon La Chouffe Belgian IPA here the night before last. Its fantastic, best beer Ive had in a while

        5 Replies
        1. re: kare_raisu
          globocity Dec 17, 2009 12:12 PM

          Kare: What kind of food would you pair with the Houblon? Did you like their food options?

          1. re: globocity
            kare_raisu Dec 17, 2009 11:47 PM

            I haven't tried their food, but I hope Josh will chime in whom I owe my appreciation for beer to.

            1. re: kare_raisu
              Josh Dec 18, 2009 07:40 AM

              I don't eat a lot of the menu items because of the whole commodity meat thing. I do eat their burgers, which are Tallgrass beef, and those are good. I've also had the chilaquiles (minus chicken, over easy eggs on top instead of the omelet), and while they are not traditional chilaquiles they are quite tasty.

              1. re: Josh
                globocity Dec 18, 2009 08:28 AM

                Thanks for the replies, kare and Josh. I'm curious about their burgers and will have to dig in. Went there last night and had a Pilsner, it was quite tasty. This place gets packed, but I like the crowd. Hamilton's and South Park are a little too emo-meets-flannel for me. Cheers.

                1. re: globocity
                  kare_raisu Dec 18, 2009 08:38 AM

                  Feel you on that - Hamilton's has changed so much. Small Bar will definitely replace it for me.

        2. d
          DougOLis Dec 20, 2009 10:45 PM

          I concur with what everyone else is saying. Great beer & cocktails. Pretty similar tap lists to Hamilton's (obviously) and Toronado, so I suggest checking out Taphunter.com before your visit to determine which bar you want to go.

          I'm in favor of the Firecracker Steak Melt because it's about the closest thing I can get to the old Liar's Club Fuego Melt. The marinade they use on the steak is pretty damned tasty.

          Show Hidden Posts