Westside gastropub explosion
I have been amazed and amused by the proliferation of gastropubs on the westside - everyone seems to be hurrying to get their entry in. I get that it is a fun and easy way to drink, dine or just hang out…there are designer cocktails, beer, wine and small plates - enough to interest just about anybody. But wow - they just keep coming and it's getting hard to sort out the clones from the genuine article.
Here's a few I have visited recently:
Next Door (by Josie's) (Pico)
Waterloo and City (Washington)
Freddy Small's (Pico)
Westside Tavern (Pico)
Upper West (Pico)
Sunny Spot (Washington)
Misfits (Santa Monica Blvd.)
and there's that new one coming on Sawtelle with the odd name of Plan Check.
Here's what you can expect at any of them:
Carmelized brussels sprouts
Gourmet banh mi / Cuban / pulled pork sandwich
Overpriced concept burger
Chicken liver pate
Raw kale salad
Designer deviled eggs
…and don't forget the $12 absinthe old fashioned with house-made quince shrub.
But, seriously, which one do you think is the real deal and what do you love about it?
Funny you should mention this, since I was just in the Westwood/Pico area and a bartender at the Wellesbourne told me how there was this explosion of gastropubs in the area. I had a drink there and then tried Freddy Small's. Having also noticed a restaurant called 3rd Street Station in my neck of the woods I'm starting to wonder is the explosion farther reaching. Needless to say the trend itself isn't bothersome; I'll always embrace an establishment where you can get a great drink and a great meal in one sitting. However, like you said it gets difficult to tell the real deal from the impostor. I guess as with any "genre" of eating it will boil down to vision and consistency. In the meantime please recommend your favorites.