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Jun 3, 2013 04:38 PM

Angel City Brewery!!

The bad news is that they don't have food; the good news is that it's therefore okay to bring your own, and it's a very fun place to eat. We were there Saturday night for a birthday party, one of Mrs. O's co-workers, and were pleased to get a space in the small lot and then more pleased that there's a big burly dude out there keeping an eye on things. Big space, very interesting shapes to the various areas, handsomely decorated and not too loud - the music was good and loud enough to hear, but conversation was easy even for half-deaf elderly persons. Or one, anyway.

We just had some chips and homemade guac, popcorn and (of course) birthday cake; pizza was the most common table entrée, though most of the crowd was sticking with beer. We saw one attractive couple walking by, the woman carrying what we took to be a pizza box, and were delighted to see that it was a Monopoly game! Yeah, that kind of place.

Okay, the beer. If you don't drink beer, I believe they can give you some water, but that's the menu otherwise. Of all the brewpubs I've been in, this place is the Champ of Cheap: half-pints are $6, pints are $12, and if you want a "growler" it's $5 for the jug and $11 for 64 ounces … and if you keep the jug and don't break it you can refill it for $11 whenever you please. That's half a gallon of damned good beer for less than a pint glass. We each tried two pints, Mrs. O a Wit that was just okay and a Berliner Weisse with a shot of pomegranate that will be her favorite forever; I had the two IPAs on offer, a wimpy one called Social and the much more forceful Angeleno. We also swapped sips with several table mates and found nothing that wasn't worth drinking.

The people at the bar are friendly and knowledgeable, the restrooms are simply splendid and very clean, the vibe about as laid-back cheerful as you'd expect and then some. There's enough room in the various odd spaces to accommodate some guys who were tossing something around without threatening to knock anything over. We got the impression that this is sort of the neighborhood rec room/clubhouse, without any of the exclusivity you might encounter in one of those. Anyone is welcome and everyone can play. We will be back, with food. And it's just four blocks north of the Little Tokyo Gold Line stop!

THIS JUST IN!! They do have a food truck schedule on their website, and it appears they get several in regular rotation. Tonight it's Tokyo Doggie Style, Tuesday is TACO NIGHT - is that every Tuesday? - and Smokin' Willie's BBQ is on for Thursday and Friday.

216 S. Alameda St. LA

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  1. Will, Thanks for the great and encouraging report. However, I don't quite get the "Champ of Cheap" angle. To me, $6 for a half-pint and $12 for a pint sounds quite expensive. Was this in U.S. dollars or shekels? But then, 64 ounces for $11?
    Anyway, your story is great and your writing, as always, is solid.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Tripeler

      It's an actual Brewery and not a Brew Pub. I believe that it's a full pint for $6 which is generally less expensive than a lot of Brew Pubs in LA. I also enjoyed the beer, atmosphere and the Art Deco design.

      1. re: Tripeler

        I appreciate the kind words, Tripeler. After reading your response to my comment about the price, I began to doubt the accuracy of my memory (again!!); my brew-pub experience was mostly in Nashville, and mostly over a decade ago. So I looked up the current prices at Bosco's, our favorite, and saw that a 15-oz glass is now going for $4.50. Okay, that's Nashville; fourteen years ago that would have been an awfully expensive beer, though I think Bosco's was the least expensive of the four that were open then. And since I can't drink beer so much these days, I haven't sought out any other such places in LA County or thereabouts, so I am forced to agree with you that I was in fact talking through my hat. For a change.

        I will say, though, that I thought six bucks for a pint of good fresh beer was pretty cheap, considering what I'd be charged for the equivalent serving of other alcoholic beverages (a cocktail, a glass of wine). And two pints is a big plenty for me.

        1. re: Will Owen

          You wrote six bucks for a half-pint, twelve bucks for a pint, which by any standard (except Tokyo) is fairly expensive.

          1. re: Tripeler

            I miswrote. It's six for a pint, three for a half. The $12 was what I paid for each round …

            1. re: Will Owen

              Thanks, Will. Now it sounds like it is the normal range.

      2. The Night Ryeder was the win for me out of the "flight". The growler, being a growler, was flat after 2 days. Highly NOT recommended unless you can finish off a 4 pints of the same beer in less than 2 days. I found neither of the IPAs that appetizing, as the stuff being brewed is far less exciting than the offerings in North County.

        The taco trucks were, as per usual, absolute shat the last 2 times. The Belly Bomb? Being the worst of/in the lot.

        FWIW, it's a brewery, but they allowed under 18 and dogs to roam the premises.

        1 Reply
        1. re: TonyC

          Since they aren't serving food they don't have to follow restaurant rules concerning animals. I would think that "the premises" does not include the actual brewery operating area - this is open for guided tours only, as I understand it. As for any kids, we didn't get there until 9:00 or thereabouts, so it was all 20+ and up, but if the space functions as a beer garden I'd expect any minors would have to be accompanied by adults. Their website has an age-filtering portal; though of course you can just lie there, I'd expect the guy at the physical pub entrance to ask for ID.

          I'm a little curious about what's difficult about finishing off four pints of the same beer in two days, having routinely managed to knock off a sixer of Sierra Nevada IPA (or whatever) in the course of many two-day camping trips. That Night Ryeder, which I had a sip of and liked a lot, might get a little tiresome; I'd think a growler would be either for sharing or for a beer you'd want as a beverage, rather than as an Experience.